Typically after our big Saturday night concert the participants head back to the hotel to party into the wee hours (above). However, as a lot of us (staff mainly) hadn’t had a moment to have a bite of dinner, we chose to go out and eat (and more importantly, drink) at 11+ o’clock. We didn’t get back to the hotel until one in the morning, by which time the Gathering gang had turned into pumpkins and disappeared (perhaps sung to sleep by Nancy Conescu below).
For the first 2 hours of Sunday morning, the rehearsal room was open for an impromptu open mic session, and anyone not taking classes wound their way there. Meanwhile, harp guitar workshops were given by:
Host Dave Powell (L-R: Nate Blaustein, Steve Farmer, Mark Miner, Joe Morgan, Dave)
Andy Wahlberg (L-R: Andy, John Sahlin, Alex de Grassi, Stephen Bennett, Buzz Turner, Marcus Volk, Stephen Bekessy, Roger Billerey, Marie Bekessy, Tom & Mary Pat Cook just offscreen)
Jon Mendle (with many of those above attending)
No matter how we stagger things, it’s a morning where one wants to be in several places at once!
At 11am, I did a whirlwind slide show of the last 2 years of harp guitar news and discoveries as presented in my articles and blog. Though I intend it as just a re-cap of the blog, it invariably turns out that the hundreds of amazing instruments, players and stories are all brand new to the majority of even my own “constituents.” They love it, but apparently mostly in small, quick, Facebook-like doses.
After a short lunch break, we reconvened for the Gathering premiere of the film documentary The Hollow Arm (complete with popcorn and a cartoon…you had to be there). Associated-produced by the Powell brothers, this 53+ minute film was made over the last 2 years by their friend Alden Morgan (Note: Other than the Powells, no others featured had or have any input or stake in the making of the film). While the crowd loved it, sadly, it never found a distributor. An additional blow came when one of the participant’s managers wouldn’t sign off on commercial rights, ergo no DVDs can be made or sold. So instead, the producers have made it available for free on Vimeo here. But hey, at least we’re all actors now on IMDb! Please enjoy it and spread the word!
Alex de Grassi did a final harp guitar improvisation on “Shenandoah”
The final scheduled event was our afternoon concert (in the smaller room) which included all the same performers from the night before (performing all different material) along with other talented players including:
Frank Doucette (new original piece on his Wingert)
Nate Blaustein (original piece on his Hewett)
Drew Baldwin doing some hilarious blues on his vintage Dyer
We also had a lot of great new impromptu collaborations:
A beautiful duet by SB and Jon (what was that piece again?)
A slightly wilder Beatles Medley romp by “dueling” SB & Andy
Even a record-breaking 5 jazz harp guitarists blowing on “Theme from Black Orpheus”!
Previous Chapter: HGG12: Saturday Night Concert
Next and Last: Final Pub Party!