Become a Patron of the Arts for Siobhán Armstrong

Hello, friends.  Siobhan Armstrong, an Irish harper, and the director of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland, needs your help.  Siobhan is fundraising for a CD project that will feature the music of 16th Century Ireland.  On the forthcoming CD, she’ll play various harps, including her Kortier Trinity replica, and  will be accompanied by a range of musicians, including, as she explains on the video, a number of “up and coming” young Irish musicians and singers.  What a great project to support!

Please join me in immediately supporting this crowdsourced campaign, which will end on July 26, 2014.  Here’s the link to the secure FundIt site (  Give a little if you can, and give a lot if it’s possible to do so.  Now, go watch the video, be inspired, and support this magnificent instrument’s revival.

PS:  I neglected to post information on the blog about a campaign that Simon Chadwick ran a few months back to support a concert series in St. Andrews, Scotland.   These projects are worthy of support, and you’ll feel the splendid surge of happiness that comes with providing 21st century patronage for players of the marvelous early Gaelic harp.

Wishing you a summer of good music and adventures,





Pale Rays of Sun at the Winter Solstice


Entrance to Bru na Boinne. Photo by Sue, 2009.

Today I awoke to a gray morning, but within an hour the pale December sun, low in the sky, asserted itself and softened the day.  This morning in Co. Meath, Ireland, people gathered in the dark passage at Newgrange to welcome the beam of sun down the shaft of the tomb.  The sun came out in time to illuminate the interior of the passage–for the first time since 2007.

The inside of the tomb is elegantly carved and constructed.  Recently I happened upon a high quality virtual tour of the interior. at Voices from the Dawn.  While I’ve visited the actual site twice, I’d recommend the virtual tour for a closer, leisurely gaze at the features of the interior.  Here it is.  Notice that there is a clickable link to either a regular or tablet version.  You might also enjoy a post from this blog entitled Winter Solstice in the House of the Dagda.

And now for a glorious concert by Ann and Charlie Heymann, performed at the Moore Institute at NIU Galway earlier this year, where Ann enjoyed a fellowship.  The title is:  Guth Binn agus Téada Oir: Bardic Voices, Horns & Medieval Harps.  Ann and Charlie perform a number of bardic pieces, some quite experimental.  The Donegal singer, Lillis O Laoire, performs with them.  This is a highly unique and rare opportunity to see Ann perform in concert, and it is well worth watching.

With warmest solstice good wishes,


Harp for Sale: Ardival Kinnellan

July 2014:  My friend reports that this harp has been SOLD.

A friend of mine, Sam, is selling her Ardival Kinnellan clarsach.  While I have no economic interest in the sale, I firmly vouch for Sam as a trustworthy, reliable person.  Please contact her directly if you are interested.  Thanks, –Sue
For Sale: Ardival Kinnellan 30-string wire strung harpharp wholeArdival’s web site describes the Kinnellan as “a large renaissance wire-strung clarsach, based on the image in Praetorius’s Syntagma Musicum of 1619, labelled “Irish harp with brass strings”. It shows an undecorated large low-headed harp with brass cheek bands on a thick string arm, a huge soundbox with three pairs of sound holes and a reinforced pillar. The Kinnellan is made entirely of sycamore, likewise having brass cheek bands, a hollowed-out soundbox, an exterior integral string band, brass string shoes and a pillar reinforced with a T-section. The range of thirty strings is taken from the string scheme published by Edward Bunting in 1840, having just over four octaves running from bass C up to treble d”’. Six silver strings provide a rich bass, supporting the remaining brass strings. “ This instrument was purchased in 2007 new from Ardival and I am the sole owner and it is in excellent condition. It has come into a lovely bright voice and is a lovely harp to play. New the Ardival costs $4,322.54 plus international shippping (I also had to pay duty). The price for this Kinnellan in $3800 which includes a Cronkite case ($375+value), a full set of replacement strings and a small stool made to support the harp while playing. Shipping will be either Fed Ex or UPS and I will charge only the actual amount (estimate $35-40). The is also a matching music stand that is sold separately with a discount to the Ardival purchaser.


The stand was made by Mr. Sandman who specializes in stands and is quite delux–it has extra brass for adjustment knobs, a built in shelf to hold tuner, key, pencils etc. and a removeable larger shelf for sheet music and books not being used on the upper stand. Stand originally cost $550. Selling price is $425 or $375 to purchaser of the harp. Total package is worth over $5250. Were you to purchase the package-harp, case and stand–it will be $4175 plus shipping.

Contact for photos and further information.  UPDATE:  SOLD

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