Vinnie was the one who suggested it. He’s an agent for motivational-speakers. He saw my “Invention & Alchemy” music special on PBS and wrote me.
He said I should use my style of combining stories, ideas and music to build a performance that lets audiences into my process as an artist.
But instead of just ‘talking about it,’ he said, I should actually DO it in the moment – become my own living, changing powerpoint presentation, create my own soundtrack, actually bring the ideas to life in the moment, in front of the audience.
“I LOVE doing that!” I said.
“Yeah, I know,” he said.
Thus was “Strings of Passion” born.
Don’t ask me if it’s a concert or a lecture or a workshop or a demonstration or a stand-up comedy routine or a conversation or a one-woman-show. Because the only answer I can give you is, “Yes.”
In this — thing-whatever-it-is — I literally (and yes, I literally mean ‘literally’) play out the 7 “Strings of Passion” principles, string by string, starting from impulse – our first desire to do, to be, to touch — through practice and structure to the exhilarating moment of lift-off, when impulse becomes artistic expression.
It combines stories that shaped – and still shape my life: ‘the string in the sugarwater,’ when my stepfather showed me a science experiment that changed my understanding of structure forever. The story of two Scottish harp players who taught me ‘you have to be bad to be good,’ that waiting for perfection before you share your work means you’ll never share it.
So, why “7 strings”of passion?
A harp – the most naked, raw and resonant of instruments – is built in a series of 7 strings, repeated throughout the instrument. I’ve spent most of my life playing the harp. So its structure creates theoretic structures in my mind.
What makes the harp so rich and resonant is that ALL the strings vibrate as EACH ONE is plucked. Each with a different resonance depending many factors from how hard I plucked, to what was plucked before, to room humidity, the age of the strings, and so on. But what you get is …
We don’t play every string of our lives or experience at every moment – BUT the resonance of each string of experience gives richness to what we do in any moment.
So “Strings of Passion” is about the STRINGS … but it’s also about the PASSION and the resonance.
What I’ve learned through this instrument – and my life exploring it — is how ideas resonate through people, how groups collaborate, how leadership and followship are roles that give each other meaning – and how creative impulse, if given a structure gives power to freedom.
And when creative expression has both power and freedom you get a lift-off into the sublime.
And THAT’S what “Strings of Passion” is.
Here’s where I’m performing it next:
LIVE – Mon. June 23 – New Orleans
WHAT: “Strings of Passion” – Music, Ideas & Humor in Concert
WHERE: AHS Conference “Harp Carnivale” – Astor Crowne Plaza, 739 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
WHEN: Mon. June 23, 2014 at 11am
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: http://www.ahsconference.org/register