I go in spurts.

Sometimes I’m on the piano so much that I fall asleep thinking about it. Sometimes I can’t put the crochet hook down for love or money. (I can’t recall the last time I knitted.) And sometimes I am at the harp more often that I’m anywhere else.

Right now, it’s a combination of crochet and harp, and the poor piano has been sorely neglected for at least the last three weeks, and I don’t know why. I get angsty about this sort of thing when it happens. I’ve been doing mostly just exercises on the harp and have been happy to do so, including some ridiculous ones like attempting a four-fingered trill just for the hell of it. I’ll need to trill at some point, and I might as well start now. But mostly, it’s four-fingered turnarounds and Friou exercises, so that’s nice.

I’m really looking forward to someday having enough technique under me that I’ll feel like an actual harpist and be able to transcribe and play the Italian folk songs that were my initial motivation, before I tried a few and realized they were way too hard.


“O Mio Babbino Caro”

Delighted to learn after a little poking around that this is doable on a lever harp. ­čÖé The “Vocalise” broke my heart, but this one will help repair it:

O Mio Babbino Caro

And here is my personal fave of it, by Kiri Te Kanawa. Bell-clear.

Update: Finished a simple version of it. I’m sure it’ll get complicated as time goes on, but for now I just want to get it down and comfortable.

I’m also pleased that I’m finding myself able to get “La Source” to sound decent on the piano voice now, as opposed to sounding like someone filled the piano with giant ball bearings and then shook it. It’s actually sounding good — or at least indicating that it can sound good consistently with work on the piano. Very pleased!

Been a better couple of days

Although I will still feel better when I get the Haendel project out of the way. I need to finally buy those Rachmaninoff CDs and at least have them on the way.

And I need to knuckle down and just start ruminating on the last of the Haendel arrangements. I haven’t even picked a genre yet.

Well, I shouldn’t complain.

My car DID have 93 grand on it, so it was a matter of time.  Nevertheless, it is irritating.

Other than that, I do need to just sit down and tune up. ┬áI am at least seeing the end of the tunnel on the piano project that has been hanging over my head for some time, so that’s good, and then next on the block is the “Rachmaninoff songs for voice and piano, arranged for lever harp” project. ┬áThat’s going to be a fun one. ­čÖé

Oh. My. Back.

I have this little problem. I really love Hasselmans’ “La Source,” but I haven’t a pedal harp nor any chance of getting one any time soon.

So I’ve been … um … doing it on the piano. With the exception of a few little instances where I need to toss my left thumb up to pinch hit for an ugly reach in the right hand, and once instance of replacing a repeated B natural with the F beneath it to make a G7, it works okay. Well, at least it works such that I can envision a far better pianist than myself making it work on a piano while I can’t keep it from sounding like a herd of elephants on a piano and hence use the vibraphone synth — the one and only time I’ve ever used my Clavinova as anything other than a piano replacement.

And I can’t seem to stop messing with it to the point where every time I noodle out another page, I demolish my lower back because I can’t get up off the bench. I’m seriously glued there. I cannot tell you how much fun it is to do this, much less to do it on an instrument that it wasn’t designed for. It makes me feel so obnoxiously iconoclastic.

Anyhow, I’m enjoying myself with the harp, and with harp music on the piano.

There are definitely issues, mostly revolving around the reversal of the anatomy of the right hand relative to the chords, but again, the left thumb can pinch hit from time to time when needed.