I was in way over my head on this one. The Bernard's Christmas arrangements are finished and off to print!! What a giant relief. I knew that it would be a huge undertaking, but I really didn't estimate it taking so many hours to put together.
I've listened to the recording a billion times and notated what was played, entered everything into Finale, made it look pretty, proof-read, changed stuff, proof-read, changed stuff, proof-read, saved as a PDF... and poof! Off to become a book.
One thing is for sure: I (still) love this music. So much. I love the Andres' pieces. I love the Christmas music. I love the two of them together.
Throughout the process of creating these arrangements, I was reminded of the original recording endeavor about 2 years ago. I can still taste the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. I can smell the cold November air. I can remember my studio engineer, Fred Betin, and how fun it was to work with him. I can remember dropping my little girl off at school with my harp in the car, kissing her goodbye and telling her that it was a big day for me.
It was 3 days, actually. Three full days of playing and listening in the studio. Love. Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Gratitude.
My daughter these days will repeat things her sponge-like ears have heard me blurt out. ("You've got to be kidding me!" "Really guys?" "Holy smokes!") She is my mirror. In the same way, I feel like I know myself as a harpist a little more now. I've had to listen and transcribe what I do when I improvise. It's been an interesting process. I definitely have a unique way of accompanying a melody with two hands and using syncopation. After seeing it on paper, I often thought to myself, "huh." Works. I like it.
Another thing I noticed: I really, really don't follow a metronome. Kind proud of that. I like it when music can breathe and move around.
I have a whole new appreciation for arrangers and self-publishers. Sylvia Woods comes to mind, with her extensive arrangements for harp--- wow. And I also have an idea of what a time-consuming and tedious undertaking it is to engrave music, even when you're Finale-software-savvy. Good riddance.
I'm thankful for some friends that have helped me get this thing printed: Gerard Martin, for translating the introduction into French. Katherine Kappelmann, for playing through and proofreading each piece. For Shawn Landis, for his amazing work on the cover. For Thierry, the guy at the printer's, for his patience with me. And I'm especially thankful for the harpists that have written to me, encouraging me to make these arrangements.
And now, as much as this was "so much fun," I'd like to set the harp down and not look at these arrangements for a good while. :-D oooof Camomile tea. Good night.