Santa: Ugh! What are you sighing about now, Annie?
Shell: She’s thinking about the film we saw at the Yonder Island Theater last Sunday.
Annie: A silent movie! Mary Pickford playing Sarah Crewe! And, best of all, live harp music as the musical accompaniment to the movie.
Shell: That was really cool. The harpist, Leslie McMichael, was just plain awesome. She composed the entire score for that film, right?
Santa: It was pretty amazing to hear the music she played, and to use those three harps — Celtic harp, pedal harp, electric harp, but —
Annie: No ‘buts’ about it! The themes she played for the different parts of the film absolutely expressed what was going on —
Shell: Her timing really impressed me. The three of us certainly know how weird time can be, but she was perfectly attuned to that film!
Annie: I just love the sounds of the pedal harp, and its chromatics — you know, how it can shift keys, just by using your feet on those pedals —
Shell: I thought the electric harp was awesome. The sounds Leslie chose to program for that harp suggested to me the piano playing that used to accompany the silent movies back in 1917!
Santa: Leslie playing and composition of the music was — magical. It was an absolutely one-of-a-kind experience. She really should be super-famous for it, being asked to film festivals all over the country to present her live music and the film in concert halls ….
Annie: And performing it in Quilt Shop galleries!
Shell: Uh, yeah — art galleries, or in —
Santa: I did hear her say she has a tour lined up back east.
Shell: Well, cool!
Annie: Maybe the three of us should learn harp and so that kind of thing, accompany silent movies. I’d play the pedal harp. It’s so elegant —
Shell: Electric harp for me! I’d get mine in electric blue, and use some awesome effects with it. Santa, I guess you’d choose the Celtic harp, wouldn’t you. Because they’re straight-forward yet elegant, with no mechanisms complicating things, and with a clear bright sound —
Santa: I wouldn’t choose any harp!!!!
Santa: Harp is my least favorite instrument! I’m totally against them!
Shell: Are you mad?
Annie: The harp is the most beautiful instrument! Angelic–
Shell: But you can also play rock-and-roll and jazz on it too!
Santa: That’s all true, but —
Shell: Your own mom plays harp!
Santa: That’s the trouble!
Annie: Oh …
Santa: I’m sorry, you guys. But growing up with Mom playing the same mistakes year after year —
Annie: They don’t bother me.
Santa: Yeah, but that’s because you don’t have a precise mind. If you did, you’d be as appalled as me —
Annie: Santa, you’re so unkind!
Santa: I can’t help it — I’m a …
Santa: If only she’d vary her mistakes … But she seems to have perfectly learned them —
Annie: And that’s why you don’t like harp? That doesn’t seem fair!
Shell: I enjoy Aunt Jen’s playing.
Santa: Most people do — most people don’t even hear her mistakes or don’t care because the sound of the harp is so magical —
Shell: So why can’t you just enjoy her music too?
Annie: Santa, it sounds like you’ve got some sharping levers engaged where they shouldn’t be.
Shell: ‘Sharping levers’?
Annie: Those are the little things you flip up on a Celtic harp to make a note sharp.
Shell: Oh. Well, despite the fact that we’ve discovered that Santa needs some harp therapy, I’ll repeat again that Leslie McMichael playing live harp music–a score that she composed — to the 1917 silent movie “A Little Princess” — was absolutely an enchanting experience — for all of us (except maybe Santa) —
Annie: And it should be world famous!
Shell: Go to a performance of it, if she comes to your area. Or encourage your community to invite her!
Santa: It’s pretty awesome — I have to admit — despite the fact that I’m against harps and think all harps should be removed from the planet and shipped to the Otherworld.
Shell: Santa, you’re warped! In the meantime, Readers, we hope you enjoy the latest Leaf.
Annie: Oh! We almost forgot: Leslie McMichael also created and performs of another silent film, Peter Pan – and, oh, it’s ever so fun and magical too! View and listen to a little bit here!