Monday, December 29, 2014

Sick all of last week. A week + was too long to let pieces go, too, so no recording this past weekend. Hands are really stiff.  I'm disappointed and not looking forward to having to work Fuga and Tambourin back up.

Fiddle, on the other hand, was good to let go for a week. Things fell into place much more easily. Pinky slides were working. Regular slides were working.

Friday, December 19, 2014

I think I've said this before, but I will probably need to record Tambourin at 96 because I just can't physically play certain parts of it faster, and it sounds weird when played fast and slow.

Did record Fuga and Tambourin, but not Tambourin slowly, so I'll need to do that. Need to listen before next practice.

Fuga is pretty much ready, I think, but it would probably sounds best if I memorized it.

I think I can start working on the next two pieces, Rigaudon and Giga.

Maybe recording next Saturday.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Getting closer to having Fuga sound melodic. Listening to the recording I made yesterday with each successive time having more pauses and changes in tempo was an eye opener. I just need to get it to the point it's something I want to listen to.

I need to figure out how to get trills in Tambourin the same EVERY time.

Worked on Arabesque 2 again and certain parts are making more sense. Maybe this is how I have to learn challenging pieces - intensive work with a break of a few months, then more intensive work?  It gets done in the same amount of time, but takes less effort?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Recorded Fuga and Tambourin. Need to listen before next practice. I thought I would be ready to record tomorrow, but I'm not.

Last fiddle class was last night. So sad. I hope I can keep up with it by meeting with classmates in the future.

Monday, December 8, 2014

One of those days where nothing is working so it's better just not to practice and cement something weird into the pieces.  I tried to work on Arabesque 2, Fuga, and Tambourin.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Took a break from the normal stuff and worked on 2nd Arabesque. Chaining worked really well with that and I was able to get almost one line smooth. Also worked on the 2nd movement of Marionettes. One more line learned with chaining on that piece, too.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tambourin - Still working on trouble spots.

Fuga- Simply played through a couple times. It's sounding a lot better, I think. Still some problem spots. Need to record it and see what it really sounds like.

Played through several other things just to keep them in my hands.

One spot on my bow seems to not hold rosin, so I'm getting no sound out of that spot on my bow. Very disconcerting.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I listened to Tambourin. Well, it certainly sounds like it's easier to play than it really is. There are also a lot of little problem spots I'm not sure how to fix.

And I need a new printer.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fuga - one more line learned with melody. Sort of. I have a hard time paying attention throughout an entire line.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tambourin - recorded 3 times, need to listen before next practice and mark consistent problems.

Fuga - more measures learned with melody brought out. I think I'm on track with this one?

Monday, November 24, 2014

I listened to another version of Fuga, and tried to copy bringing out the melody, and while doing that realized that's what I whistle after I finish playing it.  Hopefully, that will make it more interesting.

The fiddle is coming along. I can get some decent sounds out of it. But not when it's raining, which may pose a problem in Portland, OR.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wrote up a new practice schedule yesterday focusing on Fuga and Tambourin for now.

Tambourin: I still need to work on: opening trills and 2nd page trouble measure.

Fuga: Practiced opening and closing. Closing may need more work.  Next need to work on trouble spots and experimenting. Maybe alternate between left and right hand.

Got all recordings matched up from most recent recording session.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Test recording:
Tambourin is definitely not a piece to start with when performing, it requires warm up.  Also sounds a little better fast. Ok slow, but not as interesting. Still need to work on 1st measure trills. And 2nd page turnarounds.

Rigaudon definitely sounds ok slower than indicated. It's a fun piece.

I wasn't playing Giga as fast as I thought, which could be due to recorder.  REALLY like the variations.

Fuga is going to require a lot of work not to sound boring.

Pavane Ok not muffling bass notes. Also boring.

Not surprisingly, I messed up more with the recorder on.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rigaudon is ready for polishing at 80. I seem to have this memorized, too!

And upon further reflection, I need to learn how not to do the same thing with my mouth while playing the harp that my lovely grandmother did while she was knitting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Video recorded myself playing last night. Not as bad as I thought, but very boooorrrrring. I got a recommendation for a performance coach, so I'm definitely keeping that in mind for later down the road.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I keep forgetting about Giga. I think maybe I need to focus on less pieces. However, worked on a couple measures today.

