Yesterday, Kwannon, the music project I have with my significant other, played a rare gig. And I’m proud to report: We survived.
And that’s good. After weeks of practice, the weather glowered — and then, a few hours after our gig, devolved into an outright tantrum. The humidity popped the B-string on my harp and I had to ditch "The Path That Leads to Nowhere" and "March Elegy," since both used the string. I almost cried, although I’m glad I didn’t, since it would have caused the unaccustomed eye makeup to run. I am, I admit, over-protective of my instruments. Perspective: it’s a cheap Pakistani-made 22 string harp I bought for $350, hardly a masterpiece. But it’s my magical tool.
Note to self: Outdoor gigs in the summer require metal-stringed instruments. Stick to the dulcimer, bulbul tarang and kantele. They’ll give you less lip.
I am especially proud of myself for making it through the set list without screaming maniacally, since I had various critters walk all over me while playing. To wit: two bees, some gnat-like critters that look innocuous and usually bite, and even a tiny spider that spun tiny webs on my hand while I was playing "Brighid of the Healers." I’m not making that up.
Other lessons: take off the dupatta (scarf that goes with the salwar kameez) if you’re playing on windy days. Amazingly, I can play with all my hair blown in my eyes like a sheepdog. Weighting down the song-sheet with my tuning wrenches worked, although next time I should bring a clothespin.
In truth, I was glad to help out. I was glad for a reason to practice, to force myself to overcome my pathological shyness and get up on stage.
Seeing pictures of myself snapped by fellow Druid Chris, I just have to remember: I’m built like a brick shithouse. I run 5 to 8 miles most days of the week, do yoga and am pretty damn muscly. Yeah, I’m not Kate Moss, but I think I’m in decent shape.