Lyre Association of North America

Reflections on the International Lyre Conference in Zeist

By Diane Barnes, Hillsdale, NY

The 2018 International Lyre Conference was a wonderful experience, as they all have been. To see so many lyre players and lyre builders, about 169 total, many of whom I have seen before, is always very special. At this conference I thoroughly enjoyed Monika Mayr-Haecker and Christian Giersch’s workshop on singing and the lyre. Monika brought new movements to some of the singing exercises with her lovely, lyric voice, and Christian challenged the group to play the lyre while singing, often to play one part and sing another part (often in a foreign language)! The class was very professionally led and was both interesting and challenging. Bravo!

I have to mention that Christian Giersch wrote an outstanding piece for all lyres, especially for this conference, and he was only given one evening to teach it to us!! He did an outstanding job and I hope that lyre groups around the world will practice it and prepare it for future conferences. Thank you, Christian.

Another most amazing workshop was Martin Tobiassen leading the whole group every morning in improvisation - NO MUSIC. It was very masterfully led using tone of the day, the TAO tones, C major scale, whole tone scale and chromatic scale interwoven with our own personal percussive sounds, with certain signs Martin had invented for each tonal pattern. It was extraordinary and in the end sounded like a concert piece. Another BRAVO!

Many thanks to all of the organizers and to Anna Littel for keeping track of everything in her announcements.

Blessings from Diane Barnes