This Mother’s Day Eve I’m playing a solo show at the “Circle of Friends” Coffeehouse in Franklin, MA on Saturday, May 12th at 8pm. “Circle of Friends” is a throwback to 60’s coffeehouses — in that they turn a church basement into a listening room — but this one has a state-of-the art sound system and lighting.
You can tell it’s volunteer-run from the minute you hit their website – and it has a reputation for warmth, relaxed fun and quirky personableness that’s pretty unique these days.
About this show …
We have a lot of mother figures in our lives – mostly not our biological mothers. My “Mother’s Day Eve” show focuses on songs and stories about the mother figures in my own life, from my Grandmother Anna and Edith to my Aunt Gloria and all the women … and men … who play — and continue to play — the role of mother to parts of my life.
The stories and songs range from tender to ridiculous, like “Watermelon Boogie” (If a man tries to deny you your favorite food, you drop him like a hot potato!), “Anna Bella” (the secret life of my mother’s mom), “My Mother’s Mexican Hat” (if a woman falls in love with a hat, big deal — but what if a hat falls in love with a woman?), “Favorite Aunt” (Once I barely reached her knee – but now she’s shorter than me) and “Good Mother – Bad Mother” (evil stepmothers are just fairy godmothers on a bad day). And adventure songs like “Cirque du Lune” about Doña Quixota — and jazz standards like “Take Five.”
What connects it all? It’s all about exploring expression. About using whatever resources I have as a solo performer, to bring the stories and people in my mind to life.
My instrument is the electric harness harp, a 32-string, 11-lb mega-harp that was invented for me by the CAMAC harp company in France. This model was actually named after me, the “DHC Light” and CAMAC created it specifically so I can perform the way I do, combining stories, song, movement and all-out playing all at the same time.
I love that experience of creating a whole world out of nothing — the experience that’s at the heart of solo performance. And I love taking a very naked instrument and seeing everything I can possibly do with it – from playing Blues or Flamenco to making it sound like a conversation with the dustballs under your bed, to playing a version of Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” the way he’s playing it right now on his electric harp in heaven.
For me, my work with the electric harp is a metaphor for the individual – and for the incredible range of expression we all have, that we often aren’t aware of. Every time I discover something new I can do with this instrument, it opens my eyes to the huge creativity we each have that we’re unaware of — and that we can find by opening a single door in our perception. I want my shows to shine a highbeam LED on that door for each person in the audience, and for each to go home with a sense that the key to that door is right in their pocket.
The show is Sat. May 12, 2012 at 8pm at the “Circle of Friends” coffeehouse in Franklin, MA – a funky church-basement coffeehouse feel with a great sound system — in other words, the best of both world. Buy tickets now.
It was my Aunt Gloria who gave me a sense of adventure and romance in my life, and so I’m dedicating this show to her, and thus giving it the unofficial title of “Auntie’s Eve” show. I hope I see you there … with your Aunt! (And if you ARE an aunt … with your neices and nephews!)