Soaring on Strings

What has forty seven strings, seven pedals, and over two thousand moving parts?

If you guessed a harp, you are correct.

This weekend, I accepted an invitation to attend a solo concert given by a renown harpist. In doing so, I was treated to an afternoon that I will not likely forget.

The soloist was Merynda Adams, a lovely musician who is as experienced playing gigs at celebrity weddings as she is accompanying philharmonic orchestras world-wide. The delightful setting that afternoon was a quaint farm church in the small village of Meyersville, at the juncture of three off-the-beaten-track country roads in central New Jersey. No bigger than an average sized classroom, the church provided a cozy gathering place that seemed the perfect vessel for an intimate concert.

When she began to play, two things struck me immediately. The first was that the cascade of notes swirling, dancing, and cavorting through air could not possibly be coming from just one instrument; the assault was overwhelming in its beauty. My second reaction was to be mesmerized. Watching the artist’s hands flutter fluidly, rapidly, lightly, effortlessly over the strings gave me reason to affirm the capacity of human intellect to accomplish miraculous feats such as this one – the playing of this harp.

I was reduced to tears on more than one occasion for the splendor of the music.

Experiences such as this garner faith in the propensity of the human spirit to do good things. For all of the negativity we encounter each day, Merynda Adams and her harp give me opposing hope. Hope in the tenacious notion that if we use our gifts wisely and well, the results can transcend our human condition to lift us above and beyond, in spite of ourselves.

That is heavenly music.

7 thoughts on “Soaring on Strings

  1. The harp has its origins in prehistory. The Greeks have a myth that Apollo created the first one. That is fitting, given the instrument’s ethereal and transcendent effect on us. Recordings do not do it justice. To witness in person a performance by a world-class virtuoso must have been a transformative experience. Thanks for writing about this.

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    1. It was quite an amazing experience. I have seen/heard harps as part of an orchestra, – but to be this close and personal was almost beyond description, to me. Ms. Adams told the audience that history hints that the first harps were originally fashioned from archer’s bows, and then additional strings and refinement happened over the course of time. Interesting take, also – but I love the thought of it connected to Greek mythology as well. I suppose it could be both!

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    1. Thank you! I have seen the harp as part of an orchestra, but to be up close and personal? Wow! It blew me away!!! Thank you for continuing to take the time to read my posts; I really appreciate it and look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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  2. Listen to a harp in that small environment must have been wonderful! What a delight! Thanks for sharing that with us. Love the photo as well! Such warmth in the colors.

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  3. I love the passion in your voice throughout this piece. Especially at the end, “Hope in the tenacious notion that if we use our gifts wisely and well, the results can transcend our human condition to lift us above and beyond, in spite of ourselves.” Heavenly words!

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