telerib: (Default)
I played harp music for my church's winter solstice service. Two pieces were improvisations, but I played an actual song for the meditation. It's a simple Finnish folk song. I used to know it quite well, but in the weeks before the service, I could not practice the darn thing straight through without flubbing something.

Eventually, I got to the point where I was making few mistakes and they were generally tuneful (that is, I could keep going and pretend that I meant to do that - not like it's a well-known song or anything). Good enough, right?

I didn't screw it up! I didn't screw it up!

Well... okay, I played all the right notes. Of course there was something I wasn't satisfied with (dropped the meter once or twice).

But still! In a church full of people and with my baby crying for me!

A gig!

Nov. 5th, 2007 08:58 am
telerib: (Default)
I had an actual (volunteer) gig, in a real non-SCA venue on Saturday night. My church was having a dinner/fundraiser in honor of the music director, who's been there for 40 years. I provided music for the hors d'oeuvre hour. I got quite a few compliments and lots of questions on the clairsach. (I forget that, to the rest of the world, a harp is a concert harp. Everyone assumed I must play one of those, too.)

Although I was on the draft of the program, I was unaccountably not on the actual program, which was irksome but hardly worth making a fuss over.

For an encore, I organized extra seating when eight more people than there were seats showed up and ransacked the kitchen for plasticware and napkins (they were apparently out of silverware). The hors d'oeuvre table was no longer really necessary, so I consolidated the remaining grapes and apple slices and set places and chairs around one of the tables. We got a cool tablecloth and a centerpiece with a Buddha and floating candles at our table. :)

At dinner, I spoke to a tablemate about my interest in the harpsichord, and she asked if I played figured bass. "No. What is it?" She explained it as numbers (indicating chords) in the bass hand, over which is a melody which the performer is expected to embroider. "It's really hard to learn," she said.

Doodling a melody over a chord progression is one of the techniques I already use to construct improvisations. Granted, I don't usually pay very strict attention to how many measures of I, IV or V I'm playing, because no one cares, but I think that could be picked up with some practice. So, huzzah! It's a possibility.
telerib: (Default)
It's been a traveling month, and next month will be a traveling month, so I feel like I should get to church since I'll have the opportunity this weekend.

Of course, it's the "Dia de los Muertos" service - yeah, the one where I totally broke down and lost it last year. I don't mean a few discreet tears - I mean I had to go outside because of the huge chest-heaving sobs. I apparently felt better afterwards, according to last year's LJ, but I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe I can hide in the parish hall and read some Thoreau or something.

August 2014

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