Being Creative in “Isolation”
The last time I was in “isolation” was 12 years ago. I admit I’m ten times more comfortable today than back then, and very grateful for the luxury palace we live in now (drawn & built by B.L. with his own hands, whilst me watching & criticising), cozy and dry, no hazard for health & instruments! I had just moved to Ireland in June 2008, we lived in a caravan and it rained heavy every day (that was the “summer”; the winter was yet to come…); outside, the ground was soaking, and indoors condensation hit everything below waist level (my tuning pegs rusting faster than the harp getting out of tune). The damp conditions made me wake up at 5 am, having to get out of bed and light a fire and lie near it, between sheep skins and woolly hippie jumpers; and a mold allergy didn’t help the situation either. I had to re-learn how to breathe (not through the mouth for sure!). I made big round holes into the walls everywhere for cross-ventilation (the round “saw things” you put onto the electric drill, imagine Barry’s eyes, coming home to this!). No washing machine, no internet, a shaky crackling land line (no TV but I never had that so didn’t miss it). Recession hit only 3 months later. Before moving, I had “tested the market”, gigs galore, but that dried up in an instant. So there you have a good test for a “young” couple, living on such confined space, and both being musicians! No job, cut off from friends and family, no facebook or emails, here I was, surrounded by bogs and woods, writing a book. My laptop had to be moved every time we took a meal (or a cup of tea) on the homemade table, too narrow for 2 plates to be put across from each other (diagonal only possibility). Outcome was a 120 pages strong book called “Mein Schlaues Harfenbuch”, harp tutor in German with CD (96 Tracks). I learnt a lot about computers (trial and error; as I had no one to ask for advice, that can drive you – and your partner – mad by times). “Mein Schlaues Harfenbuch” is an allrounder, harp technique introduced step by step, aiming at kids and adults alike, music theory, knowledge of European/Irish traditional music & modes, rhythms from 2/4 to 11/8, introduction and practical advice for improvisation and accompaniment as well as composing, exercises for transposing & harmony, a key and lever chart… I always had in mind to translate it into English and French; many things have happened since, like “My little Irish Harp Book” uniquely aimed at children and Irish Harp in particular. I promise I won’t get bored in this new version of “luxury isolation” – watch this space for the next publications! By the way – today we celebrate 14 years of R&B – I met Barry on 18/3/2006 (in Belgium) and here we are, he has been very patient with me all these years 😉 HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY EVERYONE ! Carpe Diem and Care for Each Other!
Read about “Mein Schlaues Harfenbuch” (in German): https://harpmusic.ie/mein-schlaues-harfenbuch/