Meet the team

From the Harp was a year old on 8th March 2018.  In the first year From the Harp has had 1009 harp interactions with a range of clients, including people living with dementia, mental health, brain injury, learning disabilities and physical health difficulties.  100% of clients said they would book from the harp again and harp therapy has been shown to increase mood, happiness and communication.

To celebrate I took the harps out for a drink, and will start introducing the team members including harps, gongs and humans from 9th March here and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Watch this space…

one today 2.jpg

The Harps

Sweet Maple

Fullsicle, 26 strings, full set of levers

Colour attributes: Unification, calm, simplicity, ethereal, spiritual, comfort, reliability, outdoors, pleasantness, quiet, endurance.

Favourite song: Amazing Grace – Andre Rieu version

Hobbies: Baking cakes, playing sweet sounding songs – how sweet the sound.

Sweet Maple was first in the tribe and the only harp of her kind to possess all her levers.  For this reason she doesn’t suffer fools gladly and feels that she could run the show on her own, all though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.  She enjoys all sweet smelling flowers and can often be found on the Common or in Southsea Rose Garden smelling the roses. She enjoys baking, and will put on a fantastic cream tea spread in the summer months.  In the winter it’s often bread and butter pudding with maple syrup.

Photographed at Emanuel Emanuel Memorial Drinking Fountain, Canoe Lake, Southsea.

IMG_0695

Black Out

Harpsicle, 26 strings, no levers

Colour attributes: Is black really a colour at all?  It reflects the light, and does not absorb it…..

Favorite song: Any Scandi Noir theme tune

Hobbies: Getting lost in a movie or a play, mindfulness, hiking

Black Out just cannot help but zone out, his concentration is poor and he’s always thinking about things gone by.  He’s forgetful and unreliable, but it’s his age, he’s vintage, reclaimed and it’s impossible to know what happened to him before he found From the Harp.  Black Out loves a box set especially the Scandi ones, he’s a binge watcher and hates having to go out for a gig when he’s in the midst of a series. Black Out got a clean bill of health at his check up at Pilgrim Harps in 2018.

Photographed on Jubilee Statue, Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth

IMG_0669

Mellow Yellow

Harpsicle, 26 strings, no levers

Colour attributes: Joy, happiness, optimism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, energy, warmth, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, enthusiasm, energy, balance, uplifting.

Favourite song: Mellow Yellow – Donovan

Hobbies: Chilling out in a cafe with a coffee, buying saffron in Akrams AKA Southsea Spice Cave.  

Mellow Yellow has quit sugar so hangs out a lot in Southsea Coffee and indulges in sugar free cake whenever he’s not having his saffron.  Mellow Yellow enjoys a bit of yoga and mindfulness, he would like to take a holiday on an ashram in India but so far has settled for being on the beach in Southsea.  Mellow Yellow lives in the moment and believes all we have is now.

Photographed on The Pioneer Statue Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth.

IMG_0682

Bluetube

Sharpsicle, 26 strings, levers on C and F

Colour attributes: the world’s favourite colour, trustworthy, peaceful, tranquil, calm, security, harmony, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, loyalty, cleanliness, unity, truth.

Favourite song: Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Hobbies: Watching videos on Youtube

Bluetube is addicted to watching and making Youtube videos.  Although the only thing that can tear him away from scrolling for new videos is Greensleeves.  Youtube is in a relationship with Greensleeves, although they try to keep this secret as Big Black has warned them that blue and green should never be seen.  Bluetube likes nothing more than watching videos of himself on the From the Harp Youtube channel, or others in his Rainbow tribe if he’s not in the video. He’s also well connected in the virtual harp world and knows who to watch and who to avoid.  

Photographed on Elvis, Albert Road, Southsea.

IMG_0688

Greensleeves

Sharpsicle, 26 strings, C and F levers

Colour attributes: positive, healthy eco-conscious, nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, spring, fertility

Favourite song: It’s not Easy Being Green – Kermit

Hobbies: Recycling, reusing and reducing rubbish, litter picking on the beach

Greensleeves is tired of the waste she sees around her all the time, she is doing her bit and is compelled to clean up after others when she sees them leaving waste.  She spends her time devising ways to reuse items others might view as rubbish, she has devised several ways to reuse her snapped harp strings. Such as beach pebble or shell mobiles, she is crafty too. Greensleeves is in a relationship with Bluetube, although her constant desire to watch environmental videos on Youtube, and to take Bluetube on litter picks on the beach is coming between them.  Greensleeves is helpless to seek advice from Big Black as she forbade the relationship as blue and green should never be seen.

Photographed on The Mudlarks statue, The Hard, Portsmouth.

IMG_0671

Orange Boing

Harpsicle, 26 strings, no levers

Colour attributes: energy, balance, warmth, vibrant, enthusiasm, expansive, invigorating, fascination, happiness, success, joy, sunshine, the tropics

Favourite song: Orange Crush – R.E.M.

Hobbies: bounding around on his space hopper, cycling, horse riding

Orange Boing, is resilient and will always bounce back.  He’s recently had a knock back from Sweet Maple who believes she is sweetness and light and Orange Boing is on the rebound.  Orange Boing can handle this and looks forward by keeping on bouncing on. He’s thinking about dating again, but is yet to find a suitable online platform, but he’s hoping to meet more harps at Harp on Wight, the Isle of Wight harp festival.

