Category: Music

img_1946  SUNDAY, OCT 9, 2016 

1:30 pm

East Brunswick Public Library, 2 Civic Center Drive. NJ

 I’ve attended the Harper’s Escape weekend intensive maybe 6 times, and now that I’ve finally gotten the ‘hang’ of it, it’s ending.  After 25 years Kathy, the director, and one of my most favorite teachers,  is retiring this event.  So sad.  But, I do understand.    The details above is for the final public concert that completes the weekend event.  I’ll be there and, it’s free.  Come!  It’s always a full house so get there early for a good seat, not that it matters.

 

 

harpdoodle-001Taking up the harp at 50 changed my life brain.  Switching from piano to harp as my primary musical instrument was a learning curve that proved frustrating, challenging, and incredibly rewarding.  More on that another time.  Suffice it to say, 8 fingers on 36 strings, re-wired my brain in ways only a yogi could understand….or a brain scientist.

Next year Kathy is taking a group to Ireland!  OMG.  For those who know me,  you know how much I want to go on that trip!aran-islands-inisheer-001  In August, 2002 my daughter and I traveled there and searched for all-things-harp for 2 weeks. We landed in Shannon and made our way to  Galway during  the big horse race event. We journeyed thru dense fog to Inisheer, one of the  Aran Islands.  We drove on the wrong right long straight road running from the west coast all the way to way to Dublin. The only harp I found was  in a glass case at Trinity Library and I wrote about it here. Of course there were images of harps on coins and beer cans everywhere, but, no harp music anywhere.  Still, the music we did find was damn good!  Money is tight right now so maybe I’ll crowdfund the trip?  If everyone I know/love could send me $5. I bet that might get me there!  I’ll be happy to entertain you all with my harp when I return.

Just kidding….

 

 

Anyway, Wally, a Camac Aziliz, (who I still want to swap/sell/trade  for a Fisher) needs some serious tuning after a hot, humid summer and weeks of neglect.  But, he’ll sing next weekend at the Harpers Escape for sure.

wallyalone

 Learning to play the harp, and developing a repetoire that suits me and my abilities has been so much fun.  It’s taken me to places both musical and geographical that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I am blessed.

Here’s a story I wrote about one such experience.  It happened in July, 2007.

Come to this concert….your heart will thank you. 

                                                                    May all beings feel love.  willaangelina-001

 

Blogging Doodles Harp My photos StoryTelling

5 stars from me!  a must see…. touched me in too many ways to count.
Ah….the road(s) not traveled……..     Om shanti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music philosophy sound/music therapy Teachers

Heading to the NJ State Folk Festival this weekend where I’ll see one of my favorite harp teachers.  I’m really excited to hear some current folk music.   It’s been a while.   As a “baby-boomer-extraordinaire” I spent countless hours listening to people like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Tim something?……   It’s a maritime theme this year and I just attended a local photowalk and took these pictures (scroll down) experimenting with b/w in the fog. I rarely spend time around boats so the sychronicity is hard to ignore.

Music touches and heals us like no other activity. It’s A Documented Truth. Playing instruments, singing songs, or listening to others play and sing lights up our brain cells and activates the neural plasticity that is being written about so frequently now.

That yod I mentioned yesterday….it’s energizing my Sun in ways that are amazing to experience…physically, mentally, and most obvious (to me) synchronistically.   Does that make sense?  It’s hard to verbalize.

Time to go learn Row, Row, Row your Boat on my harp……

Jai Bhagwan…..

 

Blogging books digital photography Harp Music My photos NJ The Jersey Shore

Just opened an account @ soundcloud….they’ve really simplified all the uploading and downloading so  amateur people like me can share some music…….

So, here’s the tune The Factory Girl, at least part of it…..    I tried to really slow it down and use very few notes so that you can feel the “bones of the song”.   Story at 2pm.    ……told under the auspices of a disseminating moon

Om shanti.

 

 

 

Harp StoryTelling The Jersey Shore

I’ve been practicing dagdasharp.my story for Tellebration 2014 and excited to present it.  I’ll be telling more about Dagda  and adding a nice bit of harping to the telling. Dagda is the god of the bards and his lineage connects him to the fairy realm of Ireland.  He’s a comical figure, visually, but still immensely powerful.  His primary tool for the magic he weaves is his harp.  Besides composing the sounds of nature, and keeping the seasons in order, he’s also credited with the establishment of the Three Noble Strains, lament, merriment, & lullabye.    I have lots of ‘merriment’ & ‘lullabye’ in my repetoire, however I did not have any ‘lament’s or sad songs.  I guess that means I don’t qualify as a bard……yet.  So, I’ve been searching for sad across the internet and settled in on T.  O’Carolan’s,  Clergy’s Lamentation.

It takes a lot to learn a new piece so I’ve been carrying this tune around in my head for days.  It is a sad tune…..  unless I play it fast, and then it’s positively danceable.  And so it goes.  I did some googling around though and found these 2 articles.  You might want to check them out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/opinion/sunday/why-we-like-sad-music.html

http://boingboing.net/2014/11/06/we-listen-to-sad-music-to-feel.html

 

Oh! and, Venus moves into Sagittarius just as our show begins….isn’t that just perfect.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

 

Ancient Wisdom Harp Music StoryTelling

Well, I am simply filled to the brim with joy and gratitude for last weekend’s Harper’s Escape.  It was fabulous and I promise to gift myself more harp events.  Meanwhile, last week I  also learned how to lightly edit an audio file and upload it to the internet.  I know it’s no big deal anymore to do that, but for me this feels really cool!   Uh oh…..I do see  YouTube in my future!  Uranus is flooding my chart right now  with ‘breakthrough energy’ so this seems like a good way to use it.