I am putting together the two tracks of my recording sessions and realizing I really need to clean up my playing - very buzzy.  I don't know if that means I'll need to re-record.  My chair is also very creaky and poppy. Ditto on the re-recording.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finished one page and almost another page of Rigaudon.

Learned the remaining page of Fuga.

Tried to work on pg 2 of Tambourin, but no headway. The other two went very easily. Almost too easily.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Worked on Italian Pavane and felt I didn't really make any headway. But I probably did.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why playing the harp is hard

I maybe should not have taken up the fiddle.

Yesterday, when I was "practicing" the fiddle1, and thinking about how incredibly hard it was, I had an "Oh yeah? Well I used to walk 2 miles to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways" moment.

Playing violin/fiddle is really difficult. However, the harp is way harder.

I present the following arguments:

The harp is really heavy. Like, ridiculously heavy.  Sure, pianos are heavy, but they're everywhere. Chances are if you're playing piano, you don't bring your own.

And speaking of pianos, violins are so lightweight if you start to drop it, it's pretty easy to catch. If you start to drop a harp, it will take you with it, conceivably falling on said piano, which you would then have to explain away by saying you "meant to do that".

The harp has approximately a metric crap ton of strings.  The violin is set up with an economical four strings. They are also set up in 5ths making scales and transposing a snap.  The harp has pedals for that. And they require a little bit of strength to move. And you have to move them fast. Sometimes so fast you can give yourself shin splints. Or so I've heard. From my shins.

The harp requires a significant amount of finger, arm, and back strength just to pluck the strings, not to mention the foot dexterity that I mentioned above and am mentioning again.  The violin does not require any force of any kind. At all. Even though I'm trying to make it that way.

You can fudge notes on a violin. If you don't land exactly, you can move your finger slightly and achieve noteness. On the harp, the targets are anywhere from 2 mm to less than 1 mm, and you have to land that sometimes after flinging your arms over a span of two feet.

Oh, and don't even get me started on tuning. Or rather do. I certainly need a head start because harp tuning = 10 minutes, and that's IF everything's already relatively in tune. Fiddle? 2 minutes tops.

As opposed (really, reeeally opposed) to the fiddle, it takes no effort to make a good sound on the harp. You can literally sneeze on it and it makes a better sound.2

And the harp is so pretty. Kind of like this if unicorn = harp and fluffy = pretty.

If I had started on the violin, I'm not sure I would have stuck with it.

Soooo.... in conclusion: fiddle = hard, and possibly worth it. Harp = harder, but definitely worth it.


1. some might say "torturing" the fiddle
2. probably not the best way to get the aeolian effect.
I had forgotten about Giga. Got a few more lines done. I think the combo of giving myself breaks in between sessions of at least one day, chaining and creeping up to speed is the best. Things just fell into place with the measures and lines I was working on today.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fuga - Tried to work on the whole page by creeping up on the speed instead of chaining and it seemed to work better.  Is that a better way to cement lines I've already learned?  126 - 126.

Tambourin - Still really uneven - I can play a line once, then not, then again. ???

And my 2nd octave E broke. I had just replace it this past July. >:(

Monday, October 27, 2014

Things went a little better today. I still don't know how I'm going to start Rigaudon as the pages other than the first one seem to be a little easier to play. Trying to play faster seems to be the ticket to playing in time.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Violin hilarity rating on a scale of one to ten, ten being funniest: 32470830127

At least I'm amusing myself. My neighbors, probably not so much.

Rigaudon - 1st measure chaining clicked, then unclicked. I tried to play faster than the metronome and that's when it clicked. Then lost focus?  Could feel the muscle strand in my bicep I was using. Wleuagh!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spent another inordinate amount of time on one line. This time in Italian Pavane. The 3rd and 4th finger rt hand trill is difficult on the larger gauge strings, but only if I think about that. If I think about them as one octave up, I can play it. Didn't quite get it good enough to my satisfaction.

The fiddle is still excruciating, but not as much so.

Friday, October 24, 2014

It took me and HOUR to convince my brain to focus on one line. I basically had to tell it we weren't going anywhere until I could play it 5 times perfectly. The subsequent two lines went much more quickly.

