Friday, September 18, 2009

She's Back?

No way! Am I really back? For real this time???

The worst part of this is that I could write about SO many things (because I've been "gone" for SO long). I could write about moving (uggghhh). About hiking (and nearly killing my poor toe). About family (one of the best subjects sometimes). About my nursery-age baby (weep weep).

Nay, I shall write about the harp.

If you've read Rae's blogs about her cello passions, you'll have an idea what things have been like with me and my harp.

The above picture is the only one I can find; I am sorry the harp is covered. At least this time I actually put up a picture! Yay!

Dot dot dot.

Well, I'm afraid I won't wax very poetic here, but basically, I've not touched the harp much. If I took the dust cover off (which makes the harp uninteresting to Ender and his toys), I would sit down for perhaps ten minutes to run some boring arpeggios and try to think of a memorized song. First Arabesque? Oh, but I play that ALL the time. Noel Provencal? No, same deal--and that's a Christmas song. Chanson dans la Nuit? A favorite! Alas, I've been so neglectful that I have forgotten even that one. I think I used to play it every day, too. It was engraved in my finger muscles' memory. (By the way, did anyone else notice that all those song title are in French? Maybe it's just such a pity to put an ugly English title with a harp song since the harp is notoriously romantic). If I actually got out the music, I felt frustrated that my fingers didn't pick up as automatically.

But enough! GUESS WHAT?!!! I've been practicing! Really! Almost every day! And tuning the harp, too, which is sometimes more than half the battle. 47 strings, guys. You violinists think you have it hard. Silly people.

So today I played a number of songs, among them (yes, in French again) La Joyeuse and Le Bon Petit Roi D'Yvetot. With La Joyeuse, I played it slowly through the first time, and it simply felt good to re-remember it. The song is entirely made of descending arpeggios with the top note sounding the melody. I promise it's beautiful! Just as I was about to put it away, though, I decided to run through the beginning (which I have never unmemorized) as quickly as I could.


I sounded like the virtuoso albums.


Please don't laugh at my description, I'm just telling how it felt: my fingertips tumbled over the strings and beautiful, rippling, bubbling harmonies rose from the depths of the harp! One of those exhilirating moments when the vibrating sound waves literally (I'm not using that word for the heck of it) enveloped me. Mmmmmmm. Music. Art. Passion. Heaven!

Then I played Le-etc. (The Good Little King of Yvetot. I know there are some really hokey arrangements out there, but mine is rather the coolest by Marcel Grandjany). Fun, fun. And then the END!!! Weee! I ripped out this whizzy-fast scale thing with bestartling chords erupting inbetween and finished with a zip down the strings and a most gratifying grace-noted finaleful blOOM of a chord.

I smiled. :)

And I thought,

"I'm back!"


  1. This gives me goosebumps and shiver-shivers!!! YAY!!!

  2. Yay!

    I love how you've come full circle in this post. "I'm back?" to "I'm back!" and how at first you were talking about blogging and being back but how you ended being back on the HARP. :)

    I love how you described playing the harp.

    I find myself drawn to my piano everyday, but my latest dilemma has been -- what to play? But I found something yesterday that I'm really excited about. I'll have to tell you about it later.

    I'm so glad you've been playing!

  3. Thanks! It's so exciting! I'm working on a few pieces (old favorites and one new one. The sight-reading stage isn't my favorite, but I'll get past it...
    Yeah, my clever "i'm back" thing just happened naturally. ;)

  4. i love that feeling of playing something flawlessly! i don't know about you, but i think it's hard to come by. i like your hair in the photo and your dress. i love that song about the king of yvetot, remember the words you made up? and just so you know, you will ALWAYS be my favorite harpist, ten times better than the corny ladies on the albums who care more about their appearance than their music! although you ARE a blonde named kate. hehehe.

  5. You know, I think I DO remember some of the words! Didn't it end up with him getting frozen in a block of ice or something crazy like that?
    "There was a king of Yvetot...
    Who thought that he was very old...
    So old, in fact, that he was cold...
    I forgot. But it was funny, wasn't it!
    And thanks, Maddie! That very comfortable dress was $20, but then I talked to someone who got the same type for like $10 or something. Darn.
    Yes, yes, it is definitely hard to come by flawless playing. It takes so much work.


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