Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bye Bye, Buzz!

Well folks! I'm back from the VA Harp Center! Le buzz a disparu! Grâce à dieu...and also the very kind and knowledgeable Amy and Ivan! Apparently I had some string anchors contacting the back of my soundboard or something that just needed a little twisting. So! I learned something about diagnosing buzzes on the harp! I also scored some replacement string loot (first 3 octaves) as well as my own copy of a fun warm-up book I've been borrowing from my teacher. I'm back home with a harp that doesn't have a mysterious buzz, ready to get back to practicing. I feel like I've seriously slowed down on my progress lately. Work has been so stressful and I haven't been making enough time to practice. I'm promising myself not to get discouraged, just to make a change in my habits and make more time to play! Speaking of making time to play... I better get to it! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Totally Buzzed

You guys... There is a buzzing sound coming from my fancy new pedal harp. It's so annoying. I've tried a few things to figure out where the buzz might be coming from. Alas! No luck. It started in my third octave C a couple of weeks ago, and over a week or so it seemed to travel down to the neighboring B and A... but now I only hear it from C. (Whoa, cool story bro -- I know!) Yesterday at my harp lesson, my teacher, her husband and I attempted a few things including loosening, removing, and replacing the string... we tried putting a small piece of fabric between the string and the soundboard... we looked under the base and pressed firmly on everything we could think might be causing it, but the buzz persisted. I'm going to have to rent an SUV (because I don't have a harpmobile - or much need for one - yet) and drive the harp up to Virginia for someone to look at it next week. My engineering mind has me so ready to take this thing apart and figure it all out myself, but I know better than to do anything that might jeopardize my warranty! I would love to learn to be a harp technician, though. What fun it must be to know all the technical ins and outs and be able to perform maintenance yourself! This kind of thinking must be how people get into fixing cars...

Harp Dreams

We Netflix'd Harp Dreams the other night... Can I just say, WOW! Competitive, super focused and extremely goal-oriented people blow my mind. Maybe my apathy towards the idea of being THE. ABSOLUTE. BEST. at something, or my overwhelming love of all things and my need to figure out a fair amount about everything and not dedicate my whole life to just one thing baffles others. I got so excited when Yolanda Kondonassis came on the screen. I have her book, On Playing the Harp, which I affectionately refer to as 'The Yolanda Book' and often reference when I can't quite get my harp claw oriented properly during practice. Anyway, I admire those people for competing and following their dreams, and I really admire their dedication. The documentary made me wish, for a fleeting moment, that I had moved off to Paris or something to seriously study music or art (see how I can't even narrow that field of study down?). These kids are amazingly brave and talented! And Indiana is a big harpist hub?! WHO KNEW!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mad World (Cat Version)

My friend Fred has shown some interest in learning to play the piano and asked me to teach him a few things... some of them ridiculously difficult (ok, Fred, I cannot rock out to Led Zeppelin by ear, sorry), but I did learn to play Mad World (Gary Jules version) for him - and why not also learn it on the harp? It's extra fun because I get to take my harp out of C and into E♭! Woohoo. And what a joy it is to change keys with pedals!! I'm so smitten with my new harp it's borderline creepy. This isn't the best I can play the song, but I think you'll know why I chose this clip to publish. Enjoy!