I've been buying my harp strings from Mark Norris for a while now https://www.harpstrings.biz/ and I recently have been chatting to him online about the possibly of adapting some strings to make them suitable for a blind harpist friend of mine.
One thing led to another and I told Mark about my own customised string set up and that the intonation of my levers left a little to be desired. I was a bit nervous about telling a harp maker how I had dived in and started customising and playing around with a harp set-up, but he was extremely generous and said that he would have a good look at my harp and fix my levers so that it would be properly in tune! I know Mark doesn't normally look at other makes of harps apart from his own, so it was an extremely generous offer from him.
So this meant a long drive to his studio in Scotland which was 8 hours of driving in total there and back from my home. But I took lots of breaks and what a splendid drive it was. I had to stop to take a picture of the view near to his studio.
I have to admit to being a complete harp nerd, and visiting a harp makers studio is heaven for me! Absolutely amazing to see a craftsman at work and to see harps in various stages of being built.
Whilst I was there Mark showed me a new project of his called Nifty Harps, and they are absolutely fab. He's developing a professional model and I can't wait to order a 27 string one next year. They are affordable harps with a really good sound and have a wrap around detached soundboard. Think along the lines of cardboard harps, but made with rolled wood. An absolutely brilliant project https://niftyharps.scot/
Mark was fitting a string whilst we were chatting and I couldn't believe the speed he went at. So here he is demonstrating tying the perfect harp knot slowly for me, and it's still so quick! Amazing!
And to top it all off, Mark fixed the intonation on my harp.
Thank you Mark!
We are nearly there with a possible solution on the strings for blind harpists, and I'll post about that another time
Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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