I had received details of a harp day from the Clarsach Society which was due to take place in Holt. Having been in Wales the previous few days I didn't know if I would feel up to this but as I had a drop Mum and Paul very early in Cambridge for their coach to whisk them away on holiday, and I had planned to be in Southwold on the Monday I decided to make a trip of it and have a couple of days in Norfolk and Suffolk, ooh arr. The playday had been organised by Lucinder Pennick with Danielle Perrett as lead tutor.
|Rohan tunes a harp|
|A halo of harps?|
Harps were arranged in a circle and Danielle led the first session which was working through 'Promenade' by jazz harpist and composer David Snell. Definitely worthy of more research as he sounds a very interesting character! The piece was lovely, and it didn't take long for the four parts to fall into place. Mid-morning break featured homemade cookies, always a winner! We continued with Promenade after the break and when we have managed a couple of successful run-throughs we moved onto an arrangmeent of the Dr. Who theme!
We had a picnic lunch then returned to playing and did a lovely arrangement by Danielle of Faure's In Paradium. My part had the melody which was harmonics all the way through. A harmonic is when you place the palm of your hand lightly against the string and pluck with the thumb. This halves the length of the string and the sound is not only an octave higher but has a softer ringing quality compared to the normal pitch an octave up. I aksed how to get the sound stronger as my harmonics work but are quite qeak. Danielle said the thumb needed to 'squeeze' the string before relersing and I found this did make a difference.
Danielle led the performance from her harp and it all went very well. After seeking permission I was allowed to set my little recording device up and captured the performance so will send that out when I've downloaded it.
It was a lovely day and thanks to Lucinder for organising the day and to Danielle for leading and Rohan for her help and sense of humour!