Monday, December 21, 2009

Back All Over Again!

When I blogged about harping, I really thought I had my old harpist self back, but wow, I had a wonderful experience that really put me up in the clouds!

I have missed performing, missed it terribly. It's one of my greatest passions. I've played for church and done a few concerts this month, but one in particular really ignited the spark for me.

I played with the Rexburg Women's Choir for their Christmas Cantata. One of their directors, Kathy, kindly suggested a solo since I'd be going through the trouble of bringing the harp for only one song with them. Of course I agreed! And I picked an old favorite, Noel Provencal.

I have to describe the little moments in the big moment! When the program reached my turn, I smiled and walked up to the stage. I felt simply excited. Not very nervous, if at all. I wheeled the harp to the center of the stage. I took my time arranging the bench, the music stand, the pedals. I glanced at the audience and smiled again--I hadn't really stopped smiling, really. Some kind of Happy Buzz was fizzing in my veins.

I sat. Scooted the bench, sat again. I'm usually too self-conscious to take the time to get comfortable. I end up imagining a surge of impatience from the audience. But this time, I felt completely in command of their attention. They could wait.

I placed my fingers on the strings, smiled at the familiar music... for a moment I realized that this could turn out like other concerts. I'd play pretty well, miss a few notes maybe, and be glad I could contribute to the performance. But I decided that wouldn't be enough. I said a little prayer. Please help me to play as perfectly as possible. Please let this be a gift to everyone. That was it! I took a breath and plunged in!

Lively chords, gongs, guitar-like chimes, a rolling arpeggio and a light gliss--and I reached a crucial point. Usually at this kind of point, my body realizes all the coordination going on and fritzes. "Oh my! I have to watch my feet, the pedal markings, the dynamics, the finger placements BLA bla bla bla" and things kind of glitch here and there until I can finally get back into focus. This time my mind surprised me; I thought, "I've gone this far without a single mistake...why not finish it perfectly? Why not? This will be perfect."

Agh! I want to cry! That feeling was so liberating! My body obeyed, not leaving any room for defiance. The lullaby section of the piece rolled and lulled, ending on a note that made me sigh. I felt the beauty of the piece translate itself into body language--body poetry--and the notes turned into art.

I finished. The breath caught in my throat when I paused, strings still singing: it was perfect. I said an emphatic thank-you-prayer and muffled the strings.

I just couldn't stop grinning the rest of the concert. I couldn't even stop smiling during the very tender Greensleeves rendition I played with the choir. I performed!!!! I really PERFORMED! And it was a gift! To everyone but especially to me. It lit my fire! :D


  1. I have only felt that way ONCE when performing! It's amazing, isn't it?! I love reading about your experience. :)

  2. I tried to "perform" my fiddle in my in-laws living room a couple of days a go and my father-in-law all but begged me to stop. I really admire you and Rae for knowing how to play an instrument and for being good at it! I am putting my fiddling aside after only three months because I have too much else going on right now! So...I will just have to live vicariously through you and Rae for a while.


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