This St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th – I’m playing a Celtic Celebration concert with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.
So, a couple weeks ago I was talking to Mayatu, the marketing director of the symphony and she said “You know what I’d love to do? A COUNTDOWN to your concert, with harp facts and trivia! I’d love to post them on our symphony Facebook page in the weeks leading up to the concert so when you walk out on stage people will already know so many cool things about the harp and it’s history and quirks!”
“Genius!” I said – “Also very fun and cool. PLUS then I’d learn a lot more about the harp,” says I.
So how does this apply to you, oh beloved blog reader?
Well, now we need material!!!
We want it all: little known facts, trivia, anecdotes about the harp, photos you love, stories of ancient harpers and Celtic Bards, or about unusual current-day harpists — or just cool facts about the harp that most people don’t know. By all means, please share the wealth! Just add your ideas to the comments below – include your name and website and we’ll try to add it to the posts whenever we can.
This post will be our go-to place for all the countdown facts, and YOU are our go-to mastermind group! So please chime in now … and often!
Then keep an eye on the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Facebook site, and check out my own Twitter & Facebook and watch what comes up on the Countdown!
Thanks so much!
Deborah … and Mayatu (and so you can meet her, here’s a picture of her!)
I don’t know if this bit of trivia would be of interest to anyone but harpists, but it is something I have been surprised to find that even most harpists don’t know.
The anchor that is used to keep the thin strings from pulling through the sound board of the harp, sometimes a bit of thicker string, or a wooden dowel, or a peg of some kind, actually has a name. It is called a Spline.
As for stories, my favorite story is about my favorite Irish harper, the late, great Derek Bell. His colleagues in The Chieftains used to refer to him as Ding Dong Bell, because he was often forgetful and did silly things.
One time he was headed to the airport to catch a flight with the Chieftains to begin a tour. He was running late and as he was rushing out the door he grabbed a bunch of last minute things he almost forgot and dashed to the airport.
Well, among the things he grabbed were a bunch of harp strings and a travel alarm clock. When he tried to go through security the security agents saw the items in his pocket and thought he was wired with a bomb. It apparently took a while to clear things up, but he and the boys managed to just make their flight.
Wow! Thanks! Now, the next time I need a SPLINE I can ask for it! And I love the story about Derek Bell — the shape of a bunch of rolled-up wire strings and an alarm clock would definitely look like a bomb! Good for me to remember when packing for my next tour! Thanks!
A friend has been researching and building an ancient Egyptian harp: http://spinningwheels.livejournal.com/73475.html
Very cool!!! This is like the first harp I ever saw, in a book about ancient Egyptian art — a woman was walking and playing a harp like this, and that was one of the images that stuck in my mind and made me sure it would be possible to strap on a harp and play it! I love that he’s making one now!
‘Hang the harpers wherever found.’
Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Proclamation of 1603 made after it was discovered those pesky harpers were spreading political intrigues as well as the odd merry reel and jig.