Asni: harps and imagination - newsletter #5 - February 2007
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Hello, kia ora and welcome to the fifth Asni: harps & imagination newsletter!


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Well, my apologies – there will be no proper February newsletter this time round, only a very short note - but then, it's a very short month. I'll be in the recording studio from tomorrow morning through to Tuesday, doing the work for my "Travels in Middle Earth" cd, so please send me some good vibes … lots of them. In fact, all the good vibes you can afford – knowing what a thoroughly draining process a cd recording tends to be, I think it will be really good for me to feed off all your energy … (nyark nyark). Now that sounds vampyrelike – or maybe it's because I'm currently reading too much Robin Hobb (that would be, Robin Hobb: The Farseer trilogy, in particular "Assassin's Quest", just for bibliographical thoroughness, which is what my mother instilled in me) ;-)

Just a reminder that my next round of evening classes at Wellington High School Adult Community Education (for short, WHS ACE) will start on 2 May and will take place on 4 consecutive Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. The course is called "Music Appreciation", which is nice and vague - the purpose is to gently guide people who may be a bit intimidated by the aura of erudition that tends to surround it, to an appreciation of European classical music – or in plain English, I'll play you some nice records and then we'll talk about them, and maybe we can also visit a live concert together (that's not really part of the course but can be organized if there is interest). Enrolments are open now – contact the WHS ACE office, ph. (04) 385 89 19, email

My current music theory classes ("Learn to read and write music") are proving (much to my own surprise) a raging success, people leave the sessions cross-eyed but assure me that they love it, and so far they've all come back. I do love music theory, I am just discovering that anew. There will be another new round later in the year, starting in August – I'll keep you posted.

check here for: news updates * upcoming concerts * workshops and courses

But to make this bit more newsletter-like, I'd at least like to share a little story:

The other day, on a really hot and sunny day, I had been running several errands in town – had a good long chat with a friend who runs a copy shop, while she was doing some advertising postcards for me – then popped into Real Groovy's and got myself a Loreena McKennit cd, as I feel a need to catch up with current trends in harp music now that I'm about to record my own next cd. Her stuff has been in my player for the last few weeks, though I suppose she is more of a singer/songwriter person and the harping is somewhat marginal to what she does. Then I went to the tutor's meeting at WHS ACE, which turned out to be a real nice little social occasion, we even got to sing a waiata.

When that was over it was still not completely dark, and still quite warm, so I decided to walk home and popped into Arty Bee's used bookstore on the way, where I located a copy of "The History of Middle Earth", with an original John Howe book cover as an extra benefit.

Walking along the waterside of a summer evening when the sun has just set is always a special experience - and when I reached the Thorndon side of town and started my ascend of Tinakori hill, I decided for the shortcut through the Bolton St cemetery and past the rose gardens despite the lateness of the hour. It was lucky I did, because in the summer Wellington City Council puts on all sorts of free concerts and movie screenings, most of them in the Botanical Gardens, and it so happened that this evening they were screening a documentary about --- Emperor penguins. Which was probably entirely coincidental and has got nothing to do with the fact that this year's Christmas blockbuster, starring the voice of Wellington's own ex-hobbit Elijah Wood, is also a movie about Emperor Penguins (if perhaps a less realistic one). The documentary – it's called "The March of the Penguins" and apparently quite famous, done by the same people who did Microcosmos and that movie on Travelling Birds - was really beautiful and touching, and so I stayed for most of it even though I had planned to not get home too late… (yeah right). Also, I always get a kick out of seeing so many people gather in the Botanical Gardens of an evening and peacefully watch movies about penguins... there is something about it. You can't say that the city is not treating its citizens well -- and at times like this, the place has a touch of Rivendell.

Oh, and by the way - as of today, I have been living in New Zealand for four years

arohanui, Asni

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