Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Happening















The woman in the picture is Vera Meyer. She plays the Glass Harmonica in Harvard Square regularly. Doubtless it's a tough life, made all the tougher by mean little bastards like myself, well, when I'm feeling mean, as I was this morning.

Vera was performing as I returned from Peet's with my coffee, calling to passersby with her usual refrain: "Ben Franklin's Glass Harmonica." Having recently stumbled on a recording of Mozart's Adagio for Glass Harmonica, K. 357 (617a) via Soho the Dog, I meanly decided that, when she asked me what "tune" I'd like to hear, instead of making a normal request like "Ode to Joy" or "America the Beautiful" or some popular item, I'd casually say "Mozart's Adagio for Glass Harmonica."

It all played out as I'd imagined, until I mentioned the piece. Vera simply smiled warmly —whether out of appreciation of the request, or from the fact that she knew I was just being a pissant, I'll never know — and simply started playing from memory. When she was finished, she wisely deduced that I was a musician, and suggested that if I ever played in a bass quintet, I should contact her, as she knew a wonderful piece for glass harmonica and strings. By then, my coffee was getting cold, and I wanted to get back to the quad before all heat was gone, so I dropped a fiver into her bowl and left — in a far better mood than that in which I had arrived.

In other news, the walls of my new dorm room are bare. I need some posters, I'd love to find some of orchestras (preferably BSO), singers (preferably some strikingly beautiful soprano/mezzo), composers, conductors, or performers. I just don't know where to find such items, and online stores have a very small and useless collection (fyi, allposters dot com, I don't want to wake up and look over to see Beethoven's "oh how cruel the world is" countenance.) Advice would be much appreciated.

One last thought: It'd be really great if someone would compose a piece for Glass Harmonica and Theremin. That'd be wild...perhaps I should commission one. Wonder how much it would cost.

4 comments:

of the kosmos said...

What a cool story!

I stupidly left an extra Salome poster back in Paris - it was on my wall (it's in the background of my current Facebook profile pic). I'd have given that to you..

I have some really awesome posters (I have an original Picasso "dove of peace" poster from 1960), mostly from very special museum exhibitions, but they're all rolled up 'cause I haven't gotten around to mounting them.

For the kind of thing you're looking for, check eBay, you're bound to find stuff.

rhapsody407 said...

Nice suggestion, I got a reprint of a poster for Die Zauberflöte, artwork by Marc Chagall: here

of the kosmos said...

Wow that is really cool...costumes from that production were on display at the Met last season, I don't know if you saw that when you were there.

SarahB said...

This story just made my day. I've seen that glass harmonica lady before but had no appreciation for her...next time maybe I'll pause. (And as for K, as usual, he is a tease with his promise of posters!)