This week in Five Questions, a new feature on In the Muse, we chat with Reference Specialist Lisa Shiota.
Lisa, what are you working on these days?
I’m working on maintaining a pleasant demeanor in the Reading Room when helping patrons. It’s actually rewarding work– when I smile, speak calmly, and listen to their needs, they respond positively. I enjoy working with them.
What do you listen to when you work?
I actually can’t listen to anything while I work at my own desk in the back office– I get distracted easily. But I enjoy listening to music when I take a break. Lately, I’ve been listening to interesting mashups of unlikely songs.
Do you have a favorite treasure in the Music Division’s collections?
I can’t say that I know all of the treasures in depth in the least, but I did take a look at the Grand Duo Concertant for clarinet and piano, op. 48, of Carl Maria von Weber [which can be seen here in the Performing Arts encyclopedia]. This manuscript is dated 1815. The score is written out in a very small and meticulous hand. I’ve worked on this piece when I was studying clarinet in college, and own a couple of different editions. I would love to someday sit down and compare these editions to the original manuscript.
Tell me of your musical interests outside the Library.
I play in a woodwind trio, Trifecta Winds, that performs mostly in the Philadelphia area, where I’m from. (We will be playing at the Library of Congress during the lunchtime lecture series on January 31, however.) I have also occasionally performed in Classical Revolution DC. Right now, I’m fond of chamber music of all types, both as a performer and as an concertgoer.
What would you like me to ask you about?
Ask me about bicycling– that’s my latest obsession. This summer, I did two century (100-mile) rides and had a great time doing them.