Jan. 30th, 2012 11:08 pm
geojlc: (Default)
[personal profile] geojlc
We got back today from Conflikt (local filk con). It was a lovely convention full of many wonderful friends and highest highs and super low lows.

As usual, I spent much of the weekend behind the registration desk helping Jeff so he could go and see parts of the con he would normally miss. This year they had us right outside the main concert space so I could hear the concerts, even when I couldn't be inside watching. I really like working there because I get to see everyone but the table provides a nice personal space buffer that helps me deal with my anxiety.

This year I also got to be a performer!

Talis Kimberly (lovely UK performer, you should really check her out!) came up to me on Friday and said she had heard a rumor that I played spoons and would I be willing to play with her on her song about spoons? I thought about it for about a few seconds (I'm way happier performing when I've had rehearsals) and then jumped at the chance. We had a quiet moment the next morning when I also had my spoons with me and she sang some of it for me to give me an idea of the rhythm. It was a lovely jig rhythm which I'm not very good at playing spoons style but that would work really well with bones style. She loved it and so I was on stage with her that night. It was harder than I remembered, but very much fun!

Sunday I played my cello on 3 songs with with We're Not Koi (Juliana and Douglas and Judi Filksign). At my last lesson, I had taken my Frobisher Bay ideas and had Betsy help refine them. She also gave me some starting points for coming up with something for Carousel, but I mostly had to do that on my own. It was a really interesting exercise to come up with a harmony line (it involved many iterations and some more consultation with Betsy and recording myself playing the song so I had a simple melody line to work with). I was also asked to come up with something simple for a 3rd song last week. What I came up with wasn't super fancy, but I really liked how it sounded.

I was generally pleased with my performances. It was my first time performing folk music on my cello (especially folk music with chord charts instead of sheet music for 2 of the songs!). It was really weird having vibrato coming from my bow instead of my vibrato hand for one of the songs. The one song I thought didn't really go over that well sounded much better in the recording than it did in my head while on stage (for which I'm really grateful!). And I nailed Carousel. It was everything I wanted it to be and sounded just as good on the video Jeff made as it did when I was playing it. It just worked. It was magic!

Sadly, the lowest low happened next. Carousel was the last song. We took our bows and started clearing the stage for the next performance. I was going off the stage with Lark (my cello) when I stepped wrong on the tippy stage step. We'd been worrying about it all weekend and I had been extremely careful. Unfortunately, I stepped too close to the edge. Judi said I was fine until my cello moved forward. Then the stair tipped and dumped both of us. I couldn't move my back leg forward because Lark was in the way. All I knew was I stepped on the step and all the horizontal surfaces dissapeard until they were suddenly, solidly back and I was face down and my cello was stuck into a pile of cases like a rocket ship plowed into the ground. Oh, when I pulled her out and saw that part of her headstock was left behind was heart breaking.

Betsy was over almost immediately. She and someone else found the little pieces and looked things over and said it looked like a clean break which is repairable. (Later, Capn Blackberry, an ex luthier, looked it over and came to the same conclusion.) I was all shaky and sat there for a while trying to calm down and making sure I wasn't hurt. Betsy sat with me and others worked to make sure I had the space I needed. I was ever so grateful.

Yes, I'm ok. Bruised and achey, yes, but (so far) nothing worse.

I was much better after Betsy and Brenda Sutton allowed me to tag along for an impromptu bodhran lesson. I think it was really helpful to have something else to think about for a little while.

The most astounding part of all of this? The Conflikt folk chipped in financially through the rest of the day and left me with enough money to either fix Lark outright or get a good way through the fixing. (I'll be talking to the luthier where I bought her tomorrow and I'll know better then.)

I am astonished and floored and awed and flattered by the outpouring of support yesterday and today. I don't have the words or the space to say what all the generosity and caring really meant to me. Saying simple thank yous don't seem to be enough, but they are all I really have. To everyone who helped in any way? Thank you!

As soon as my Lark is all fixed up, we will continue to play and hope that is an even better thanks!
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January 2012

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