The people who photograph me are the most patient people in the world. I'm terrible behind the camera. I laugh. I wiggle. I start talking right when the shutter clicks. I want do-overs during which I can't keep a straight face.

See what I mean?

The ultra-talented, hot-voiced, artistic Ann Rosenquist Fee is one of those patient saints. She agreed, on Saturday, to come over on Sunday to shoot me. Because I needed shots in a hurry to make concert posters for my "Irish Pub" Harp Concert in a hurry and...yeah...welcome to Amy Kortuem's sometimes really excellent concert planning skills.

And so she took up my digital camera and began. Scene setting, hot whiskey, 300+ photos and lots of deep artistic talk and laughter later, we were done. I loved the results.

But of course, there were outtakes. And I'm going to share them because I think sometimes the process of a person's art is just as (if not more) fascinating than seeing the final product without knowing that process. (And because I think they're really, really, really funny.)

Here was that process. Enjoy.

Here it comes...

...wait for it...

...laugh attack.

Totally hopeless.

 Ann: "Amy. Give me back the camera. Now."

Much better. Look at those blurry fingers. I'm shredding it.

Wait, how are my shoes? (I'm distracted by shiny things.)

Leaning on it.


Wait, how's my hair?

Wait, I need more lip gloss. Chanel #158 - Braise.

What's that you say?

You say there's whiskey on the table behind me?

Why, yes there is! There IS whiskey on the table behind me!
However did that get there?

 Now we're getting somewhere.

And...it's a keeper.

Thanks, Ann. I owe you. Just imagine what we could do with really good cameras.

And I hope everyone can come and see me play in person. I promise, no giggles (riiiight).


How they do it in Ireland...

A pub in Dingle. A flute. A guitar.
Tiny. Packed. Silent, except for the music.
And the clinking of glasses.

And down the street, these guys. 
Freshly showered, but with mud still on their shoes.
One look at each other, and they began a tune. Perfect unison.

And then the piper joined in.

And the whistler player and the drummer and flute player...

...and the glasses clinked.

And so. At my concert on the 16th, it will be me. The harp. A cozy, intimate place. I hope it will be packed (get your tickets now!). Music. The clinking of glasses. 

I hope you can join me for it.


Something new: "Irish Pub" Harp Concert March 16th

There was a moment during my holiday concert in November. I'd finished a piece, the applause was over, and I just looked out into the crowd of wonderful people who'd come to see me. And I told them it was time for a serious talk.

I've known that I wanted to change the way I do my concerts and performances for a while. But you know how, sometimes, you desperately want to change but you have no idea what to do or how to do it? So I decided to just tell my audience that.

 That I was thinking big thoughts. Dreaming big dreams. 
Wanting so much for new ways of doing what I love. 

And I told them I didn't know what I would be doing for any future concerts. And then I asked them: Would they come along with me for the musical ride, no matter what format or style of music sharing I decided to do in the future?

I'll never forget the sea of nodding heads and smiling faces in front of me. My heart caught in my throat with relief and joy and freedom. Freedom to do whatever I want musically, knowing that my people would be there with me, behind me, in front of me.

And so here it is: my first new thing. And it's just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

"Irish Pub" Harp Concert
an exclusive evening with Harpist Amy Kortuem

When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for an Irish concert, I kept coming back to the feeling I got when I was in the music pubs in Ireland. The intimate settings, the avid listening, the warmth of the people crushed into the small spaces, the joyful music-making. Less "show" and more sharing art in an informal setting. And I knew I meeded to go it alone for this concert. The coordination, the details and the energy of the holiday concert were fantastic, but it was a lot - I needed to go simpler, go solo.

And so I decided to re-create an Irish music pub experience here, in my own hometown. I'm an affiliate of the Twin Rivers Council for the Arts in Mankato and will be holding the concert in the lovely gallery of the Emy Frentz Council for the Arts. I can cram in about 50 people, a few more, Irish pub-like. Pub 500 will be hosting a cash bar for audience refreshment (yeah, you don't want to hear me play after I've been "refreshed..."). The atmosphere will be warm, close and informal. We'll talk, laugh, share stories about the music. Genuine playing. Intense listening. I can't wait.

The thought makes me happy.
Very happy.

Space at the Gallery is very limited, and so I'm making my foray into selling advance tickets so there'll be no risk or rush at the door. Tickets are $20 and available at Tune Town (630 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato) and Music Mart (1014 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato).

And you can get them from me by emailing me at harpist@amykortuem.com or calling me at 507-387-2564. 

I can't wait to see you there, nodding along to the music.