Thursday, July 28, 2011

World Harp Congress - Day 3


Armed with a Translink day pass, I completely skipped all the morning sessions to head out to Capilano bright and early. I got every place I was supposed to be when I was supposed to.

Waiting for the shuttle

But don't let that allay any assumptions you have made about the rest of my day.

I started out on the Cliff Walk. This picture gives a slight sense of the possible vertigo you might feel there:

I was fine for the most part. However, crossing the main bridge is ... arduous. For some reason, I didn't think the suspension bridge would be bouncing and swaying like, oh, I don't know, a suspension bridge. It was nearly impossible to get decent pictures on the bridge as I was bouncing around.

I got back in enough time to get lunch sorted out AND attend the lunch concert (late). The Debussy Trio was in the second movement of "In the Blue Glen" by David Evan Thomas when I arrived. It was a piece well suited to the trio and I really liked the third movement - Debussy re-imagined for modern times.

I had some time between performances so I decided to do a little shopping and take a quick look at the vendors (ie HARPS!). I stopped by La Magasin de la Harpe and prevented myself from buying a metric crap-ton of music, just some basics that my collection has been lacking.

Then I checked out some of the harp rooms. *drool*

Aoyama's Sakura

Me wants.

For the next concert, all I had to do was cross the street to St. Andrew's Wesley Church, which I managed to do. The Four Seasons Quartet is four harpists (without a website!) who formed to play The Four Seasons by Vivaldi arranged by Quartetto d'Arpe di Venezia and stayed together. I really think Vivaldi is better suited to the original instruments he composed for, but despite that I forgot how relaxing harp music can be when I'm not the one playing.

I then headed to St. Paul's Anglican Church (without the labyrinth this time) and got turned around again and arrived late. I didn't think too much of it because I normally am not fanatical about Irish harp music. But it was unfortunate because I was sorry to miss any tiny morsel of the "Cape Breton" Harp Duo. They were amazing! They completely blew me away. Their focus is the musical cultures of Scotland, Ireland, and Eastern Canada. It turns out I like Scottish harp a LOT. You can see and hear them (not the best quality) here playing a beautiful slow song. Their voices are so well suited to each other and they were just spot on together. Go see them if they play near you.

I left the church and got lost. Again. I had wandered a little past where I wanted to go because I wasn't paying attention because I assumed by now I'd know where I was going. Right.

I grocery shopped and took a couple much-needed hours for dinner.

This evening's concert was again at the Vogue Theatre. I made it without a hitch. Yay!

First up was Park Stickney et al. I'm not a fan of jazz harp, but he's quite talented and I see what all the fuss is about. He and Rudiger Opperman (Oppertronic Electroharp), Ricardo Medeiros (bass) and Craig Scott (drums) did a version of Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 was 9" that I actually found not-too-cheesy.

Next was the Eastman Chamber Ensemble playing one very short piece, Venezolana for 5 pedal harps by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz. Pretty setup.

The final performance was titled "Latin American Virtuosos!" I didn't quite get into it at first, but halfway through they (or I) seemed to catch their (or my) snap. It was after Eduardo Betancourt soloed. This guy is an INSANE player and completely charming.

You can see a video here (warning: the sound is not good). What are his hands even doing?!

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