Thursday, May 26, 2011

Maybe You're a Harpist All Over the Beastie Boys

Maybe you're a vagabond social media master politico.

Maybe you're a chain smoker who sets other feet firmly on the healthiest life path they've ever been.

Maybe you're a vegan who loves the smell of a good barbecue.

Maybe you're a hip hop gangsta master gardener.

Maybe you wear the finest silk with dimestore fishnet.

Maybe you're a millionaire at the pub donning habitual humility.

Maybe you love both the softspoken waif and the violent musclebound.

Bill Withers, when asked by Tavis Smiley how he holds the note so long in the song Lovely Day, responded: "Did you watch the Olympics when this tall guy from Jamaica…(Usain Bolt)... came flying out of there. And what we thought was the world’s record was gone, man. He obliterated that stuff. And do you know why he did that? He was just running, man, because he could. That was him. So that was just me."

Maybe it's taken you 50 years. Or 5.


Listening to: HotSauce Committee PartTwo -- Say It -- Too Many Rappers -- The Lisa Lisa

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Your sprout and its dirt

Windowsills are perfect for seedlings. This one was given to me by Sunday school kids just a few weeks back, and several days ago it bravely broke ground.

It's a mystery plant at the moment, but looks suspiciously like it belongs to the morning glory family. No matter what it is, it will have a solid home here, either inside with the harp and cat and piano, or outside in the rambling expanse of the haphazard yard.

The crystal was given to me to my brother many many years ago, and its home has been the kitchen windowsill of every house I've lived in. It keeps me company when I am lost in thought, experimenting with food.

Checking this sprout daily reminded me of what others
have talked about regarding change and beginnings: “When you plant a new seed in the soil, the first thing that comes up is not the new shoot. The first thing that comes up is a little dirt.”

That dirt! These is a critical moment. All the Stuff, the obstacles, the excuses, the reasons, the stories -- all are unearthed. You either keep reaching for the light -- growth! -- or revert back underground from where you are emerging.

What seed gives up on itself?!

Take care of yourself during this precious time, whether you're starting music lessons as an adult, changing your lifestyle and/or health habits, preparing for a big performance, examining your relationships, planning a wedding, searching for a new career, getting through school.

Nurture, listen, protect, check in.

The reward is going to be gorgeous, fulfilling, miraculous, and every single day -- absolutely, beautifully, and ironically -- new in its own unique way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Harp + the Outdoors, Part 1 -- What Works

Outdoor wedding season is here, though wedding season started, for me, back in January. Here's what it looks like when the weather is right! Doesn't it look warm and luscious outside?

The wedding took place at the Darby House, one of my favorite places to play in central Ohio -- more photos here.

The fantastic Ely Brothers are responsible for the harp photo, and the officiant for this wedding, Damian King, shared it with me through a post on his elegant blog.
Damian's blog is not only packed with very helpful information for those planning a wedding, but also serves as an inspiring source about relationships and beauty.

Is that my real arm or a fantastic camera angle? Honestly, experimenting with how to be in the best shape for this work is an adventure.

Strength, balance, and stamina are necessary to
transport all the necessary tools of the trade, AND, when the body naturally knows what real support feels like, the better the playing and attention to detail while keeping an eye on all the beautiful people and what they are (not) doing.

In addition to weddings these next few weekends, I'm also playing some public events -- Market District Kingsdale (upstairs cafe) in Upper Arlington, and Krysty Designs Fine Jewelry in Powell (outside, weather permitting!) -- see my News / Calendar page for times and directions. I would love to meet you there! And you can see firsthand if I'm maintaining composure -- er, posture.

Here is what an outdoor wedding looks like when the weather is not great. Threat of rain and 51 degrees, folks -- nuh-uh.

The harp is affected by temperature and humidity, to be short and sweet; they influence the harp's ability to stay in tune and how the music is executed.

It is why special weather clauses in contracts exist, and why some harpists elect to never play outdoors.
But with clear communication prior to the wedding or other special event, contracts that summarize that information -- including backup plans and other what-to-do-if's -- actually make for very happy clients.

What must be in place for you to do your best work?