Confessions of a Late Night Harpist
It’s been a while since my last post. But in that time, I have put together and performed a second show that I titled Confessions of a Late Night Harpist.
While I performed my first show on my 6 foot concert pedal harp; I did this one solely on my small Camac DHC 32 solid body electric harp that I wear. The audience was wonderfully receptive and I had great fun performing the show.
I have to confess, however, that I didn’t always enjoy the preparation process. One dilemma was determining the order of the songs, especially the opening number.
I can suffer from terrible stage fright in the beginning of a program, sometimes to the point of shaking hands. I wanted to start with Deborah Henson-Conant’s “Cosita Latina,” which is a strong, exciting opening statement. However I’d only been playing it for a few months and feared that the nerves would kick in and I’d lose control.
My other option was to play a piece I could perform in my sleep. The obvious choice was “The Little Fountain” by Samuel O. Pratt. I’ve played it since I was 13 years old and have a memory of being thrilled when my teacher, Miss Malone, assigned it to me. It felt like my first grownup harp piece and I knew it was a sign that I was ready to move to a pedal harp. But more important is that this piece holds a great deal of sentimental value for me. It was my mother’s all-time favorite harp piece.
At first I thought I needed to start the show with a bang but ultimately I realized that it was okay to go with something that was simply beautiful, with the added bonus of being something I knew backwards and forwards.
So that’s the brief saga of how I decided which piece to play first. I’m glad I took the safe, and to my mind smart, option to open with “The Little Fountain.” The unexpected bonus was that I didn’t experience any stage fright. I was relaxed and able to savor every moment of the show.