Dear Brain,

See, Brain? We do things MY WAY.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

I think I need to do chaining on Rigaudon note-by-note again. Either that or my muscles just get really soggy really fast in relation to this piece.  I was thinking about how I would record this and Tambourin. I think I'd have to do them in two separate sessions as they are physically demanding.

This past week was one of disappointment: I wasn't able to check off any measures. Everything had a block for me in it.

The fiddle is still going excruciatingly.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I put the marking tape on my violin and got the strap configured so I can have hands-free.

Finally got that one line in Fuga. I was having problems with just two chords right next to each other, which would make me blow the rest of the line. Usually, I would practice the connection between the two chords, but this time I practiced from the second chord to the end, and from the beginning to the first chord. Then when I put it all together, it just magically happened.

Italian Pavane - another line learned. SO EASY.

And this is all despite taking a huge chunk out of my fingernail with a cutting knife last night. It grew enough today it didn't hurt too much this afternoon. It will probably be ok by tomorrow afternoon, but it will take probably a week before it gets back past past the quick.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tried to get more lines in Tambourin finished, but this is maybe a piece I should work on on the days I don't work out in the morning.

Same for Rigaudon.

Giga - I got 3 or 4 more lines done, as well as a couple measures of my alternate version.

Played a little of Fuga and Italian Pavane, but those still need to stew for a day.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Somewhere between yesterday and today, I cemented 2 lines of Giga.  I need to write out my variations in Finale.

Today, I got 1 line of Fuga learned that was challenging before but not now (?) and worked on another line that is really challenging, and is still challenging, and I didn't finish it.

Italian Pavane - 3 lines learned and the were fun and easy to play! Quite the surprise based on my initial impression of the piece. I need to figure out when I started this piece by looking at when I made my practice chart.

Holy crap! I started IP on 9/19. That means I learned it in a week and a half?!? A FIVE page piece?!? Da fuh?

Oh, and my fiddle class went well. I still need to get a decent strap, but I finally know how to hold it so it doesn't hurt my right shoulder, and I learned how to tighten the bow, hold the bow, and how to practice bowing with a loose wrist.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yesterday, had a very productive practice session. I produced an almost-blister with Tambourin. And I worked on Rigaudon. I'm working line-by-line with these pieces now.

Tonight I have my first fiddle class so no practicing harp today.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Woohoo! I'm calling Italian Pavane learned for all intents and purposes.  There are some measures that I just cannot figure out how I'm going to play, and I skipped those on the checklist and will come back to them later, but that's how I've been learning all my other pieces, and they seem to be turning out ok.  So... modified goal achieved! It's going to take a few more months to get everything recordable, possibly 6 months?  I need to go back through my previous charts and see if I can estimate that.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trouble concentrating. A couple measures of Italian Pavane learned. There's weird muffling going on in this piece. Was hoping to have it learned by the end of the month but seeing as how that's 2 days away, probably not going to happen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Steam burned my finger today. Got a few measures of Italian Pavane learned before giving up in painful frustration.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Working line by line on Fuga now. Re-vamped the typical practice plan to see if measure/line/page progression goes better.

Not sure what to do about Tambourin.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I realized today that after Fuga, I just have one more piece to learn! Everything else is just polishing. Whoa. ! So I sort of am on schedule, as far as my original goal wanting to get everything done and an album released by September. Everything is almost done.

And I also realized Fuga is simply a round. The right hand leads.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Learned more of Flagello Sonata parts I and II.

Recorded Tambourin to see where I'm at, and my mind went blank as soon as the recorder went on. Is it getting worse?  I couldn't even get through the first line and I have this memorized!

From what I could hear, the trill are sounding better than last checkpoint. It doesn't have that carefree dance-y quality though. Yet. Yet? Possibly because my mind went blank and it lost continuity.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Finished note learning on Fuga.  Took me 1.5 months.  And I took a bit of a break from it because I actually forgot about it.

Worked out the embellishments I want in Giga. Now to learn them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Worked on Fuga. A few more measures learned.

