Come Along for the Journey


Janet Harbison is one of the most celebrated Irish harpers of her generation. You can read our cover interview with her in the September/October 2011 issue of Harp Column.

Life’s experiences give music its richness

—by Janet Harbison

This much I know: life is a journey—a tremendous journey of learning—an adventure shaped by vague planning and random happenings. Everything that has surprised, delighted, terrified, and disappointed me has taught me something valuable. Those experiences have proved relevant at some point and expanded my capacity for understanding, empathizing, learning, and communicating what life has taught, and I’m still getting better at it, year after year.

I never chose to follow my path, as it was fairly well predicated for me. I expected to have a glamorous husband, charming home, three or four children—all talented, smart, sporty, good-looking, well-behaved, and, and, and… Ah, the fairy tale delusion! I had a great interest in medicine, but that was a path that welcomed boys.

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