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Droopy wings

  • Diane
    Diane Michaels

    As we hit the home stretch before Christmas, with the furious pace of gigs and concerts sending us hither and thither, I've hit that point where I feel less like the angel the clients and audiences imagine me to be.  Be it snow, ice and wind or 5 years olds hopped up on holiday goodies, the stress of being "on" while moving the harp or tuning is adding up.  Do we really have to smile while yet another person says "Don't you wish you played the flute" as you wrestle your harp out of the car in an icy parking lot?  Who else is feeling less of the joy of the holiday season right about now?

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    replies to "Droopy wings"
    • Charles
      Charles Hooper


      I  too feel your pain. For some reason there seems to be a general lack of good holiday cheer.  I try to practice " looking for the lights in the dark"

      By this I mean there has to be something good in a not so good situation. Think of  that one person who will hear the harp for the first time, the memory of a christmas past , the special effect of your music during this time of the year.

      And so on and so forth in a lot of ways we are bringing the light to the dark crazy places we perform during this time of the year.

      Sometimes when I have to  tune  quickly before playing  I wear headphones the cord is tucked behind my tuner this stops people from  trying talking to me during this time.

      I can hear perfectly fine and I am useing the tuner.

      Once I finish I take the headphones off  and put them in the my bag and greet people it works out well for me.

      Kids hopped up on holiday goodies, with sticky fingers. I ask the kids if they have washed their hands and where their parents are.  So far for me it keeps the kids at a safe distance from the harp but close enough to be intrested in it and I try to ask them questions and answer all their questions.  I'm not so good at playing and talking.

      Performance Art - You can do that!

      Hang in there and Happy Holidays!






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    • Brook
      Brook Boddie


      No snow or ice here in the south (although it is very cold), but I can relate.  At my last gig, which was a very ritzy Christmas party Saturday night, the guests were talking so loudly that I couldn't even hear the notes I was playing.  I could have played "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for most of the 3.5 hours that I played, and no one would have known.  Finally, when I got done at 10:30PM, it was 25 degrees outside as I loaded my harp.  The fun starts again tomorrow night, and then all next weekend and Christmas Eve.  However, in the midst of moving a heavy harp in the freezing cold and playing at parties where intoxicated people request "Frosty the Snowman," I try to remind myself that in the midst of all of this chaos, we can still find peace--and even subtle reminders that the music we bring  does indeed help others to rise above the fury of the holidays.  And, hopefully, we ourselves can find time to experience the peace and joy of beautiful music, family and friends, and the presence of the One whose birth we celebrate during this holy season.  As I finished loading my harp Saturday night, I took time to look up into the sky and was reminded that it was those same stars that "looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay."  Somehow, that made it all worth it.  :)

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    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      I wish someone would ask me if I wished I played the flute. I DO play the flute. What kind of weird answer could I give them? Hmmmmmmmm.........


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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Well, you could say.. no matter how hard I blow I can't get a sound out of this one....(nodding towards the harp..)

      I have used that one, when asked if I wish I played flute...

      Yep, its a challenging time of year. All the gigsters are getting tired and gigs are chaotic and organised at the last minute, and finding a quiet time to even tune let alone warm up is getting harder. I like the idea of the head phones, very much, to give one a polite excuse for a bit of space. As I'm not a talker and a player either, my brain just does not switch over from one zone to the other too effectively.

      Vitamin B 12! Keep the energy levels up!

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    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      I can think of a lot worse....like a flute doesn't hurt as badly as a harp when I jam it up your ......oh nevermind....

      And hey, the exquisite timing of custodial crew is amazing. They ALWAYS seem to make a TON of noise at the precise moment I am tuning either my really high strings or my really low ones. Yesterday they were setting up folding chairs on a huge loud rack.


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    • Lisa
      Lisa Lamb

      About the flute thing...I was a flutist for 12 years before I started the harp, so I just tell people "Actually, I play flute and piccolo too!"  Besides, as a flutist you don't have the amusement of moving harps in the snow and through doorways that are way too short  (as I did yesterday). :)

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