Today I had an in-costume harp gig in my downtown. It was for a senior citizens’ group Mystery Trip – they’d be given the times, and they’d get on the bus, and wherever they went, and whatever they saw, would be a surprise. It was fun to be part of the surprise! I went in the newest costume I’ve made for myself, a sleeveless overdress with a v-neck and closures down the front, and a very wide, full skirt, over a petticoat and a poet shirt of my grandmother’s. I added some of my handmade jewelry, a vintage leather belt and purse, and a head wreath I’d made for myself a few years back, as well as a woven scarf (*cough* from Target *cough*). Since I play mostly Irish music at gigs, though, I’m thinking of making a Moy Gown.
I took a few photos when I got home, not with my harp, however, since ’twas rather rainy outside, and I didn’t wish it to get wet.
There were about two hundred or so people in the group, and the act before me was a puppeteer and magician who works across the street from me. The puppets he brought were as big as ordinary people, and, from what I managed to hear from back stage, were brought from England, from a puppet theatre that the Queen had sponsored. Wish I could have heard more. He also breathed fire. My brother would have loved it, and been deviously inspired.
I ate with the group after the show, at The Old Feed Mill, and had a lovely time getting to know some of them. Quite a few people came up to me to tell me how my music had made them remember their trips to Ireland, and one gentleman even approached me to whisper, “My grandfather was from Londonderry,” after I played a piece I wrote, Walls of Derry, which I wrote during my stay in the city this summer, and saw firsthand the city where so much had happened during The Troubles. Walls of Derry is a piece I wrote to remember what happened, not in a spirit of revenge, but to beg people to remember the lives lost on all sides of the struggle, and to beg for it to never happen again.
Walls of Derry and several other pieces I’ve written that I played today, Skerries Girls, and O’Carolan’s Jaunt, I hope I will get recorded sooner rather than later, so I can share them with you. I hope to get a book of harp solos published, or at least in the official works, before the year is out!
xo, Stacia Joy