Before we left Toronto, when we were imagining what we might miss most about the big city when we moved to the Maritimes, I decided to take harp lessons.
Now I’ve always loved the harp. I remember sitting entranced at a performance of the Jeunesse Musicales as the musicians introduced their instruments, and the harpist played the solo from Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. But instead of harp lessons, I had piano lessons from the age of 6. I suppose a harp was out of the question — those concert harps cost more than a car.
Fast forward to 2006. There has been an explosion of interest in the harp, precipitated in part by the new popularity of the folk, or celtic harp. This is a much smaller instrument that uses levers instead of pedals to sharpen the strings for playing in different keys. They are much cheaper than cars, and a lot more portable than full-sized concert harps. I took lessons for a school year, 20 lessons in all, then I stopped. The harp rental and lessons were expensive, and at the time my passion for photography was eclipsing everything else.
But when we finally made the move to Saint John three years later, I bought a harp to bring with me. My partner bought a recorder. I’m not consistent at practicing, but the harp is beginning to sound pretty good, and the two of us are beginning to look for other people to play with, and maybe the occasional gig. We sat down and played with a violinist and another recorder player on Sunday. It was fun!
I would like to take more lessons, but it’s hard finding a harp teacher in this part of the country. So for now, I’ll focus on polishing what I know, and enjoying my beautiful harp.
Photo taken on October 23, 2009