The harp and accompanying cargo left for Hobart Macquarie Wharf No 4 today. I spent yet another day fussing around with packing, finalising the cleaning and sealing, and stuffing as much as possible into the trunk. In the end everything fit in that I wanted to but I had some anxious moments. The two Pelican cases for Video and Zoom recorder and the second tripod that we were waiting on finally arrived at the ANU this morning and Arnan was able to pick them up, along with the ‘Rockbag’ for my Footswitch board which also just arrived. (Yes, now I am a going to be a ‘cool’ rock chick). Especially lucky timing, since I was expecting the trucking company to come on any day this week. We came very close to not having some backup equipment!
Once the semitrailer trundled off into the distance I was able to sit down and heave a sigh of relief to sit behind the harp and practice quietly for a bit. I still have my Lyon & Healy Salzedo at home, and the little Thom lever harp. The program is pretty much organised now, although memory is not quite certain. The program I am preparing for Mawson Base will start with pieces that commemorate the first Antarctic Expedition and so I play some pieces my grandfather mentions in his diaries. This will also involve something I have not done since I first learnt the harp – singing and playing. Lots of fun – especially the drinking song, ‘The Good Rhein Wine’ which was CTM(Cecil Tully Madigan)’s party piece – but I wish my voice was as good as when I was 8 years old! Never mind – I understand his voice was not so marvellous either and I will invite the public to join in the chorus.
I nearly have both Larry Sitsky’s pieces from memory now. They are both marvellously dramatic – the electro-acoustic harp Fantasy sounds like someone with a huge range singing in an enormous ice cathedral. I finally went out and bought myself a loop switch for this piece. The lever harp Fantasy is very beautiful and dark. I will be performing it outside – Andrew Thom says it will be fine to rest the harp on a lump of ice!
Joshua’s Penguin piece is lots of fun to play, and I am hoping to be able to get some video footage while there to match the scenes described (‘Peguins having difficulty organising themselves’, ‘A rowdy party’,’The party is disturbed and the penguins huddle for warmth’ etc). There’s lots of 2 against 3 in alternating hands to describe the waddling penguin gait.
With the cargo on its way, the e-con forms filled out for the shipping, and all the equipment safely in hand or on its way, now I need to move onto the next stage of preparations: making a padded bag for the lever harp. And learning the words for the hymns and rowdy songs – I’ve always been hopeless at remembering words, so it’s quite a good challenge for me.
This is certainly an adventure which is expanding my horizons!