Week 8

Another week has flown by, and somehow I’ve managed to find the time to fit in two gigs, five full days at work and two trips to the pub!  

The first gig was on Valentine’s Day – yes my V-day was spent setting the mood for loved-up couples having dinner at the restaurant in the lovely Lowry Hotel.  I actually managed to leave work at 6.15 and be at the venue at just gone 7!  Unbelievable – I had my new dress:

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As you can see from the above photo, I was to get changed in the spa changing rooms, the whole place seemed lovely, really clean and spacious:

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I began playing at around 7.30pm.  The restaurant wasn’t too crowded, which was nice – after each set I had a (non-alcoholic) drink in the bar:

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So yea, that was pretty much that.  The manager mentioned getting me in to play for the occasional afternoon tea up in the restaurant, which would be lovely!  Watch this space.

The other gig I had this week was on Saturday, playing at Manchester University’s Martin Harris Centre.  I was feeling very delicate on Saturday morning but somehow managed to pull myself together for the evening concert.  We were doing Debussy’s Iberia and Ravel’s La Valse – I had done the Ravel before in college so I knew I was in for a treat.  The Debussy was great as well.  Harp 1 was played by Sarah Paterson (hello Sarah!) I can’t believe we had three years at RNCM together and yet last Saturday was the first time we played in orchestra together!  It was a pleasure, it’s lovely to have some company in the harp section!  Luckily for us Debussy and Ravel were before the interval so we could ‘clock off’ early – which makes little difference to me as I only had to drive 2 minutes and I was home, but Sarah had quite a trip back over to Yorkshire so it’s always nice to finish early!

Every spare minute I have had this last week has gone into practising for my upcoming Recital.  On 12th March I will be performing in St Ann’s Church at 7.30pm alongside the wonderful Elfair Dyer.  More information coming very soon so watch this space.

One final note, my blog has been in existence for a whole year now!  A big thank you to everyone who has been reading along, and commenting along the way.  I am a whisker away from 3,000 views and those can’t possibly all be from my parents so thank you!  I’ve really enjoyed writing and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.

Thanks!

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Week 7

I’m about to go to bed and I’m so excited!  I love going to bed knowing that I’m going to sleep really well.  I have taken to putting my alarm away from my bed so I have to get up when it goes off – it really works!

Since last week’s post I’ve been working a lot and I’ve also had two gigs.  Plus I have two more this week – I am insanely busy for the next few weeks.

Saturday’s gig was a wedding at Oulton Hall in Leeds – incidentally I’m pretty sure this was the venue of one of my outdoor gigs last ‘summer’ that I moaned about – luckily this was inside.  I wore my new dress!  It actually reaches the floor which, on my 6 foot frame is quite marvellous.  

As usual I took a few pics of the building:

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The amazing wedding car:

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And the golf course:

ImageThe Bride was half an hour late!  I was providing background music ‘while the guests were congregating’, they basically sat in silence and got a free concert.  Not that I minded particularly – but I felt bad for the groom, he was definitely getting a little edgy.

Tonight’s gig was in the MetQuarter in Liverpool – parking was tricky but there was a bunch of guys on hand to help (tough job but someone’s got to do it) and they were lovely – showing me where to park, helping to carry things, paying for my pay and display ticket!  Liverpool is friendly!  Wore my new dress again, I did I mention that I have a new dress??

The gig was an art exhibition to raise money for the Princes Trust – only a small gathering of around 25 people but it was a lovely event.  I did manage to get locked into the bathroom where I was getting changed, it can only be locked from the outside but someone thought no one was in and locked me in!  So my helpers were wondering where I’d disappeared to and I was frantically giving them all missed calls and worrying what time they lock up at night.  Luckily I did get out as you may have gathered.

I listened to the Les Miserables soundtrack all the way there and back and LOVED IT.  I also bought the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack at the same time, and no, I’m not ashamed.

So I got home tonight at around 9pm after having worked at the shop 10-3 and then gone straight to a gig – when I get an evening in, it often consists of chilling out and watching DVDs (usually Sex and the City) with my flatmate (hello Josephine!) and just zoning out before bed, I enjoy the feeling of being so busy – it forces me to organise my time meticulously – and stick to it!  But it also allows me to appreciate the chilling time.

So I’d like to finish this post by wishing everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  In case you were wondering, yes I have plans!  But more about that next week. 

Have a good one!

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Week 6

I had a day off work today.  Still really enjoying it but I needed today as a sorting out day.  One of those days where you send emails you’ve been getting around to, pay bills that need paying, spend time filing away papers, alphabetising music instead of keeping it in a pile on the floor and, most importantly, I was able to do a good stint of practice.  Yay!

So, last Saturday I was in Sheffield playing some Wagner with Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dane Lam (hi Dane!).  There were two harps!  Myself and the lovely Alley York.  I’ve never been a big Wagner fan to be honest – haven’t grown into it yet.  But we were doing excerpts from Wagner’s Ring Cycle so that was that.  Only, some of it looked a tad tricky:

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And the hilarious thing is, you can hardly even hear it! Arghh! The top photo is a close up showing the ridiculous number of pedal changes in that passage. If Wagner was here right now I would (on behalf of all harpists) give him a serious talking to – and a book about appropriate writing for the harp.

I’m never quite sure of the best way to drive to Sheffield from Manchester, Snake Pass (twisty and turny and often shut) or M62/M1 (crazily long detour) – I went back the snakey way in the dark just to keep things interesting and to see how my new car handled it. I think he enjoyed it!

Alley hadn’t been given the music for one of the excerpts so we had to resort to modern technology:

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All in all the concert went well – when the harps could be heard we pretty much doing what we were supposed to be doing, and with Wagner, maybe that’s all we could have hoped for.