Monday, 16 May 2011

An Anniversary to Harp on About.

I realised today that I have let an anniversary go by without mention. A little over a year ago, I got my beautiful ‘Siomha’, the Celtic harp of my dreams. It only feels like five minutes, but the hours of pleasure she’s given me can’t be underestimated. I still love her as much as I did the day she came, if not more, because now I can actually get a few tunes out of her and get lost in the playing.

I’m glad to say that my left hand, so uncoordinated in those early days, is now under my control. Even the double-jointed thumb is stronger. Unfortunately, the arthritis that the rheumatologist promised me was on the way six years ago, is now showing up in swollen knuckles on a couple of fingers. But they don’t hurt and I’m convinced it’s the playing that’s stopping them from stiffening. Exercise has to be good for them, doesn’t it?

As far as performing goes, I’ve done a lot more than I would ever have believed possible at this time last year. From a simple concert for my parents, to a private tune for an Irishman who knew everything there was to know about O’Carolan, then onto the school’s Presentation night where I played with a lovely flute player who covered my mistakes and on to St Patrick’s Day when, dressed in a red wig and emerald dress I tied my fingers in knots in front of 300 kids …and they still told me I was awesome! I need to work on those nerves though.

Happy Anniversary, Siomha!


Eliseo Mauas Pinto said...

Congratz Kate!...
I never imagined you were a harp player too!
Your harp is so cute!... thanks for sharing this lovely pic...if you are ever keen to play live... I suggest you to mount a Fishman Harp Mic on the inside of the soundboard, it will surely give a new breath both for you and your instrument... and forget about your fingers, let them vibrate with the crystal sound!
Wish you all the best within our magical Harp World!...
Peace and light ☼

Kate said...

When I play in front of others, Eliseo, my fingers shake rather than vibrate. I've got to persuade myself there's no one there but me and the harp. I'll have to learn to play with my eyes shut! :)

Eliseo Mauas Pinto said...

Kind Kate, let me confess unto you, that the best way to avoid this issue, is first of all "internalizing" and "mingling" the melody with your own musical spirit, and besides, you should get in tune with your harp, conceiving it as an extent of your own self, this is gained with "rehearsal" and constant performance. Playing for friends and family helps a lot too!
I will lit a yellow candle for you today by the full moon... pouring blessings..
Prick up your ears ...and keep up your learning!
Peace and light ☼

Clare said...

Belated Happy Anniversary to you and Siomha, Katie - thanks for letting us share your musical journey.