3×3: Harpist Beth Stockdell talks about her new CD in What’s Up! podcast

3×3: Harpist Beth Stockdell talks about her new CD in What’s Up! podcast

Beth Stockdell is releasing her final album, a 14-song CD titled “Beneath the Starry Moonlight,” and will celebrate with a short performance and get-together from 5 to 6:30 p.m. April 3 at the Fayetteville Public Library. The event is free. Stockdell joined us for a podcast and a song with “What’s Up!” Here’s an excerpt from that interview. (Some of the answers have been edited for space.)

Q. Tell me about “Beneath the Starry Moonlight.”

A. I started this CD about six years ago. It was supposed to be my second [but] turned into my third. I always had the title and the theme. All the content has changed drastically along the way …. We were going to record in some different places and do some different things. And we ended up back with Darren Crisp [at Crisp Recording Studios], my comfort zone. He did the engineering on all three of my CDs; he’s just brilliant.

My other two CDs were purposeful. The first one was really for hospice, which I was working on at the time. The second one was for our granddaughter, lullabies for her. This one is mine. It’s the personal one for me. I wanted it to be all positive love songs that are star- and moon-themed and nearly everything fits that. There’s a couple exceptions. “It Had To Be You” doesn’t have a star or moon theme; however, I had to learn to play that for our daughter’s wedding. They love that song. And I’ve come to love it as one of my favorite songs to play. So that one got included, even though it doesn’t fit the star and moon theme — but the rest of them do so.

Q. You said this is going to be your final release. Do you feel comfortable talking about why this is going to be your final album?

A. I’ve had some problems with my hands over the years and some physical problems and I keep telling my dad, it’s a factory defect; I have a lot of factory defect problems. I had hand surgery in December, that turned out much more difficult than I anticipated and different. And then the result was that I found out that I have a genetic problem with my hands that all the Swedish men in my family have. … When I had my surgery in December, I didn’t realize that that was part of what it was. So I just can’t play nearly as well as I could before, and my hands are going to deteriorate quickly from now on. So I can’t really book a wedding now in 10 months if I don’t really know how my hands are going to be. I just I just don’t feel comfortable telling someone that “I might have to cancel” …

So I’m retiring, yes, but if the WAC calls and asks me to play at the blood drive next week, I could say yes to that because I know that next week I can play [if] it’s a low stress situation. I’m playing at the library. It’s my very favorite thing to do — every year at Christmas I play a couple of times a year. I’m hoping that for another year or so I’ll still continue to be able to do that. I just don’t really know. … It’s based on my dad and my brother and my uncle; I just I know it’s coming. So it’s just one of those things, and I’m peaceful about it.

Q. When did you start to study the harp?

A. Well, my line is always: “It was a midlife crisis.” Which it was. I had a very difficult time period in my life, and there was just a lot of bad things that happened. But I graduated from college at 34 and was having other crises. And I just knew as I was finishing my degree that there needed to be music in my life, that somehow music was going to become an important part of my life. I didn’t really know yet what that meant. But I just kept thinking about it. Then my heart just said, “It’s harp!” And that was just very random. …

It took a while and some tenacity for it to happen, but it finally did. I got my first harp. I ordered it off eBay. It was a really, really crappy harp. I know now in retrospect, but it was what I could afford at the time and it got me going. [Back] then I traveled a lot. … I was 35, so 20 years ago, and I was able to go places and meet up with teachers and get a lot of different experiences and travel to festivals right away. But really, it was “butt in the chair time” in my own little apartment, just by myself playing. That’s what got me through that tough time period and and led me to my beloved husband.

Listen to more of this interview at https://www.nwaonline.com/321inthestudio/ to hear more about Stockdell’s journey through music, her art and some of her favorite memories of performing.



Beth Stockdell:

Album Release

WHAT — A short concert with refreshments to celebrate the release of Beth Stockdell’s “Beneath the Starry Moonlight,” a collection of love songs with the theme of stars and moon.

WHEN — 5-6:30 p.m. April 3

WHERE — Fayetteville Public Library

COST — Free; CDs will be available

INFO — stockdell.com

FYI — Stockdell will also have some of her art on display at the Fayetteville Public Library this fall.

Categories: Music