An Inspirational Week in Zeist

Youth group performs at Zeist Conference

Youth group performs at Zeist Conference

By Sarah Stosiek, Hillsdale, NY

Lyre 2018 held in Zeist in the Netherlands was an inspirational week filled with workshops, concerts, shared meals and of course the daily plenum every morning. This was my third international conference and I am beginning to notice that at each one some aspect of the lyre stands out more strongly to me. In Zeist it was fascinating to hear the different qualities of tone that different types of lyres produce.

In the morning plenum we were seated according to the type of lyre we played which highlighted these different qualities as Martin Tobiasson led all the conference participants in a series of improvisational exercises. I also noticed that depending on how the lyre is approached it can have a completely different sound.

In Jan Braunstein’s workshop I was again reminded of the importance of listening and silence in creating music and was yet again convinced that improvisation is much more challenging than sight reading the most complex piece!

With Martin Tobiasson we enjoyed playing a Swedish dance as fast as possible and then refocused to play a beautifully intricate piece called ‘For Lyre’ by Marylynn Wilson. Although this piece was not technically challenging it required very good listening!

The week flew by and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye. I left Zeist with so much fresh inspiration and a new drive to practice. I know that having the opportunity to attend international conferences over the past six years has inspired me to continue playing the lyre and I am already looking forward to the next one!