• Anne Vanschothorst

lifesaver #BLOG

In 2007 i founded HSM (harp and soul music) where i produce my own music as an indie artist. One year earlier i worked as a harpist, i gave concerts and performed the note-scores by other composers. Learning note scores by heart is o so challenging for me since i have holes in my memory due to chronic fatigue, therefore live performances have become very stressful to me. I never felt really happy playing live music because i am very forgetful. A particular live concert made me actually reconsider being a harpist. I think it must have been in 2006 that i blacked out completely during a concert and did not know what i was playing anymore that scared the hell out of me but i started improvising instead of panicking .. and while improvising a guy from the audience was applauding me thinking and playing out of the box .. this event made me realize again that i should play and create my own stuff instead of playing the repertoire that other harpists also perform with far more confidence and virtuosity than i ever could. Consequently i had to make some big decisions.

The first big decision i had to make was not to play my favorite composers anymore. I had classical training for a few years and i was programmed as it were to play classical music .... and how i love classical music !!! I was heartbroken for maybe half a year and had a retraite and during this sound of silence i found a part of my own voice ( i am still searching) .. How do i trust myself ? Will the music be good enough ? How do i know if my work will be original and authentic ? Scary right ? But i had to overcome self .. big time. I had to reconnect with the sound of my harp, just one string at the time - what was she saying to me ? I had to listen, to be quiet .. obedient and patience. Not an easy task but i realized it was finding my inner voice or die. That sounds harsh but i was not happy at that time at all i felt really sick of ugly thoughts about myself. When i decided (the most significant life decision ever !) to surrender to my harp .. my talent (everyone has a talent !) - i started to shine and live again ! The harp is my lifesaver !

The second big decision was to embrace the fact that i really wanted to be a composer and producer of multi-media rather than a performer who needs a stage to share and secure music with an audience. Creating something new is the ultimate freedom to express myself. Nothing makes me happier .. almost true haha .. anyway ;)

The third big decision was about finding my niche. What on earth is my niche ? It feels important to me to be different from other harpists, to distinguish myself, so i try not to follow trends too much (that is a little ironic since trying to find ones niche is very trendy indeed). But to be different i have to know what is trending in the harp and composers world in order not to be a trend-follower - i have to know first what not to follow. And how do i relate to these trends? (I will write another BLOG about "niche" and "inspiration" where i will share my thoughts and questions since it is a important topic for creative entrepreneurs and autonomous artists.)

In another BLOG i will talk about "niche" as i already mentioned. What life decision(s) had a tremendous impact on your well being ? And what makes you really happy ? And how about your heart and soul, do they dance frequent enough ? Just something for you and me to think about .. with music &love XA

My sound search is an ongoing journey - a life long learning process .. i hope you walk with me sometimes on my path and share some thoughts about music and life .. feel free to response .. with music &love - XA


'Minimal harp in landscape music reflects and evokes landscape, nature and place.' AV | LandscapeMusic.org