Photographed in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

DSC_0051

Purple Patch

Sharpsicle, 26 strings, C and F levers

Colour attributes: spiritual, regal, powerful, wealth, state of flux, creativity, change, nobility, royalty, spirituality, enlightenment, ceremony, wisdom, mystery

Favourite song: Purple Rain – Prince

Hobbies: Pole dancing, swimming, sudoku

Purple Patch is optimistic and believes her run of success and good fortune will last forever.  She enjoys being part of the Rainbow tribe and looks out for them all. She saves her positive vibes for all that play her.  In her spare hime she keeps fit by swimming and pole dancing, she always practices her dancing when she find herself on the tube in London as the poles are so readily available.

Photographed at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

IMG_0660

Rowdy Red

Harpsicle, 26 strings, no levers

Colour attributes: vibrant, stimulating, powerful, excitement, desire, love strength, strong passionate, warming and invigorating, energy, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, intense.

Favourite song: Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

Hobbies: Being obstreperous, running, making things and spending time at the Repair Cafe.

Rowdy Red loves an argument and is always picking fights with his rainbow tribe.  He likes to have the last say or note and loves it when he gets to play punchy tunes and he gets the big finish.  He is very practical and like to make things to assist the team with their work, he also likes to go to the repair cafe and either mend himself or something else.

Photographed on Pirate, Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth

IMG_1889

Big Black

Heartland, 38 strings, full set of levers

Colour attributes: Is black really a colour at all?  It reflects the light, and does not absorb it…..

Favorite song: Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Hobbies: Bird watching, paddle boarding

Big Black is a single mum, she has had a tough time bringing up the Rainbow tribe, and she has struggled to set a good example in rhythm, tempo, pitch and dynamics to the little ones.  However now they are grown up she is proud of their ability to be inclusive and welcome everyone as they would like to be welcomed themselves.  Big Black likes the way she can perform on her own and relishes her party trick that she is carbon fiber and can be picked up by one finger.

Photographed on Charles Dickens Statue, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

DSC_0027The Conch Shell horn / trumpets

Trumpets made from shells of large snails!  We hope no snails were harmed in the making of these trumpets, but rest assured they have found a good home with From the Harp where they are treasured and considered a gift from the ocean.  Conch shell trumpets are played in the Pacific Islands, South America and Southern Asia and Southsea! You may remember them from the Lord of the Flies or  Quetzalcoatl the Mexican god of wind and learnings trumpet.

IMG_1792

The Shruti Box

The shruti box works on a system of bellows and produces a drone sound.  It’s hand pumped and is a beautiful wood. It is predominantly used in Indian classical music, but it’s popularity is growing in the west.  As a term, the Sanskrit word is commonly understood to mean “the smallest interval of pitch that the human ear can detect.”

DSC_0022.JPG

Himalayan Singing Bowls

The Singing Bowls  originated in the Himalayan region over 4000 years ago.  Each singing bowl has its own colour, shape and personality.  They have a fundamental tone with several harmonics. The harmonic rich sound signature of the signing bowls is warm and comforting like a sonic cuddle and they can be deeply relaxing and gentle.

bowls on beach.JPG

The Koshi Chimes

Handmade in the Pyrenees by meticulous craftsmen.  Eight chords resonate with clear tones and rich overtones and form a lovely tone range leaving you in quiet wonder!

DSC_0013

The Crystal Bowls

The crystal bowls are a newer addition to the sound therapy ‘toolkit’, and probably have been used for the last 20 years or so. The frosted crystal bowls are made from 99% quartz sand which is mined from seams occurring naturally in the earth.  These bowls are precision made, making them less likely to produce harmonics, they have a clear pure sound and are a lovely contrast to the singing bowls.

IMG_0650The percussion!

Plenty of it! No community musicians tool kit is complete without these guys for games, rhythm, soundscapes and improvisation, boomwhackers, bells, drums, shakers, guiros, glockenspiels, cabasas, soundshapes and more!

fullsizeoutput_18b4.jpeg

The Gongs

The Chau Gong

Chau Gong hand made in Wuhan, China.   The bronze is an alloy of 77% copper and 23% tin and is virgin material.  This gong gives a distinct sound and produces rich overtones, it has a wide range of volume, and is considered very grounding.  The gong is slightly convex with a slight rim, the centre spot and rim are left coated on both sides with the black copper oxide that forms during the manufacture of the gong, the rest of the gong is polished to remove this coating.

IMG_0685

The Symphonic Gong

The Symphonic Gong has a slightly raised surface with a harmonic and universal sound structure. The fundamental note of the gong is balanced with the instrument’s complex overtones. It has many harmonic sounds in its sound sphere.  Several sounds come from the Symphonic gong with a range of mallets used at various striking points.

fullsizeoutput_18b5

Feng Gong

Traditionally, Feng (wind) Gongs are played with a large soft mallet and possess that authentic and true gong sound typified by brilliant shimmer and can be used to help focus meditation and in spiritual ceremonies. Wind Gongs are flat and lathed both sides,with a high pitched, heavy tuned overtone and long sustain.

DSC_0026

Chiron

The Chiron gong resonates at the approximate musical note of D#. Chiron represents the wounded healer – a bridge between the material and spiritual. In ancient times Chiron was a centaur and a god of healing, and in later mythology he was a teacher of heroes and an oracle. In modern astrology, Chiron stands for the deep karmic wounds that span many generations, and it is these that this planet gong works on. Chiron teaches us to fulfil our ultimate potential by moving forward with strength, compassion and wisdom to achieve our true destiny.

chiron 1.JPG

The Mallets

The mallets! A variety of mallets bring out a range of tones and harmonics from the gongs, you can never have too many mallets!

fullsizeoutput_18cd.jpeg