First entry in the Urban Harp series. This one was taken during the infamous “Harp Quest” of 2002. (Boy, does that old page look dated now!)
The goal of the Millennium Harp Quests (which took place around the world after the turn of the new century) was to expand awareness of the instrument, encourage people to play in public, and generally spread lots of warmth and good feelings (Peace on Earth through harping – not a bad sentiment).
As a reward for finishing my personal quest (which was to play at 25 bridges and locks throughout central Ontario) I received a lovely little 19-string hand-made collapsible (!) Paraguayan-style harp. It has had a place of honour on top of my piano ever since, and still gets played regularly. It was even used to compose several tunes for small harp for my book, “A la Mode”.
You can click on the picture for a bigger version of the image.
Some pics of my lovely new Dusty Strings Allegro (26 strings, Sapelle wood, built-in pickup).
The factory installed pickup is very cool, no extra wires to worry about, just plug in and go.
It’s got three points of pickup on the inside of the harp (only one is visible in the photo), so it should perfectly cover the full range of the instrument.
Update: The built-in pickup rocks! Tried it out with the little Pignose amp, and it worked beautifully.
Don’t know how it will interact with more sophisticated sound systems, but the lack of preamp didn’t seem to be an issue. Just tweaked the settings on the Pignose a bit, and it sounded great. Also could turn up the wee amp higher than before, so more volume with less feedback problems.
Now I just wish I could magically install one on my big harp (and no, drilling brand-new holes in the Wanney harp is not an option; call me paranoid).