Q. What's the worst noise that, as a harpist, you can make at a wedding?
A. A wire string snapping whilst the bride is waiting to say "I do"?
I very rarely have any wire strings break on me... I change them regularly every year and a half and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many have snapped on me. It's like a gun shot when they snap and even though it's a rare occurrence it quite freaks me out!
Half way through the signing of the register today (and the wedding guests were very quiet), there was a loud crack which is the horrible precursor to a wire string snapping.
Luckily I managed to draw to a close very quickly the piece I was playing and then jump up and slacken off the offending wire before it snapped. PHEW!!!
After a crazy month of being really busy and being stuck in the pit at Buxton Festival, I think my harp was trying to tell me I need some time off!
After spending most of my life obsessing about the state of my finger tips (too soft?... too hard?), you'd think I'd have tried most things to avoiding getting blisters?
Well it turns out not.
I'm doing a couple of operas at the moment, one is a bit of a pedal work-out, and the other one is a finger shredder.
Kaschei the Immortal by Rimsky-Korsakov is a great little opera, which is really enjoyable to play.... apart from the 4 pages of solo (loud) harp glisses at the start (which you can't use felt picks for!)
After the dress rehearsal my fingers were SO SORE that I didn't know how I was going to get through the run over the next few weeks.
In fact they were so sore, they felt bruised to the touch, which was when I had the brain wave of using arnica cream.
Hallelujah! Had the first show last night and my fingers were fine - not sore at all.
Came home and rubbed a bit of arnica cream into my fingertips, and so far so good.
Fingers crossed (no pun intended) that arnica cream will be the answer to keeping the blisters at bay over the next few weeks.