Here are the two Youtubes, showing the sound of the harp before and after the work. Let me know what you think.
I have been thinking for a few years now about the shape of the inside of my harp, in light of the new information we have from Karen Loomis’s PhD research at the University of Edinburgh.
When I commissioned the harp from Davy Patton in 2006-7, the thing we were most lacking was info about the inside – the shapes of the joints, and the profile and thickness of the soundbox. Basically, we had to make a lot of educated guesses.
Since then, we have the CT-scans and other technical studies of the Queen Mary harp that Karen has been working on, and many of our guesses have turned out to be pleasingly correct, such as our choice of timber – willow for the soundbox, and a bent limb for the pillar – but we were quite wrong in our decisions on how to shape the soundbox interior.
Luckily, we had erred very much on the side of leaving the wood too thick, so last week I took the harp to Natalie Surina, of Ériú Harps in Oughterard, Connemara, for her to cut a lot of wood from inside the soundbox.
Bha mi anns Uachtar Ard an dè airson an éiclips. Bha e latha gu math. I enjoyed seeing the eclipse and we had fantastic viewing weather all through the maximum, with clouds suddenly covering the sky about 3/4 of the way through.
Yesterday I passed through Granard, and stopped for a very touristy photo-opportunity at the Market House, where the Granard Balls were held in the 1780s, which gathered together the last of the old Irish harpers.
I am looking forward to the eclipse a week today!
I have been preparing the harp for some work I am planning on it. Continue reading Preparing the harp
Earlier today I listened to this newly-published interview with Allan MacDonald and Barnaby Brown, online at altpibroch.com. I think this is an excellent new development on this admirable website and I look forward to hearing future installments in this series!
I was interested to hear Allan’s comments on ‘cronan’, and reflected on its use in the harp tradition to describe the string an octave below na comhluighe. I was pleased to hear Barnaby picking up on its relationship with the bass drone of the bagpipe.