When I’m putting together a show, like the “Lose Your Blues” show coming up this Saturday in the Boston area, part of what’s important to me is the sequence of the tunes – how the flow of the show goes.

That’s especially important for this show because it’s being LiveStreamed via “Concert Windows” so people all over the world can watch it.

One of the ways I work on that is to make tiny versions of the tunes – 90 seconds or less – just enough to get the flavor of the piece, then videotape them, watch my own show and change the sequence if it doesn’t feel right to me.  Here’s one of them:

Another way I use these tiny versions of the tunes is so I can play through the entire conversation of the show and find out where the technical problems are.  Most of them have to do with changing the levers for each tune.

The lever harp is unique as an instrument in that it’s tuned to the specific key of each piece – and each part of each piece that changes key.  So every time the underlying harmony of the tune shifts, you have to change a lever … or 30 levers … or however many you need to make that shift.

So each string has a tiny lever on it, and as you go from key to key, you reshift those levers.

Those levers – however, are also a way to bend Blues notes, so in this tiny version of “Make the Best of What you Got” you’ll see me bending the levers mid-song  – and actually bending into the notes with them for that  Bluesy feel.

As I finish more tiny building blocks for this show, I’ll try to post more of them on this page.

Come see the whole show at The Center for Arts in Natick, Sat. Jan 26th … or if don’t don’t live in the Greater Boston Area, watch the Livestream version that’ll be broadcast in real time via “Concert Windows”.

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