Monday, July 27, 2009

Small World Gets Smaller

I was so happy to find Marc Gunn on the internet. Now I find that I would have found him sooner if only I had gone to Marscon 2009. I was busy with things like moving, the timing just wouldn't allow me to get to the convention. Now I'm more committed than ever to go next year. Crazy world keeps getting smaller. Well, here is Marc doing something Filkish with the Autoharp:

I was actually Artist Guest of Honor at Marscon in 2006. Really I was. Now I'm eager to get back into the swing of going to conventions, showing my art, and hopefully singing some good old fashioned folk music, Celtic and otherwise. I've had two autoharp lessons so far and I'm getting the hang of it to the point that I'm currently learning 3+ songs with multiple strumming techniques.

Isn't life interesting? I was just thinking it would be so much fun to have Marc Gunn come to CONvergence or Marscon as a musical guest, and he's already been here. This must be the year of the Autoharp or something.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Irish Songs etc.

My Autoharp arrived safely to my home yesterday evening, completely out of tune and missing the tiny wrench needed for the fine tuning. Today I went out on a quest to obtain a tuner, some picks, sign up for my first lesson, and then to the hardware store for the wrench.

Online this week I discovered Marc Gunn. He's a fan friendly, Ren-Faire working, singer of Irish music and what's more - he plays Autoharp. For you purists out there, I will note that the Autoharp should not be played at a Renaissance Fair, as it was only invented in the mid 1800's, but it's great for Celtic music. But for me, it's the perfect fit, and he even has put together a lovely web-page for people like me who want to learn to sing and play Irish songs:

Irish Song Lyrics, Chords, Download MP3s, Irish Podcast

Monday, July 6, 2009

Folk and Art

While searching the internet for songs that I would like to learn to play on my lovely Autoharp when it arrives, I found this favorite of mine by Joan Baez. It's called "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda." A song about a young Australian soldier maimed during the Battle of Gallipoli (1915) during the First World War; written by Eric Bogle in 1972. The paintings of Degas, Sargent, and the visual arts of Spadecaller, augment the song's theme.

I heard her play it live once, her opening act was Dar Williams who made me cry. Seriously, just sitting there wondering if the opening act was any good and there I go...crying. I'm such a schmuck.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

SF&F Con Creates Music...And Musicians

It's all Becca's fault. If she hadn't pulled out that Autoharp from the case on that fateful June evening and played it right there in front of me and the whole world, I never would have known how much I wanted one of my own. So now I've gone and ordered this one from Ebay:

So now it's my latest obsession, along with all things related to folk/irish music. It even comes with it's own gig bag to keep it safe and sound.

Speaking of sound, I plan to visit Homestead Pickin' Parlor to pick up a tuner and see about taking classes with Karen Mueller, because she actually did write the book on Celtic Autoharp. I may never watch TV again, I'll be busy tuning my Autoharp. And yes, Becca, it has 21 bars and the fine tuning. It was a good deal on Ebay, brand new, free shipping and even had the soft-case with it. I'm all kinds of excited to dive right in and learn how to play well enough to sing, and then well enough to play with the Autoharp as my main instrument.

BTW-I sing well without an instrument, but accapella sounds lonely in a music circle. The thing about Autoharps is that they are not respected by folks around here much. They probably heard more than one that was horribly out of tune and decided they weren't cool. Also, all you have to do to get a chord is push a button. That's a big plus for me as a vocalist, because it will be much easier to learn material without having the difficulty of learning guitar.

Life is meant for living, and I'm tired of sitting outside the music circle when my voice is longing to soar. I love the sound of the 'harp anyway, always have, and I plan to learn to play it well enough to earn a little respect with it as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wyrdhaven Studio Notes - July 2009

It is the morning before CONvergence starts, and I wisely took today off from work as well as tomorrow. Wyrdhaven Studio Notes include music, because I'm listening to "Meander" by Riverfolk this morning.

Believe it or not, I actually plan to have a new piece of art completed and for sale at the convention. If I can get it done and scanned and framed and...well you get the idea. No work in progress pictures though, I want to unveil the tiny little thing at the convention. I'm heading off in a slightly new direction artistically which I will discuss at more length in later posts this month. Enough to say I plan to be doing some art at the con at my little table in the Artist Alley. I'll have prints available for sale there directly on Friday Morning and Saturday Morning.

I plan to have originals and maybe some limited editions in the Art Show as well.

Riverfolk will be playing at the con too, on Friday night. For more details on the CONvention itself, check out my live journal post of their Email newsletter. I'm looking forward to hanging out with 3000 of my nearest and dearest friends.

I hope to see you there!! :)