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Larry with harp
Nadia Markey
Echoes of Erin
Larry Fisher made harp
Larry Fisher made harp

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Larry Fisher Harps

Winnipeg, MB Canada 

1 (204) 774-7600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1 (204) 774-7600      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
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How did you come to choose harp luthierie as a career?
    It's a calling, I think. I've been doing folk music since I was in university in the 60's, and was intrigued by the folk process, crafting instruments and developing programs to expose this genre to a wider audience. In 1978 I was lucky enough to meet and work with a talented folk instrument maker named Dennis Waring, who was also writing a book on building folk instruments at the time. I started building instruments for the general public in 1984, and have been both building and performing since then.

 

    More info here: www.fisherharps.com

 

Do you play?
    Yes, I've been playing harps since I built my first one in 1980. It was a wire-strung medieval 'clarsach' modeled after the 'Queen Mary' harp now in the Royal Scottish Museum. I started doing Artists in the Schools programs, playing in Irish bands and doing solo harp performing starting in 1983.

How long does it take to make a harp?
    That's the question most frequently asked! I can generally build and play-in a harp in about a month's time. As there is considerable 'downtime' while waiting for glue to dry, etc., I always have another one or two on the go in various stages of construction in order to keep myself productively occupied.

 

How important is wood selection when building a harp?
    I generally keep to the harder domestic woods (curly cherry, Claro walnut, Koa, quilted maple, curly maple) for the frame of the harp, as it needs to support about 900 lbs of tension, forever. The soundboard is very critical for the superior tone I'm trying to achieve with my harps, so I use only the best master-grade western red cedar and Sitka spruce. Due to the way I build my harps, the hardwood parts don't have much effect on the tone, so the selection, profiling and bracing of the soundboard becomes of paramount importance.

Why did you decide to market in Ireland?
    I've been a big fan of Irish traditional music for decades, and have made regular trips to Ireland to study the harp and their culture generally. In 2005 I introduced the 'Eireann' model, based on harps I'd seen in Ireland, and was immediately inundated with orders from both Ireland and the eastern USA. Now many top performers in Ireland are playing and touring with my harps, and that has only increased the demand.

 

 

quilted maple harp