Friday, 7 May 2010

My Latest Obsession

As anyone who is a friend of mine on Facebook knows, I’ve spent the last few weeks eagerly awaiting the arrival of my harp from Canada (you could say I’ve been harping on a bit). Two weeks ago, it was sent from a town in British Columbia to Richmond to Vancouver, where it got stuck because of an issue with the postal address. After a few days, it started moving again, landing in Memphis. From there, it went to Honolulu of all places and from there it finally went to Sydney. Yes, I thought, it’s finally on Australian soil. But then it got stuck again, while bureaucracy decided its future – to tax or not to tax, that is the question. Fortunately they decided not to tax and it was sent on its merry way across the Nullarbor to Perth and then to here.

There were two harps in the box. The harpist (harper?) who gave me the information about the harp in the first place, decided to get himself one at the same time, so they were both sent to him. He kindly tuned it for me and delivered it to me at work, albeit the wrong campus (our school has a primary and secondary campus). When my boss heard that it was at the other campus and that I wouldn’t be there until my lunchtime library duty, he got in his car and went to get it for me. Of course, he had an ulterior motive – he wanted to see it as much as I did!

As you can see ‘she’ is beautiful. She created quite a stir at school. Who could resist running their fingers over those strings? And she sounds as beautiful as she looks. I’ve done so much practice over the past few days that my shoulder aches and my fingers are complaining. I get so engrossed in trying to play (trying being the operative word) that I forget to take a break. It’s such fun though, picking out tunes and trying to get the right sound. I made up a tune today, just so that I could play something without anyone knowing if I was playing it wrong. My right hand, used to the guitar, loves it. My left hand is stiff, as if it’s saying, “you want me to do what?” But it will get the idea eventually.

Sentimental as I am, I’ve named her ‘Siomha’, an Irish name meaning ‘Peace’. I’m still waiting for an Irish friend to tell me exactly how to pronounce it.

12 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

That's a beautiful instrument. I assume you know how to play. You definitely have the creative gene: writing, illustrating, harp-playing! Have fun with it.

Kate said...

No, I don't know how to play, Laura. This is my challenge. Paul McCartney, when he turned 50 is quoted as saying something like '50 isn't old. If someone started taking piano lessons when they were 50, they could be a concert pianist by the time they're 60'. I like that philosophy!

Alesa Warcan said...

Yep, that's a lovely looking instrument, and what better way to celebrate a new instrument than playing til your fingers ache. Congratulations!
Can I come over and try it? ;j

Kate said...

Next time you're in the district, Alesa... :D

Alesa Warcan said...

Heheh... Thanks. :j
That day, I'll bring my Irish flute and we'll have a Celtic jam session.

jenny wilson said...

WOW what a beautiful instrement

Joanne Fox said...

Very beautiful! I am so pleased it (she) arrived safely. It must be wonderful to finally get your fingers on those strings. Wishing you many years of happy music-making together!

Clare said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clare said...

The more I see this harp, the more I want to hear it!

From my limited knowledge of Gaelic (Scottish), I would have guessed "Siomha" to be pronounced like the Hindu God, Shiva (Shee va)- but don't take my word for it!

(The deleted comment was mine because I inadvertently ascribed Goddess status to Shiva!)

Kate said...

Thanks Jenny and Joanne.

Clare - Even though I did a unit of Indian history at Uni, I'm embarrassed to say, I wouldn't have noticed your mistake. That's how the names site I found it on wrote it, but my friend wasn't sure, so she said she'd consult another Irish friend.

If you're expecting to hear me play it, you could be waiting quite a while...unless you visit!

Medeia Sharif said...

Harps always bring to mind ancient times and romance. It is a beautiful instrument. I can't recall ever hearing it played live.

Kate said...

You should hear it live, Medeia. It's a beautiful sound, very soothing, or uplifting, or both!