Monday, February 18, 2013


My wonderful husband bought me Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia for Valentine's Day and I am loving it. I'm not terribly far along, but it's super interesting so far. The bits I've read have had a lot to do with hearing music (when none is actually playing) just before seizures, or seizures being prompted by specific types of music or tones... Craaazy. There have also been some peculiar accounts of people, later in life, often after a near death experience or medical event, developing sudden strong desires to listen to or play music... And this passage, although not at all like my path to harping, made me pretty giddy and struck a familiar chord with me for obvious reasons:

Here's Dr. Sacks chatting a tiny bit about synesthesia... So cooooool! I don't think I've ever seen colors when I hear music. Kinda jealous.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Musical House

Our living room has been the scene of many an unconventional music recital. My super sweet 6 year old piano student occasionally puts on a tiny concert when her parents come to pick her up after lessons. When my friend who plays bass comes over I like to ignore him until he gets un-shy and cranks out some crazy ass Jaco Pastoruis solo, or silly RHCP riff. I love playing harp with the windows open when the weather is nice and imagining some passer-by is TOTALLY impressed with my mad skillz.

The other day, my friend Fitsum came over and played accordion for us. Like, that's his main instrument. I was surprised/delighted to learn that it's not an uncommon instrument in Eritrea! Anyway, until that day, I had never seen anyone play the accordion and appear to have a clue what the hell they were actually doing. It was so cool! In return, I played Pavane for a Dead Princess and Clair de Lune for him on harp, and my husband played a couple of songs for us on his banjo. We should probably invite people over to serenade us more frequently... maybe even stop being so craaazy shy and actually try playing music with other people! It's been so long since I've done that...

These pictures are of me at this place in Loachapoka, Alabama (seriously) called Fred's Feed & Seed. I used to go there on Thursdays my senior year of college and jam with these old men (always on different instruments - guitar, accordion, mandolin, hammer dulcimer). The guy who owns the place (Fred, go figure) is a super kind, enthusiastic music-lover and apparently suffers from my same instrument addiction. Any time I expressed an interest in an instrument he'd totally HAVE ONE and then promptly bust one out for me to try playing. I wish I could roll up in there this Thursday with my harp and just be like, "SUP Y'ALL"... but it's pretty unlikely I'll ever go back. In fact, if I went anywhere near my college town on purpose it'd probably just be to visit Fred's Pickin' Parlour and make sure Fred and the guys are doing alright. I miss that place so much, but my house is really starting to resemble it, which makes me feel even more at home here.