Cycling across Europe with a harp

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Have Harp, Will Travel. My Cycling Adventure across Europe May-October 2015

Follow my adventures with me on this blog as I cycle across Europe on a tandem with my husband, Fred. I have already toured the workshops of several harp builders, been a judge in a Breton Harp Competition and have met quite a few harpists. All this while, cycling with a harp in the trailer. Crazy, but do-able because it is a carbon fiber harp following us, like a triangular tail. The harp has proven to be virtually indestructible. Not even one string has broken despite all the sun, rain, rough terrain and sharing our 3 person tent. (2 people, 1 harp). I use my Heartland carbon-fiber 36-string Infinity model to play in the Children’s Hospital where I work, so it was just so tempting to take it with us on our journey. http://heartlandharps.com/model-infinity.html

The biggest obstacle I have as a professional harpist is finding time to be creative. I love arranging and want to compose and learn more tunes that I don’t use for background gigs. Part of it is lack of discipline, but after a crazy day of driving around my kids, teaching and rehearsing, I just don’t have the interest, not to mention energy to compose or arrange. I can practice under pressure, but I’m not creatively inspired under pressure.

This last summer with the war in Gaza just sucked all the creative energy from my being and I knew that I needed to get away and renew my faith in humanity. Several years ago, my husband Fred and I started planning our big adventure. We wanted to take advantage of our ‘window of opportunity’. Our kids are independent and it was our chance to escape the fast-paced life at home and get out of the car, slow down and breathe.

Fred is posting our travel log and sharing it on my Facebook Page (‘friend me’, Sunita Staneslow to follow all the beautiful scenery and blow by blow account of our trip). This blog will focus on my harp adventures. I would love to hear from other harpists who have travelled by bicycle with their harp. And, I’d love to meet other harpists en route. Send me a message on Facebook if you would like to meet for a cup of tea and share a few tunes.

We decided to bike for charity. We are raising money to start a harp program at the Jewish/Arab Community Centre in Jaffa, just down the street from our home. Even a small donation will make a difference. Click here to learn more.

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About Author

Sunita Staneslow is a versatile harpist best known for her books of arrangements. Originally from Minnesota, she moved to Israel 15 years ago and is a frequent presenter at harp festivals around the world. You can read more about Staneslow in our interview with her in the July/August 2015 issue of Harp Column.

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