At the World Harp Congress, not only harp companies like Lyon&Healy, Salvi, and Camac brought their gorgeous harps to showcase and to sell, I also had the chance to see different kinds of harps from all over the world.
Rüdiger Oppermann from Germany gave an improvisation workshop with a celtic harp he made himself. He talked about what he earned from Asian, African, and medieval European music.
At the Early Harp concert on the 24th, Maria Christina Cleary (Ireland/Netherlands) performed on a Beat Wolf Louis XVI single action harp which was loaned by the Australian National University. As Andrew Lawrence-King (Germany) performed on a Spanish baroque harp with the “World Harp Orchestra” (instruments including dulcian, baroque guitars, and percussion).
On Wednesday night, we went to the Taronga Zoo. On the way there (when we were on the ferry), we watched an amazing performance of the Paraguayan harp. Who knew that the red strings are F’s and the blue strings are C’s on the Paraguayan harps! At the zoo, there was a performance of Chinese Lever Hongkou Harp during a pleasant reception.
Not only that the traditional harps from all over the world are showcased, there were many electronic harps.
Here’s a picture of Harps and Harps’ (an Australian custom harp maker) Kyle 36 Acoustic/electric harp.
The Delta harp was also specially showcased. It is a special electronic lever harp that gives people new ways of playing the harp. The Delta harp is made by Joris Beets (an Amsterdam-born designer and multi-instrumentalist based in London), and it’s individually handmade. Remy van Kesteren did some improvising on it at the Grand Prize Winner concert, and it was very unique and exciting. You can check it out at www.delta-harp.com
It is eye-opening to see how many different kinds of harps there are in the world, and I really encourage everyone to look them up and give them a try if you have the chance!
P.s. The World Harp Congress officially ended in the morning on the 26th, which I will blog about as soon as possible.