Does anybody have the harp part for this that I could get ASAP?
Wow, Dave….what a jerk that guy is. He’s not going to find anyone else on such short notice, and not many of us can nail something complex on an initial run-thru, sight unseen. (I certainly can’t). So he will be harp-less, which serves him right. Don’t let the turkeys get you down!
Dear David Ice,
If a music department does not have the funds to rent the parts, they should not hire the musicians to perform them, plain and simple. You were merely the victim of a bad decision on the part of other people.
Rutter, a contemporary composer, is not in the public domain, therefore expensive. I suspect in this downturn that we are going to see fewer contemporary works performed for this reason, with music programs scrambling for money, or fewer instrumentalists used. It’s too bad.
David, if you can firmly encourage the conductor to watch his/her budget, plan ahead, do the proper thing, rent the parts, so that the composer and his publishing house get the money they deserve, it would help composers all over, and harpists!!! Respect for composers’ rights to their music and intellectual copyright are big ones. If it’s a matter of ticket prices, they can build the rental prices into the tickets, and should do the math long ahead of the season.
I played this piece earlier this year. Hated it. The font was the “handwritten” type which made it difficult to read the moving part (WHY do they do this? It’s rude to the musicians). It also wasn’t typical harp patterns either. Think I told the conductor and the music minister that I wanted to slap them both for putting this piece in front of me! lol!
For next time: at least half of the payment in advance, check to clear two weeks before the event. Work up for next Advent as many works as you think you might get a call for. If this forum posted after Christmas a list of who managed to perform what where, next year’s list would probably look similar.
Who seems to be least stressed and and least worried in this profession in this country:
1. Married harpists who do not have to be the sole provider via music;
2. Military band harpists, who have excellent benefits;
3. Teachers with positions at colleges and universities who gig on the side;
4. Those few people with positions with the few well-funded US orchestras who have excellent pay and benefits;
5. The rare freelancing harpist who is the only harpist in any direction for 250 miles;
6. Patient teacher-personality people with large teaching studios;
7. Public school teachers with harp programs, doing a world of good by letting kids from middle-class and impoverished homes on the instrument of kings, teaching discipline and instilling values along with the music;
8. Organists at churches who use the harp which they also play in their programs.
9. People with day jobs, who manage to gig on the side and still honor their musical craft.
For everybody else, it’s difficult. According to THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY, which I have found on-line, poverty is rising terribly quickly in the USA. It’s a difficult time to be a freelancer, especially on an instrument that is associated with the Gilded Age.
Your investment in yourself, of staying calm, honoring the Golden Rule, not stooping to the level of others around you in difficult situations, and thinking about what position you can land in where the pressures will be lessened…All food for thought for the new year.
The view of the artist in the Western world changed for the worse from the 18th century to the 19th. The artist in JS Bach’s time and before was a skilled craftsman to the Glory of God, ego left out of the picture. By the end of the 19th century art and music were all about art for art’s sake and egos. Be very careful how you view yourself, your role as an craftsman and your work, and how you appear to others, what they learn about you from your actions and words. We are now in the early 21st century, and our craft is competing with Lady Gaga, with characters who have given true art a bad name, a public that wants instant gratification in everything and therefore has tons of credit card debt, has lost its work ethic, is willing to purchase anything for next to nothing from an enslaved nation on the other side of the world with no thought of the long-term consequences, in a culture that has lost patience and “thinks” in sound bites, and little tweets, where the skilled crafts are for “sissies.” As long as we can keep the oil flowing, nothing else matters. Juxaposed with this world we have the Church, classically-trained musicians whose craft grew out of the traditions of the Church, and a variety of music. What kind of people are we, why did we go into this and what do we wish truly to become?
Emotionalism belongs in the performance, in the interpretation, in its warmth, not in the interactions between the performer and other people. Books by Julia Cameron, or Rory Noland’s THE HEART OF THE ARTIST might be good reading for 2012.
Hang in there.
If you find yourself dealing with anger, that emotion is usually a cover for intense losses, where grief has not yet been given expression.
ENJOY what you are doing!
Homemaker and Harpist in Charlotte, NC
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