Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it Snow

As romantic as harps & snow are, they aren't very compatible!
With over a foot & 1/2 of snow (a lot in usually rainy & maybe 3" of snow Western Oregon!) we are shut down & snowed in!
I did play once more at the insurance office building, but the other events scheduled last week were canceled. Perhaps after the first of the year I'll go in to play for my granddaughter & her classmates. My daughter, her fiance & I are off work - chickadees, juncos & other little snowbirds are in the yard, & we've put out birdseed. The path between our houses is buried, & my chihuahua thinks snow is pretty ridiculous! It's still coming down, tho smaller flakes than yesterday.

Hot chocolate, old movies & craft projects are in order!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Three down, . . .

Had a lovely time harping around yesterday & today! I wore the green ribbon wreath again, & was pleased that a couple of folks at the more formal Oregon Mutual (Ins) gig commented on what a nice touch that was!
One of the managers made the very common (but welcome) observation on what lovely background music the harp offers - "It was a nice undercurrent, & I noticed its absence when you stopped playing!" I'll go back Wed to offer lunchtime music in the lobby. Last year I was upstairs, by a railing, so you could hear the harp as you entered the building.

Today I was set up at the gallery & frame shop where I get my 8 x 5" mattboard for my SoulCollage card. There was lots of activity downtown, with carriage rides & many businesses offering holiday music, but not as much traffic in our block - boo! Some friends came down specifically to hear me, which was so sweet, & I met some new friends.

Then over to Hillside, where I was by the fireplace - not lit, but more festive than my usual corner - & folks seemed to talk less. I love 'wallpaper gigs' for the reason stated by the fellow yesterday - it isn't too loud to talk, & it adds such a nice touch. But it's also nice to have more of an audience, & some of the seniors get a bit upset when they can't hear me.
The refreshments were set up in another area, around the corner, by the Christmas tree. So folks down there hadn't heard me, & they asked me to bring the harp down. Finally, a fellow (visiting his mom from out of state) said "I want to dance with mom (90 something!) & I need music - how can I help you?" I had him carry my bench & music down, & played a bit longer! He danced with a dear friend (one of the spunkiest 86 year olds in town!) & moved his mom's wheel chair closer to me - she proceeded to 'dance' her feet, & talking to an unseen partner! So precious.

Santa said 'So we meet again! We've been doing this five years now - & you are doing the same thing I am, bringing people happiness!!
Wow! Jolly old elf & elvin harper . . .

Hoping the predicted snow holds off & I'm able to get out to the golf course Sunday afternoon! Monday's lunchen has been cancelled to avoid weather worries

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December Events

December is always a busy time for a harpist! Last year I think I had 17 events throughout the month, including visiting 2 classrooms at my eldest grand daughter's school.

Here are the current offerings; check back for more events as the month unfolds.

Fri. Dec 12: Staff Christmas Party Oregon Mutual Insurance

Sat Dec 13: Hidden Treasures frame & art shop, 3rd Street 11-1
" " " : Hillside Memory Care, West Second Street 2-3 PM

Sun Dec 14: Soroptomists Tour of Homes, White House at Bayou 2-3 PM

Mon Dec 15: (Mac Garden Club, Hillside Manor, Hill Road 11-12:15) cancelled due to weather predictions!

Wed Dec 17: Oregon Mutual, Lobby, 11:30-1:30

Thursday Dec 18: Columbus Elementary School, 12 noon

Sun Dec 21: Valley New Thought Fellowship part of the Christmas Sunday program, 10-11 AM

& Third Street Art & Wine Walk, Sat Dec 20?? Not scheduled yet

A Harmony of Harps

Having studied piano with an excellent teacher as a child, I began playing harp in 1993., & felt an immediate connection with harps & harp music. Over the last 15 years, three harps ihave joined my 'Harmony.'

The first,
27 string 'Tuilleadh,' ('Tille') was built by Corvallis Luthier Dave Thormahlen, Her name comes from the Gaelic: "to give abundantly, in full measure." Her woods are Big leaf Maple, Black Walnut trim with a Sitka Spruce soundboard, & at 14#, she's easiy to play & lovely for use in nursing homes or for small events.

In January 2007, I wanted a bit more range, & added a 34 string Sligo harp, 'Rowan Luchair,' crafted by Rick Kemper in Maryland to my harmony of harps. Rowan is a round backed, Irish inspired harp made of Koa; the soundboard is spruce & cedar, faced with cherry veneer, & the strings fluorocarbon. Rick's name for this harp, 'Luchair,' is Gaelic for "Joy."
Koa, more familiar in ukuleles, is being discovered by luthiers around the country as an excellent harp wood. Folks loves Rowan's rich bass, & the lowhead style & modest weight (17#) makes her also portable!

My third harp, Bella Luna, came to me as the reward for fulfilling a Millenium Harp Quest. She arrived Feb 20, 2008, the day of a lunar eclipse! Her range is 26 strings, so though smaller than Tuille, she has a surprisingly large voice.

I began using Reiki 'hands on' & distant healing in 1989, & naturally integrated Reiki into my harp music. I have also studied Song Medicine with Eric Vormans, the Sunray Meditation Society, & musicians Laurie Riley, Ani Williams, & Tina Tourin.
With the music background, I find it natural to compose & arrange music for the harp.