Here’s a short excerpt of bringing all my harps to Marion Cancer clinic in Central California. It’s always so amazing to me how quickly people can play. I think it amazes them too. The thing about the harp is, its so much more friendly to the beginner than people realize. I love it so much to see people light up when they hear the music they are able to play. And all the harps playing together in surround sound is quite something to hear.
Mostly I see people being empowered by the experience. Most are dealing with very serious health challenges and to accomplish this unique thing that they didn’t realize they could, I think that makes them know that other things are very achievable too. So that’s why I do this. I love every minute of the workshops. I have to admit that loading and tuning the harps is more of a task. It takes me about two hours to set up, and with 17 harps its about 600 strings to tune. One by one. But I try to think of that time as a meditation time. I am usually struggling against the clock still tuning as people are coming in, but I think I’m the fastest tuner in the west. I also set up my projector with images, do a little concert, with all the harps in a row behind me, like ships. I tell stories of the harps, and we have questions and answers. After the intermission I select a harp for every person based on their personality, or body size, or medical condition. I see big smiles as each person holds their harp, and we commence making music. Its that rare time, when you know you are in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing, and all is well in this place and this moment, and its my favorite feeling in the world.
Aryeh and I are hosting guest musicians in the group “Parahulta” from Finland this week, and last night we played together some of their beautiful music. This song is called “Waltz for Kuisma” written for their son. Aryeh met them and learned it from them on a trip to Sweden. He loves the song so much we recorded it on our first “Two Worlds One” CD and this is the first time we have all played it together.
Hi Friends, Last weekend Aryeh and I played music at the Grass Valley Celtic Fair. We have done this for the past three years and its always so sweet. I made this video to feature Aryeh’s Nyckelharpa and the song being played is from his album “Twisting of the Rope” which I played on too. This time I had a new little camera so I was able to run around and get images faster than with my bigger camera. Whip it out when a parade is going by. But I’m still learning this tiny device and I notice the sound quality is not so good but I will work on that. But I hope you enjoy it, each video I make is my new favorite.
George Tortorelli and I have been a music duo since 1997. That’s 13 years of full time music making. We have been all over the country, to many states playing at festivals and concerts. Here is just a sample of what it is like when we play. The music you hear was recorded live for our album titled “Love & Peace”. There are no overdubs, George works with a looping delay system that allow him to create flute harmonies live on the spot. The harp is also delayed so I can play one passage over another. We have always been so grateful that we have a sound that people of all ages and walks of life enjoy and use for their life.
So here are some images of what its like when we play at a street festival. Its not as mellow or fancy as a concert. But I love this the most because you can really see the people. At a concert, its all dark and you can’t see the faces, the front row is set back so far and the lights take away your sight to them.
People have paid $25.00 or more to see you, you hope and worry they are happy but you can’t see them so you can’t know. You feel pretty alone on the stage.
At a street festival, which is where I started and still enjoy doing, people don’t have to be there, but they stay because they want to. From way back when I started on Venice Beach, that’s how it was, I loved that they were free to come or go, to listen or not, and they always stay and they always listen, and that means so much. I would trade a fancy concert for a big ol street fair any day.
This slide show took place the recent two weekends where we visited North Carolina, and Georgia. On Labor day the Henderson Apple Festival has their hometown parade and every darn time it makes me cry. Its silly but it always happens and …I can’t help it. Thousands come out and smile and wave to the happy families riding by in their collector cars, dressed up dogs and clowns, high school bands and fire engines, war Veterans from each war, all the way back to WWII, people stand and cheer and the very old men in their uniforms walking and holding American flags if they can. Police officers and council members, little miss Apple fest, candy throwing cub scouts and miscellaneous farm animals on homemade floats. All those people are truly happy and proud to be in the parade, or smiling and waving from their lawn chairs lined up. One of them was me. There truly is such goodness in the world.
My niece and I have fun with our instruments.
I wrote the music, Molly wrote the lyrics. Angel of Mercy at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Alta Dena.
As many of you know I have been involved with putting live music in hospitals for some time now. I have just passed my 10th year of being involved with City of Hope National Cancer Center with my “Hands-on-Harps” program. I often go to speaking engagements with my power point slide show to demonstrate the power of music and how having it in various healing environments benefits everybody. I have been procrastinating putting my slideshow into a movie, but a recent opportunity has presented itself for a keynote speaking gig, so I finally did it.
Here it is!