Helped a fellow harpist get her music up on bandcamp. Check it out. She has a lovely voice.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learned pg 1s of 1st and 2nd movements of Sonata. Worked on Rigaudon transitions, almost through 2nd part. Tambourin is memorized, but still not smooth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tambourin and Rigaudon are ready for practice recording. I can get through Tambourin now a couple times without my hands getting tired.

Friday, September 5, 2014

More of Fuga learned.

Created practice chart for movement 1 of Flagello's Sonata. It's not complicated, it's simply fast and modern. Used that as a break from Fuga when I couldn't stuff any more in my brain. It worked a little bit.

Ran through Rigaudon.

Need to find the link to the version of Giga I like.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ordered music and got what I thought was a wrong order, but "Two Pieces for Harp" by Nicholas Flagello was renamed "Marionettes". I no longer have to travel to Paris to find it.

I spent some time playing through those.

Ran through Tambourin and Rigaudon for exercise and then changed up the rhythms for fun.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I was thinking about my recording session today and the immediate thought was, "It didn't go well as expected." However, that is not true: it didn't go as well as I fantasized.  The dream was to record each piece perfectly once. Yeah, right. I managed to play everything nearly perfectly at least a few times, so there will be some editing.  It took less time than previous sessions. So, really, it went better than expected.   And this is after chipping my tooth on a fork today and seriously doubting my eye-hand coordination. And speaking of eye-hand coordination, my workouts have made a difference in my ability to move my harp.  I practically threw it in my car, not realizing how much stronger I've gotten.  It was like having extra help from someone who knew exactly what they were doing. No arm strain or back strain. It was great!

So, Siciliano, Gavotte, and Sarabande are all recorded and I can stop working on them! Six more to go.  Eight if I re-record the two that I'm not satisfied with.
Another couple lines learned of Fuga.  I think I do like it better played sur la table.

Recording today.  Fingers crossed it goes well.  Or fingers uncrossed and all in working order.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Since Fuga sounds better on guitar, I'm wondering if I'll end up playing the whole thing sur la table. And 2x as slow!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I seem to have gotten over the recording mind-blanking-thing that was happening with Siciliano. Either that, or it's so hot I'm delirious.

Monday, August 25, 2014

While singing/humming/la-ing Rigaudon in my head today, I realized I would like it just as well if I got rid of the 4-3-2-1 trill and substituted a grace note. So another change to cement into my hands.

Tambourin is actually at speed.  I surprised myself. I'll need to listen to a recording to see if the trills actually come out. Correction: I'll first need to record it, then listen to it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Trills in 3rd line of Tambourin. Actually, the grace notes. I have to slow them way down and place faster. They sounded much better today.  My thumb muscles were fatigued, though, bordering on tendon-hurting fatigue, and I had to take a break.

Giga - tried to get the key change measures after the repeat smoother. They just got worse.  I'll see if they magically straighten out after a few days.

Worked on a little bit of Impromptu Caprice. I do not understand how it could possible be ♩ .=100. I don't think I've ever heard anyone play it that fast.

I'm not sure what to do about Fuga. I really don't like it and every time I look at it to learn more my brain says, "Isn't there ANYTHING else we could play?"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I know I played Thursday. I may have played Wednesday? I can't remember what I did. Probably a little more work with Tambourin.

Oh! and I worked a little on the spots I had trouble with in Siciliano and Gavotte to keep it recording-ready. Or to get them to recording-ready.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worked a little on Giga. Ran through Tambourin as a workout. Started working on Siciliano again.

Darn, an order I placed for Nicolas Flagello's Two Pieces for Harp Solo was cancelled. :( Not back ordered, but completely cancelled.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Warmed up with a measure from Impromptu-Caprice. It is ridiculously fast. More broken chord than arpeggio.

Started going through charts in order:

Rigaudon - first section ok at 80. Hands try to play out of sync, though, so need to pay attention to that.

Tambourin - first run through trill were ok and clearly defined. 2nd run through not so much. I guess that means I'm getting my muscles conditioned.

Giga needs polishing again.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Detail work on Giga.

Tried to record Siciliano on my own and once again, it was like I'd never seen the music. Plus crows cawing and people slamming doors didn't help the quality of the recording.  Good thing is the decorations I put in sound good.

Tambourin trills still need work. They do not come out clearly in recording.

