ready for my close-up…

After having driven back from London last Wednesday night, I hoped in vain for some sort of lie-in on Thursday morning. This was not meant to be, however, as I was booked in for a Skype meeting at 8am with my lovely fellow members of CLOUDS Harp Quartet. I can’t complain too much though, how many of us can boast the fact that we can have an early morning meeting from bed, complete with dressing gown, coffee and Alpen?

We have a lot to talk about. But first thing’s first. We had this weekend to sort out. My role in CLOUDS is something of ‘tour manager’ when we are together, so that means I get to do the schedule! I love schedules! Sadly I’m not being sarcastic, I actually do. So we needed to talk about who is staying where, whose harp is staying where, and when we are going to rehearse, eat etc. – organising the logistics of four harps can be challenging!

First thing Sunday morning we went for a photoshoot with the lovely Julie Harris.. We needed some publicity photos for an upcoming concert in April in Caernarfon as part of the International Harp Festival (yes we are super excited). We thought we could get it done in an hour. We were slightly deluded. Three hours later we left the building. Julie taught us how to stand and look good in a photo. It felt quite awkward at times, but then you look at the photo and somehow you’ve become thinner, but with curves in all the right places… I think Julie might be some sort of wizard. In fact I went back to see her on Wednesday morning for some solo shots.

After CLOUDS’ photoshoot we immediately went for a meal as Esther was about to keel over. We went for a spot of Thai food at Manchester restaurant Umami, then went back to my place to rehearse. But how do you rehearse when you’re so full you just want to sleep? We couldn’t stay lazy for long though, we have new music to learn! Esther has written a four movement piece for Caernarfon and, as is the CLOUDS way, none of it is written down. Esther teaches it to us by demonstration and explanation and we try to cram it all into our brains. But it’s fine, we’ve been learning music together this way since 2008, and we love the freedom it gives us.

Monday morning we rehearsed again, 9-12. We were reminding ourselves how lucky we are that this is our Monday morning, no hideous traffic, no getting up at the crack of dawn, just learning some great music and playing together over coffee and good company.

We had a meeting Monday evening with our fantastic teacher Eira Lynn Jones. A couple of hours later we left, stuffed full of home-made macaroons (thanks Bec!) and bursting with new ideas for future projects… I can’t wait to share some of them when the time comes!

So that’s about all my news for this week, it’s been another busy one! Maybe things will calm down soon… not that I would want them to of course!

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