Written on 22nd April 2017.
I know this is long over due, but I got a new harp! and I LOVE IT!!!!
So today’s blog is about my brand new pedal harp, why I upgraded, and all my harp plans for the future! So, here we go!
My new harp is an Aoyama Orpheus 46, we got it second hand from Pilgrim harps, my parents gave me the money and I have to pay them back. I was going to get a loan for a pedal harp but my parents were willing to lend me the money so that was wonderful and meant I could get an instrument that was really great! I will be forever grateful for this!
Why I upgraded.
A couple of months ago I went to the Camac harp weekend here in Cardiff, It was wonderful and I played every single harp they had on display!
and as I worked my way round I got to the pedal harps and I just loved it! playing their pedal harps it was the sound that I always imagine my korrigan sounds like. When I was at the Hilton I used to pretend that it was a big concert grand… even though it doesn’t sounds like anywhere near to an actual concert grand.
So, I was playing all these gorgeous pedal harps and I went to all these workshops with all these other harpists with big real harps and I just felt like ‘I could do that…. but better!’. And honestly, humblebrag, but 2 weeks in and I kinda am…. so humble! I know!
So we started looking for pedal harps more seriously, I had been looking at pedal harps for about 4 years at this point. So I knew the market and what I was looking for etc. We tried a little Salvi Daphne 40 that had a great sound but the owner thought he had something far more valuable than what he actually had. I saw a great Erard on the Pilgrims website. (Brief plug, if you’re looking for a great second hand harp I would always look at their website! It’s great! Their website!)
So we went to look at a Dodd and an Erard their and they also had this Aoyama. We got to look around the workshop, which was great. And play their very expensive harps! I started playing the Dodd and the Erard and they weren’t what I was looking for. As someone who plays a lot of Jazz and needs some Pedals that will really take a beating over the years, these older harps weren’t going to be up to scratch. So, I played the Aoyama, it was perfect. A little big for me, which was something I considered when buying a harp I will be gigging with. But it’s still pretty portable and should be wonderful when I finally get it out and about!
We then spent about 4 hours in traffic trying to get home!
And of course I had a play when I got home! (I didn’t bring my trolley so we dragged it up to the patio at my parents house so I could have a play!)
The Gag. It didn’t fit my car…. so I’m swapping cars with my parents so that I can actually take my harp places. My mother is really worried about me getting my harp into a car singlehandedly. So here is a video of an older shorter harpist getting her harp into a car.
I’ll be fine! (She had to get it over that curb!)
Might make one of these though! Looks practical!
Anyway, The FUTURE!
What’s Harpening Next?
So, I’m transitioning all my material to my pedal harp… which in reality took less than a week… guys… not wanting to brag… buuuutt. I’m amazing at pedal harp!
This was day one. (DAY ONE! let that sink in) #Prodigy
And this is 11 days later….
Guys! I’m amazing!!!! I just gotta wait until I have a car that’ll let me take it places and you better watch out!!!
Back to the point.
So, apart from being insanely good at it, one of the main reasons I upgraded was for that sweet sweet pedal harp money. Because if you have an expensive, 6foot instrument that sounds as good as it looks, then you can charge accordingly. And I will.
The other reason is the rep I can now do! I CAN DO KEY CHANGES! There is literally nothing stopping now… except that I can’t take it anywhere yet… but that will soon change! So look out other harpists, I’m coming to snatch your giiiigs!
They don’t have gifs for harpists snatching gigs….. so… sorry…
Anyway, the plan is to keep my Korrigan for smaller weddings and for people who want that traditional look. Also, for venues that don’t have step-free access. (Looking at you Angel Hotel Cardiff… full side eye to your crazy car park access… get it together! I did yell at them last time… I will do a full post about step-free access)
Anyway, so this wonderful new harp will be my trusty harp for the foreseeable future, or 15-20 years until I buy something new that will suit exactly what I’m doing at the time. If I’m selling out festivals and concert halls and still playing on my Aoyama, then I might buy something more impressive. If I’m still playing gigs and weddings then I might get something super portable, smaller and even more light weight.
So, I’m still going to be playing lever harp every week as I still have to busk, because I gotta pay for this big harp somehow! (seriously, I have to pay my parents back for the big harp)
I have been toying with the idea of getting a DHC for busking and concerts that an electric harp would work wonders at. I think a DHC would be a wonderful addition and would work so well with my repertoire. However, I don’t think it would actually recoup it’s investment. The Pedal harp will pay for itself in three years. my Busking harp paid for itself within the first two months. The Korrigan within the first three months. I don’t think the DHC would make it’s £5,000 price tag back within the first three to five years. Which is the general time scale I set for harps.
So that’s it!