Gavotte went better. Sarabande was almost flawless.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

More working out with Tambourin. I can't tell if it's getting better, but my hands and arms are sure feeling it.

I'm naturally playing Giga faster than the slower-than-indicated tempo I picked. Now I just need to clean it up and add the frills!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's one of those days where hands and arms are surprised I play the harp and my brain says, "What are all these STRINGS doing here?!?" Those days are better for learning, and learning slowly by creeping up on the goal speed instead of chaining. 

Three more measures learned in Fuga.

Also, when you get coconut splinters under your fingernail, it really hurts to do the "falling rain" effect with the backs of your fingernails.
Kung Fu Theater took precedence.

Monday, August 11, 2014

More stamina work on Tambourin.  One more measure learned on Fuga.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Slammed my thumb at work today, and I'm using that as an excuse why I couldn't play trills in Rigaudon.

I also realized maybe part of the reason I can't focus is because I'm not writing a summary at the end of each practice sesh.

I am working towards polishing Tambourin and Rigaudon. I am doing that by playing each one until I make a mistake, working on the mistake, starting over from the beginning and hopefully going further the next time. Basically plowing through it.

I'm still working on Automne as a fun thing. It's almost done.

Sarabande, Giga, and Siciliano still need to be recorded.

I started Fuga and I think I'm going to hate it. I have to figure out how to play it so I like it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Starting exercise regimen again for Tambourin. I can only do the trills for about 10 min.

Still trying to record.

Friday, July 18, 2014

As expected, the pieces I want to record tomorrow that were in good shape, are not in good shape.  I hope the detail work I did sinks into my brain overnight!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recording every practice session is maybe helping?  Different parts fall apart differently at different times. It's impossible to know what to work on.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Possessed metronome

Today I found my metronome on - just the light blinking - with the switch in the off position. It continued to blink even after I removed the battery! I'm assuming that's some sort of capacitance malfunction as opposed to an on/off switch malfunction. It eventually stopped. Will this drain the battery?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Corelli's Giga

I'm starting Giga and love this version. It sounds a little like the violin is teasing us.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Need to do pressure testing on Gavotta, Siciliano, and Sarabande for recording next weekend?

Monday, June 9, 2014

I dropped a knife on my finger last night - not sure how that happened - and it's still gushing. I wasn't able to practice, really, but got my fingers warmed up enough to where they felt ok.

Siciliano REALLY needs the melody line brought out, and the mid-range quietened.

Gavotte - need to learn the additions I made.

Tambourin - continue work on trills.

Friday, June 6, 2014

I think Gavotte and Siciliano might be close to being ready to record.

I've almost (re)learned Sarabande in under a week. It helps I learned it before and it's slow.  But I need to not let that keep me from putting as much dynamic work into this as the other pieces.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I finally figured out where this particular Gavotte by Corelli is from: it's from Concerti da camera Op. 6 No. 9, and is usually titled "Gavotta: Allegro." It's a really sweet little piece.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Forgot to post yesterday - I need to listen to my recorded Gavotte variations today. And apparently this Gavotte is not the most popular Gavotte he wrote so I can't find any versions by other people to compare.  I'm flying blind here, people!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A lot more progress on Siciliano and Rigaudon. Still need to practice variations of Gavotte in prep for recording.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Recorded Gavotte - need to listen tomorrow.

Need to clean up trills in Tambourin.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I forgot what I was going to write...

Oh yeah, I need to learn Siciliano with the chords broken and record that and compare it to unbroken.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I finally figured out the reason I couldn't play some things in Chaconne: my harp bounces around when I play loudly, which is why I would miss notes and why I can play it just fine quietly. 

I need to really wedge it between my shoulder and jaw, right up against my neck. Of course, this completely changes my perspective of the strings and I was missing notes because of that.

Monday, April 21, 2014

J. S. Bach - Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E-Flat Major BWV 1031 ...

This is the version I like of Siciliano. And here's the link because blogger sucks.

It's amazing how amnesia strikes as soon as I turn the recorder on and I have no recollection how to play something I've been playing just fine for weeks.

Need to go measure by measure in Siciliano to get dynamics and working on bringing out melody. And apparently, relearn it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Shaky arm has calmed down. Still not sure what was going on.

