10/31/2009

Halloween sentiments

"I hate Halloween. And black cats. White cats, too, for that matter."

Poor Belle. It's been a rough Halloween weekend, what with the full moon and the boys being rambunctions and taking it out on her and all. I think she's also hatefully remembering the day 4 years ago when SamTheCat came to live with us and forever altered the power structure in our house. It wasn't just me and Belle keeping Harry in line anymore. In her mind, it's now US girls against THEM boys, and often, despite the running, hiding, water bottle squirting, screeching, yelling, stomping and hissing of US girls, them boys win. (You should see the stash of emergency catnip I keep on hand for just those kinds of situations.)

Oh, Belle. Who couldn't love a face like that?

10/24/2009

October wedding - the view from the harp

The last wedding of 2009 was the epitome of simple elegance. The bride was subtly sparkling in her strapless gown, the church was lit with candles and draped with chiffon, and the harp was the only music.

There she stands, just waiting to play for the unity candle.

The 2009 wedding season was a beautiful success. Only one rained-out outdoor wedding, no unbearable heat, very calm brides, lots of new ideas and trends. Every one was special, and I was honored to be a part of each of them.

So now the harps retire to the living room for a while and I can feel their impatience...Yes, it will soon be time to get out the holiday music!

10/05/2009

The last outdoor (almost) wedding of the season

Today's wedding was supposed to be in the gazebo at Spring Lake Park, which overlooks the lake and the hillside all a-flame with October's red and gold. But this morning, I woke up to...

...leaves in puddles, rain showers, blowing mist
and a 50-degree temperature reading.

While a misty, 50-degree day may be good for stomping around the Irish countryside or staying inside with hot tea and a sweater and a good book, it's definitely not playing-the-harp-outdoors weather. Especially not the Lyon & Healy, which I needed to play because the soloist would be singing the Malotte "Lord's Prayer."

It was heartbreaking to get the call from the bride telling me the wedding was moving indoors. She sounded so sad. I could tell that the dream of her outdoor wedding was gone. But it was also a relief that I wouldn't have to wear mittens while playing or bundle up or worry about the harp getting rained on, going out of tune or breaking strings because of the weather.

Even inside, it was a lovely wedding.

The bridal party dressed in black, the bridesmaids wore goddess-style dresses and carried autumn-hued flowers, and the music sounded great in the Kato Ballroom, which was decked in white lights and its usual great atmosphere.

And the bride was smiling radiantly when she walked down the aisle. A happy ending after all.

10/01/2009

Prima Vox Sacred & Profane Love II — the experience

The scene was set. The harp was ready.
The Voxes were warmed up and awaiting the time for their entrance.

But first, the introduction by Ursula,
our returning Mistress of Ceremonies.
Again, she read so beautifully.

Then three nods, three smiles, three deep breaths...
and we began to sing.

Sara sang like a saint in ecstasy.
She's muse and avenging angel and boy soprano
all rolled into one beautiful being.

Ann droned and supported the low lines,
all the while looking like she'd just stepped out
of a Renaissance painting.

And I joined in on the high notes, completing the circle.
Sometimes, after a phrase or a song ended,
I could hear the harp ringing in sympathy
as the last tones kissed and crashed together
and flew through the space on their way to glory.

I don't remember details from the night, only that sound, that three-fold ONE sound only we Voxes make together. It feels eternal, but it doesn't last long enough.

It's magical.

Thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato for inviting us to resurrect this music in support of their mission. Reliving it was our pleasure.