That said,  here is a piece of my harp practice that will certainly make you smile if you can hang in there for a few minutes.   I’m not posting this piece necessarily for the music…..  it’s about the birds and it’s worth a listen.  Promise.   The first 30 seconds are just me talking as I set the levers on the harp preparing to practice and warm up my hands.    (Recorded on my ipod)

 

 

Harp Music sound/music therapy StoryTelling

I’m registered onwally croppedce again for the Harper’s Escape! I’ve attended it maybe 4 other times and it’s never failed to rejuvenate my soul. Oh, and my harp playing gets a little bit better too. The faculty will be different this year which is disappointing and exciting both.  I will miss Grainne and her family.  Watching the little ones dance to harp & fiddle is a sight to behold.

I wrote a post back in 2009 after attending what was my 2nd (?) escape…… it’s  right here if you’re interested.

On Friday night we meet in a circle and go around and everyone plays something…..or not.   It’s a challenging moment for sure.  I’m wondering about sharing a short story with harp accompaniment……?    Dagda’s Harp comes immediately to mind, as does “Sam Clam”.  Fortunately, I have had some recent experiences storytelling so my usual jitters might be calmer…..we’ll see.

On Sunday we perform as a group at the local library where we play all the songs that we all just learned on Saturday…..it’s a humbling experience for this amateur musician!

I’m excited to be attending and look forward to learning some new tunes…..

 

Harp NJ StoryTelling

…..and I for one will be glad to see the population shrink back down to us locals.

The upcoming Storytelling Festival, of which I am a part, is featuring stories about New Jersey.  We have been a state for 350 years.  States have horoscopes also, in case you did not know that.   My personal NJ story is as old as I am, being a lifelong resident of this small, crowded, but beautiful state.   I have many stories to tell, and choosing the right one(s) for this event is a daunting task.

more later.

 

Blogging Harp StoryTelling

 

The_BardI went to another storytelling event this Sunday and brought my harp.  Just in case.  This is all quite new to me, especially the part around playing the harp in public.  It’s a funny thing, because I’m really not as shy as I am as when I have my harp with me for storytelling.  Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I’m getting over it all and really having fun sharing tunes & stories with whomever will politely listen.  I don’t need applause.  My ego disappeared a saturn cycle ago.

This time I wove together a personal story (which is actually written up here) along with the ancient Celtic myth of  Daghda and his magical harp.  Ancient people understood the power of music and story and I’m thrilled to explore this journey of the bard with a group of  talented storyteller’s.

My application to tell a story at the NJ Storyteller’s Festival on Sept. 21 was accepted!  The details for the event are here if you’re in or near NJ.

I haven’t put my story together yet for that event even though I had to describe it on the application. I wrote:

A HOME-GROWN YOGINI
Challenging times are when wants, needs, wishes and responsibilities collide. This is a personal tale of struggle, renewal & transformation as experienced using Yoga, Astrology, Feng Shui and the Harp. 

Hmmm.  It shouldn’t be hard to put that story together at all!  But, telling my personal  ‘story’, in ‘public’, as ‘entertainment’?  Oh well.  It’s all good.    Om shanti.    May all beings be peaceful.

Love this painting!  “The Bard” by John Martin – http://www.wga.hu/cgi-bin/highlight.cgi?file=html/m/martin/bard.html&find=bard. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Bard.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_Bard.jpg

Ancient Wisdom Harp StoryTelling

 

Tugging_at_your_harp_stringsWow!  Sunday was my first-ever storytelling performance with a harp, and the audience was delighted.  I recognized some serious applause and I was told later that everyone was talking about me, although, I don’t think it was really me they were talking about….it was really about the harp.  Once again  I forgot how utterly mesmerizing this instrument is to most people….and me too, of course.  For all the worry, anxiety, and practice….the music just flowed exactly the way it was supposed to.

chironachillesharp
Chiron teaching harp to Achilles

In the first person, I told the story of Chiron’s Birth and why he came to be living in a cave with his harp.

This centaur, known as The Wounded Healer, is a mythological story that has captured my attention for the past 20 years or so and I’m frequently referring to his symbolism in my lectures/workshops and yoga therapy classes.  He’s got a powerful story for our times, for sure.  So many of us  feel wounded, shamed, abandoned and just plain old sad.    I’ve blogged a bit about Chiron, the asteroid, and this post gives a pretty good overview of the astrological Chiron.   Today Chiron is traveling thru Pisces which supports healing thru music.

 This was the first time, in a long time, that rather than teach or facilitate,  I practiced Performance & (intentional) Drama.    I was totally unprepared for the sheer joy that I experienced after it was over and thruout the following day.  It was wonderful to find a new, creative outlet that brings together so much of what I love to do, and still challenges me in new ways.  But four minutes is nothing when your hands are on the strings, you know?

Already, I am planning Chapter 2, and expanding my story to maybe 10-15 minutes?  Who knows?  For now, Storytelling is a new hobby/activity for me and I am so excited to see where it takes me.

Ancient Wisdom Astrology Blogging Harp journal entry sound/music therapy StoryTelling The Jersey Shore