Finished initial learning of Gavotte.  Rewrote some fingering.

Siciliano needs more melody work. 

Tambourin - working on difficult chord progression.

I think I have a mental block against Rigaudon.

Thumb was KILLING me where skin is thinner.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weird shakiness in my left hand prevented me from learning anything new today, so just ran through all the things I've learned from Solos. My left 4th finger was missing everything. I think I'll go have a bit of a lie-down. Too bad I don't have an appropriate Victorian fainting couch, sheesh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I *have* been practicing, just not noting it. Today I split up Tambourin into phrases and moved the metronome up 2 clicks on two of the phrases.  This seems to work better for getting rid of buzzing. Or I could need to record again as I might be ignoring things as usual.

The melody line is coming out slightly better in Siciliano.

Gavotte is almost all done, and Rigaudon is barely started, and I'm too tired to do more.

My thumb is still peeling.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Listened through Tambourin today.  Lots of buzzy fingers.  Slowing it down and picking it apart is showing lots of sloppy playing. Also, it's easier to be less buzzy when playing less loudly. 

Listened to a recording of Siciliano to find out exactly where the melody line is. Not where I expected, and I may need to change fingerings in order to bring out the melody properly.

Gavotte seems to be coming back to my fingers quickly.  Rigaudon is more challenging.

All need muscle-building work.

And I'm hoping my thumb is finally done peeling. It's like a notepad - ripping off a fresh sheet every day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Started Rigaudon (Rameau) and Gavotte (Corelli) today. Made worksheets for both. Rigaudon is going to be challenging, Gavotte is both shorter and easier. And slower.

Siciliano and Tambourin both got the "record 3x in order to put colored dots on a copy" treatment to see where the problem points are.  There are... quite a few.  I hesitate in Siciliano and need to clean up the buzzing.  Tambourin is maybe not as far along as I'd like.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Worked on Siciliano. Small bits need chaining.  Then played though all the things I've learned out of Solos for the Harp Player in order to keep them in my hands.  Not too bad, I think.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Siciliano and Tambourin now learned. In order to polish, taking one line at a time in case of Tambourin, and half pages for Siciliano.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ugh, fingers still peeling.  Played a few things from the back catalog. Worked half-heartedly on the last line of Siciliano.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tambourin is done, just needs polishing.  Pretty good for having started 2/1/14.  Less than two months to get to the point I'm usually at at six months.

Also, trying the chaining technique with Srebotnjak Prelude III and it seems to be working well, too.  Wish I had known that earlier. But glad I know it now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My thumbs - now plural - have not healed enough yet for me to play as much as I want.  But I did manage to get most of Tambourin knocked out.  I have a feeling it's going to give me more problems than Siciliano.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Callus peeled off thumb. Again. But manage to get first page of Siciliano completely done before it got too painful.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One more measure of Tambourin. Sort of. I seem to be taking more care with Siciliano.

Too wrecked to make any headway on either, though.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Siciliano - need to chain from mid page to end of page on each page.

Tambourin - need to drill trills.

Friday, February 21, 2014

LGR is still shaky. Not sure I"ll be able to record it tomorrow.

Siciliano is learned! Now "just" have to polish it.

Tambourin has weird mental blocks in it for me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

LGR for endurance in prep for recording.

Almost done with Siciliano - 2 more measures.

Tambourin - I realized the version I posted last time has an Inspector Gadget flavor to it. It's fun to play that way.  The pedal changes are going to require a lot of work.

I'm not having any luck making music.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is a fun interpretation of Tambourin:
Tomorrow I need to chain left hand trills on LGR. Significant chunks done on Siciliano.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I think I'm on the 7 year Ira Glass plan as far as writing music is concerned.

Got a lot done on Siciliano.  Dewy Owens really knows how to arrange for harp.

Need to strengthen rt thumb for Tambourin trills (and Arabesque 2 still).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Got 1st page Siciliano done.

Took a fantastically long time tracking down a menu in FL Studio and didn't really get any song-making done.

Remarked more fingerings in Tambourin.  I've pretty much changed every single trill in it now.

Worked on one problem spot in LGR.

Monday, February 3, 2014

One of the things I like about learning a piece at speed is that I can figure out appropriate finger markings right away - fingerings for playing something slowly doesn't always translate into ease in playing faster.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Exercises, sort of.

