Guest Blogger:  Lara St. John, Part 2

I had just done a show with San Francisco Symphony when Marie-Pierre Langlamet asked me to come up to Vancouver to be part of her International Harp Congress recital and play the Bach E Major with her. It was the summer of 2011, we had done the Bach Sonatas recording a few months earlier – and, I could visit friends! So up I went.

I was astonished by the amount of harp players in one hotel – pretty much everywhere one went, there were either harps, harpists or harp-hawkers.

A bit bored, as the lone violinist in a sea of harpists, I put out a call via Facebook: ‘What is the noun of assemblage for harpists??’. I got all sorts of lovely answers – mostly quite sweet – like “a harmony”…”a paradise”……

but it turns out the real answer is  – a melody. A melody of harpists.

Hm. Nice, but dull.

When Marie-Pierre broke a string just before we began, I decided to tell my harpist story to the harpist-filled audience about my favourite answer, as she was changing it. Someone had had the audacious answer of ‘clusterpluck’, which is, evidently, the best possible noun of assemblage for harpists. A triple pun! Now, how often does that happen.

“…’cluster pluck’, which is, evidently, the best possible noun of assemblage for harpists…”

I was all excited about my awesome joke – so much so that I laughed uproariously at it myself – but it turned out that just about everyone in the audience was foreign (even Marie-Pierre wasn’t entirely sure what I was talking about), so, folks just kind of stared at me in a slightly concerned manner.

I still think it’s the best pun ever though.

Lara St. John will join Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Harp, Heidi Van Hoesen Gorten and Amici Chamber Ensemble for Lara and the Lyre, December 1, 3PM, Mazzoleni Hall.
On the program:

J.S. Bach
Sonata  No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016

Toru Takemitsu
And then I knew ‘twas wind

Serouj Kradjian
Sari Siroon Yar

Romanian (traditional)
Ca La Breaza

Arturo Marquez
Zarabandeo

Joaquin Turina
Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 67

Maurice Ravel
Introduction & Allegro