Olivia Jageurs is the harpist that will
play Neshama at the Future Blend Project.
The Future Blend Project - if you don't read my blog regularly - is an international composition contest, and I'm one of 13 finalists - and the only woman finalist. The contest will take place in a 14th century
Alm's House, in Warwick England, on January 7, and Olivia Jageurs is the harpist who will be performing my piece in the contest.
You can hear and watch the contest/concert as it will be streamed live from the Future Blend Facebook page on January 7, at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
I knew of Olivia from her website, the 15 second harp. There Olivia would perform any 15 seconds of harp music, and post it, along with engaging comments. A wide range of musical ideas result, and listening to these 15 second snippets is an education in its own right. The compositions are presented in small tastes, that you can hear and think about without your palate getting overwhelmed by the whole.
When The Future Blend Project announced that Olivia Jageurs was assigned to play Neshama, I knew a sympathetic, creative, and inspired harpist would play my piece. Her credentials are detailed on her "About Page": a highly-schooled harpist who is defining and presenting herself, and her music in fresh ways: playing ensemble music with animated films, commissioning new music, teaching, and more. She has a grounding in the classics, is committed to the exploration of contemporary music, and has done stints with the "progressive rock world".
Who was I to be chosen to work with Olivia? I had only been composing for a couple years; my piece wasn't "contemporary"; I had no weighty opuses to establish my credentials. I wasn't sure I was up to the mark.
Which brought me back to the self-questioning and the feeling of being an interloper. All I had was this piece: Neshama, hebrew for spirit and soul. It had to speak for what it was on its own terms: no more, or less. That is enough, and all it can be.