Family road trip up to Canberra to perform at the National Folk Festival with Fiona Ross. What a great way to spend the Easter holiday and my birthday!
Joined by Jim Green and Jack Wilson the Fiona Ross band performed at the Terrace, Flute 'n' Fiddle and Marquee. The festival attracts over 50,000 people and is held at Exhibition Park, Canberra. I ended up buying a trolley from Bunnings to help cart my harp around the different venues. Harps always make everything harder!
Found this snap on Instagram. Love the caption.
Playing 'Karla' 36 by Harps and Harps in the Musical Instrument Makers Showcase Concert.
Quick visit to the National Gallery Canberra. Fantastic installation: Skyspace
Classically Celtic kicked off 'Concerts at Coomalie' on Sunday to a sell out audience. This new concert series is held by my grandparent's, Ursula and Brian Blake at their self-built home Coomalie.
'Coomalie was inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright had an affinity for music and would sit at the piano improvising after working all day on his architectural drawings. Coomalie was built with stone from Fryerstown and 100 year old Jarrah and Karrie from Fremantle Wool Store - giving it excellent acoustic qualities for music. Its delightful garden setting beside Badger Creek boarders the Yarra Rangers National Park and is graced entirely with native plants' - Ursula Blake
For the past two months we has been rehearsing and preparing new repertoire for this concert. It's been really fun having a weekly rehearsal, working on new tunes and following this up with Sushi on a Wednesday night! So lovely to see it all come together for the concert and receive great feedback from the audience.
This wedding season brought back some old favourite locations along with some fantastic new ones.
To name a few: Darling Gardens, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium, Botanical Gardens, St. Ignatius Richmond, Jack Rabbits Portarlington, Daylesford Lake, Fairfield Boathouse, Point Campbell House Leopold and many more!
So many weddings and such different locations. Here is a selection of photos.
Played at a wedding in Sorrento at St Mary's Star of the Sea with the Melbourne Chamber Choir. Lovely Christmas themed ceremony with lots of carols. A highlight was performing 'Walking in the Air' from 'The Snowman' by Howard Blake with the choir. Beautiful piece.
I really enjoy the 'gigging' lifestyle which take me all over the place. I get to see wonderful locations and structures - St Mary's another to the list. The church was built in the 60's and is situated on top of Constitution Hill overlooking the bay. Really quite a unique church with amazing coloured glass windows.
To top off the day my mum and sister decided to make an impromptu trip over on the ferry for a catch up afterwards. Managed to fit three people and my pedal harp in the car - something I had not tried before. Would have been a sticky situation otherwise!
Second 'Harp & Friends' concert for the year - this time with a Christmas theme. Another great turn out with everyone performing a carol along with their chosen piece. The Christmas theme was very much embraced with performers and guests wearing red, festive hats and mince pies for tea.
As with the first concert I felt obliged to perform. Always good to feel the same nerves as my students! Also gave me the opportunity to premier an original and drag my family in to accompany. Vivienne caught this set on her mobile and as you can see my little sisters wait patiently until their turn! The night ended with an unrehearsed jam of the 'Shetland Tune' led by my mum Cathy Blake.
Starting to think that I hold concerts just so that I can make flyers!
I was hired to provide background music for an in-store event at Coach Chadstone. Guests received special one-off deals on products along with free food, drink and live music. Another interesting fashion gig.
Played at a lovely outdoor wedding at Fairfield Boathouse. I use my lighter/smaller harp because there were many stairs and it was an exposed outdoor location. It was quite a different wedding with the ceremony taking place on the river. I played as the guests were helped into row boats and afterwards at the pre-dinner drinks. Such a great day, I'm really happy the weather came through for the couple.
Had an amazing experience performing at the opening of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week - Runway 1. Spent a long time in HAM (hair and make-up, now I know the lingo!) and look quite unrecognizable...
There were 8 designers with each collection accompanied by a different musician. Gwendolynne, an Australian designer who makes gorgeous wedding dresses, decided she wanted a harp as her musician - which lead to me. The idea was for us to look 'doll-like'. It was definitely an exercise is performing in uncomfortable attire!
First concert I've ever held for my students. Had a great turn out with everyone rising to the occasion. It's wonderful and inspiring to see so many harps and harpists in one location!
National Folk Festival
National Celtic Festival
Battle of Bannockburn
Robert Burns Scot Festival
Celtic Colours Int Festival
Chris & Catriona Tour
World Harp Congress
Coomalie Concert - Trio
Melbourne Spring Fashion
Harps Harps Harps