Plotted out plan for JS Bach's Siciliano and JP Rameau's Tambourin.  Trill will START on the beat.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Got Arvo Pärt's Fur Alina from library. Unfortunately, my harp doesn't have the necessary bottom string. But the upper notes are still beautiful.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

St. Vincent : Digital Witness - I still have varied responses to her work, but I really like this one.

Holly Herndon : Chorus - She somehow tracks her youtube/websurfing and combines it into song form. Wow.


John Lurie Orchestra : Men with Sticks (Album : The Invention of Animals) - He got Lyme disease and had to stop playing the sax? Ulp. This is early, pre-Lounge Lizards stuff. From what I've heard, I love it just as much as anything he's ever done.  Unfortunately, the title track, which clocks in at 17:40, is only available on vinyl.  Yet another reason to take apart and clean the potentiometers on my record player.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recording today.  Still don't know yet if noise is still an issue, but much more confident today.

Chaconne took six takes, and I'm moderately sure I got a good one.  Zarabanda only took two takes and I KNOW I got a good take.  It was a great feeling.  Recording is much easier when you can play flawlessly.

I'm also figuring out how to relax while playing while recording. It's a matter of awareness and forcefulness.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day off for blister repair worked.

Detail work on Chaconne in prep for recording tomorrow, I hope.

Tried to work more on trills in Arabesque 2. Elbow hurting.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blister better at beginning of practice, but then had to stop after 1.5 hours.

Worked on muscle strength for Chaconne and 2nd Arabsque with both of those and (Flight) and (Inquietude).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blister still kind of there.

Figured out another weirdly arranged note cluster in Arabesque 2 and got frustrated at having to retrain my muscles. But the new way makes a lot more sense.  I have a feeling this is not going to be done by the end of the month, but I'm ok with that.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2 hours on the dot. Muscle endurance seems to be key as opposed to learning the notes.

(Inquietude) for trills, then 2nd Arabesque. Crappy.

(Flight) for scales, then Chaconne.  I was able to play this surprisingly fast after warming up with conditioning exercises.

Zarabanda went well, too. Just need to pay attention to ... it... while I'm playing it.  Dynamics are probably as good as they are going to get.

Tired, but not as tired as yesterday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tried to do the Raymond Chandler way of practicing which is you don't hav to play, you just can't do anything else. It almost worked. I was completely beat just 10 minutes shy of the 2 hour mark, so I stopped. And of course, considered doing other harp-related things as fulfilling that goal anyway. But it's not.

I played a lot of different things, because of lack of concentration, however I feel I gained muscle.

And now, holy crap, must nap.

Friday, January 10, 2014

May have blisters, so only played an hour in order to save fingers for recording tomorrow. Hopefully I stopped in time.

Drilled Chaconne in prep for tomorrow.

Warmed up with (Inquietude).

Things that delayed my practice:
One light bulb in ceiling fixture burned out.  Got chair. Stood on chair to remove light covering. Went to wash dead bugs out of covering and get light bulb. Sighed at full sink of dishes. Did dishes before washing cover. Cover washed. Removed old light bulb, installed new light bulb.  Discarded empty light bulb packaging, put chair away.  Walked back into room, which was decidedly too bright.  Went and got chair, discarded packaging, and lesser wattage light bulb.  Removed cover, installed new bulb, replaced cover. Put away chair, discarded new packaging.  Walked back into room, other light bulb burned out.  Went and got chair and original bulb.  Removed light cover, removed old bulb, installed original higher wattage new bulb, replaced cover.  Put chair away and practiced in a too-bright room.  This is why I have trouble getting things done.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Did Fraîcheur and details of (Inquietude) to warm up.

Worked more spots in Chaconne.

Arabesque 2 - working on chaining trills.

Played for 2 hours.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Practiced trouble spots on 1st two pages Chaconne. Need to do two more tomorrow.  Need to do at least 2 hours to reacquire endurance lost on vacation.

Went through Arabesque.

Third rt finger still hurts.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Figuring out sampling in audacity vs. fl studio.

Random pain in 3rd finger cut practice short.  Would like to list what I need to work on in detail.