What inspired this album?
A local annual event with my MOPS group ultimately inspired the idea. Every year there is an expo for all the moms in business to showcase their products or services. We also do a raffle where each business provides an item valued at a minimum of $25. All raffle ticket proceeds go to the really awesome local Christian outreach called Verity. So, I had the idea to do a little home-grown kind of music project and raise funds for Verity at the same time. I also was beginning preparation for for leading worship for the women's advent program at the church that hosts my MOPS group on Dec. 2 ... so in doing the album, I've been able to essentially rehearse at the same time for that event.
Why should people purchase "Lullabies from the Stable"?
People should purchase this album because it is for a great cause. Verity PMC is a Christian-run organization that is beginning their 31st year providing free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STI testing to our community and ultimately transforming the role of family, pioneering the pro-life movement and advancing the kingdom of God via the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How long was the process of completing this project?
The total process took about a month. Most of the time was spent arranging the instrumentals and mixing the individual tracks. The shortest part of the project was the singing for sure.
How did you choose which songs to put on this EP?
"Silent Night" was an absolute [must]; it's my signature cover of the Mannheim Steamroller version that I grew up listening to since I was an infant. It's a tribute to my Dad who would tell me off and on as I got older about how he would hold me on his shoulder and listen to that song during a really trialsome time in his life and how it brought him so much peace.
"Angels and Joy" was one of those divine revelations from God - I sat down to the piano and wanted to do a traditional carol but have it be a laid back folksy style. So after some tinkering on the ivories it just sort of happened. The "Joy to the World" overlay was one of those moments during the project where I got super giddy and excited after hearing it first in my head and then seeing if it actually worked.... it did!
"What Child is This" has always been one of my favorites... and it just happens to talk about Mary singing a lullaby to Jesus - so the lyric content looking back is just perfect! The chordal progressions are so unique too since they implement different key tonicizations and modal mixture - sorry I'm starting to geek out with my music theory.
"Here With Us" has always been a favorite - I was already familiar with [this] and had performed [it] live for a crowd so I felt confident enough to release [it] on the record.
What's one stand-out memory of this experience?
The one standout is my little girl Emma doing the vocal reading of the Bible verse at the end of "Silent Night." We had just gotten home from school and she wanted to contribute so bad to what I was doing... So I had her repeat after me into the mic and then went back and edited it to sound like she said it in one continuous stanza. It's special to have her be a part of the album.
Thank you, Katy for being part of this interview, and for this generous project you've produced!
I am so proud of this lady! And she's such an inspiration too!
Make sure to purchase "Lullabies from the Stable" wherever digital music is sold. And don't forget to subscribe to at His feet on YouTube!
*Fischarper interviews may be edited for accuracy (spelling, punctuation, etc.), sentence flow (primarily verbal interviews), & space.
Happy Friday! And welcome to the first guest post on the Fischarper blog!
Below, you can find a great post from Molly Madden. I met Molly some years ago at the Illinois Summer Harp Class. We started chatting (errr...typing) about Molly guest posting for the blog, and I'm so glad that she agreed to it! Her post below is a wonderful complement to this blog.
Enjoy this cool glimpse into the life of an orchestral harpist and her music!
Music image via Pixabay.
There is a thank you note that I need to write, but I don’t know how to address it. It is a thank you to friends I have (likely) never met whose names I will (probably) never know. These friends of mine don’t know me, either, and they weren’t intending to help me, and yet through their efforts they have saved me hours of precious time and spared me from much potential embarrassment and frustration. So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, nameless friends, fellow harpists, for the many helpful, clear, insightful, corrective, scholarly, creative, humorous, and oh-so-beautiful notes that you have left for me in my orchestra parts.
Professional orchestras often rent their sheet music. This means that the parts I receive in the orchestras I play with have passed through the hands of conceivably dozens of harpists before making their way to me. Occasionally I’ll receive a part that’s blank, either because it’s fresh, new, and untouched by harpist hands, or else because an orchestra librarian erased the markings before passing the parts along. A clean slate is nice in its own way, and I know many harpists prefer to write in their own markings, but my favorite parts are the ones that are old, worn, taped together, and–most pertinently–heavy with graphite assistance from fellow orchestral harpists around the world.
So, to you, friend: Thank you for your markings. Thank you for warning me that the conductor will probably switch into cut time at measure 25 and that I need to watch out for some gnarly rubato in the middle of my difficult solo. Thank you for being with me through hundreds of measures of rests with your invaluable play-by-play commentary so that I don’t get lost, and for pointing out the most obvious cues (“trumpets loud!” or “cymbal crash”) that let me know it’s time for my next entrance.
Thank you for your pedal markings and for your ingenious fingerings. You have come up with truly clever ways to make tricky passages manageable. When I never in a thousand years would have come up with a thumb slide in that one section, there you are, sliding away like a kid at the waterpark. When I would have tried for a jump, your wisdom and experience advise me that a turn-under would be more secure. When I would have been buzzing like an angry bee trying to play the same string too rapidly, you show me that I could use an enharmonic note to take the pressure off and let both strings ring a little more freely.
You’re also funny. Whether you’re pointing out that a passage in Mahler’s second symphony sounds just like Star Wars or drawing pictures for me in the margins, you always know how to make me laugh--sometimes during a rehearsal’s quietest moments.
Thank you for writing neatly (no easy feat on a music stand!). Thank you for putting in the hard work so that when I receive the music I can sit down and start practicing immediately. Thank you for warning me to put in earplugs, to listen for the flutes, to check the tuning on my high F#, to wait for the horns, to watch for the conductor to place that one beat, to bring out my right hand.
No, we haven’t always agreed, and you haven’t always been right, but I would be gravely remiss if I didn’t pause to reflect and acknowledge that I am a better musician... thanks to you.
Thank you for this great post, Molly! What a nice inaugural guest post!
Be sure to check out Molly's website here. Don't forget to pop over to her facebook, and tell her how much you loved her post!
If you're interested in guest posting in this corner of the web, just drop me a message and we can chat!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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