June 8, 2016
I’m having an affair with Seth!
It started when I was 12. My parents introduced us. Seth and I had a rocky relationship for a long time. I was convinced that he hated me and I never really respected him. I let him stew, alone, for years.
But recently, I developed a begrudging respect for him. And lately, that has blossomed into a raging love affair. I have learned to love him - Seth Thomas, my metronome!
I had noticed that as much as I tried to ignore it, and as often as I played it, there was a tune (ok, really a set of tunes) that were just random at best. They gained momentum every time I played, and no amount of toe tapping, counting aloud, or getting dark looks from those around me seemed to help. In addition, I could never play them cleanly – there was always a mistake somewhere. And some of those mistakes were not random. Further, I love the tunes, so I really wanted to clean them up.
Enter Seth. Now, these are reels mind you. I set Seth on the bench next to me and selected 64…for the and! Yes, that meant the tempo was 32. If you’re one of my students it has now dawned on you that this is not just something I made up to torture you – I actually made it up to torture myself! At that speed I noticed all kinds of things. First the tune totally fell apart, so I had to rebuild the tune so I could remember what came next, not just let it happen. Also, my fingers and hands were tense and not ready for what was coming. Finally, because I had played it below standard so many times, my posture was hunched while I waited for everything to come apart.
Now, Seth sits by me, stoically, working with me (although sometimes it still feels like its against me!) to help me do the work to make the tune come out of the harp the way I hear it in my head. We’re taking it slow, me and Seth, and building a future together. I’m so glad to have Seth in my studio – it must be love!