Sunday, August 19, 2012

Them's Pickin' words

I don't think I've ever taken a picture from my facebook feed and posted it here before. Well, there is a first time for everything, because I love everything about it. Here's why:
  1. It's true
  2. It's on a pick
  3. The pick is on a chain that you can wear around your neck
Yup, that pretty much sums up what music can do. It keeps bringing me back, time and time again. When I need to express myself and I can't find words, I pick up an instrument. It's all about communication, even if it's only the cats I'm playing for. Frankly, I think they just may understand the music better than my innane banter I throw at them. Playing music has become a meditation privately, and all that time spent alone means I've gotten practice enough that I can play with other musicians now and again.

In two days I will be ready to send my final paymenet for my autoharp, and I feel really blessed. Many friends contributed to the Dream Autoharp fund, and I am humbled by their generosity. Dreams are something we can share with each other and participate in. Like songs, they speak to the heart when words fail.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jammin' at Merlin's Rest

Last Tuesday night I resolved myself to be brave and join in the Tuesday night jam at Merlin's Rest. When I arrived with my dulcimer, book, and purse, I would have awkwardly stumbled in through the door, but a waitress opened it for me. I've known about the Jam for a long time, but I just never got the courage to join in until now. This was a big step for me, as there usually are some very fine musicians who show up.
Musicians Open Jam Session: 8:30
If you are a musician and want to share your talents or maybe learn some new ones – stop in every Tuesday. A fantastic evening of listening and joining in with some of Minnesota’s top musicians
So I was there at 8:30, and a hammered dulcimer player, who also plays guitar was there, as well as one other guitar player. I asked if it was OK to join them, and open means open, so I sat down to play. The hammered dulcimer player did not want to lead in any songs right away, so I alternated with the guitarist. I led in three songs: Wild Mountain Thyme, Diamonds & Rust, and Where Have all the Flowers gone. Actually I was kind of nervous, but not as nervous as I thought I would be.

My quiet dulcimer did not do well against all the noise of the bar, but I got a little applause starting out anyway. Sometime after my second song, the hammered dulcimer player wandered off. I played anything I had that wasn't a ballad, so I began packing up at around 9:15 and the other guitarist went for a beer break. Minnesota Ren Fest starts this weekend, so I'm guessing that may have affected how many musicians were showing up, or how few. I might try showing up again when I am confident of a couple more "bar friendly" songs, and with heaviers strings and pick in hand to try and combat the noise. All in all, it was a successful night for me, if a short one. My new autoharp might be a better choice regarding the noise, and it has more chords, so I'd be less limited in a jam environment.

We'll see if I go next week.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Musical Adventures

Once upon a time the warriors were in a battle and it wasn't going well. They needed to call in for additional reinforcements, and so they used the Merseberg Incantation:
'Once the Idisi sat, sat here and there,
some bound fetters, some hampered the army,
some untied fetters:
Escape from the fetters, flee from the enemies.'
Such is the way of things, that when all else fails, calling for the magical women to come and do their work is what changed the fate of those in battle. In Minnesota, women have taken up the call. Led by the phenominal Dayna Jean Wolters, The Idisi makes music and magic.
'The Idisi is a gathering of women intent on singing and opening the world up to the sonic healing, especially that of the Divine Feminine.

We are a chorus of women raising the vibrations of ourselves, and of those we encounter through music of many cultures, faith practices, and life paths.

The Idisi come together with great love, respect, and honor among ourselves as artists and access the healing properties of sonics to share that energy with as many people as we can.

We are on a powerful journey of Joy, Love, and Light.'
Yesterday I auditioned for the Idisi, and I was welcomed into their company. Rehersals start in October, and I am thrilled to be on this new and wondrous journey of music and spirit, becoming one of the Idisi myself in truth. I have their album and found it to be moving and wonderful.