New Zealand Harp Society
Music for me is a mode of discovery, a language which connects us with the intelligence of our universe. I enjoy using my inner hearing and senses to find music in the world around us - the myriad vibrations hovering behind our perceived reality. I like to do musical research projects, and I will most often present my findings in a kind of arty situation which is my favourite kind of performance.
I’ve been playing harp for nigh on forty years, and had the good fortune to play music around the world - many cultures and styles from symphonies to jazz, folk pop trad, the lot. Recently I studied the resonance of plants, and there I've found the music that I most love to play. My harp students often ask me to write out some tree or flower music for them. I also love to show people how to hear it for themselves. I teach harp and resonance music in workshops, schools, privately and online.
My harps include a Lyon and Healy Style 23 named Thizbee, a well-loved old style Andrew Thom named Red, a couple of colourful home-made cardboard harps which get high rotation between children and forests, and a guzheng.
I'm a proud Oceanic woman - Samoan Australian Kiwi. Born in Wellington, I've lived in Melbourne, Istanbul and now Cairns. I enjoy weaving, painting, gardening, reading, being in nature and spending time with my family.
My harp journey started as a young child. I was fascinated with the harp. As a 7 or 8 year old, attending NZSO concerts, I would always look for "Principal Harpist - Rebecca Harris" on the programme. Decades later I attended my first harp lessons.
Although I had studied other instruments, progress on the harp was slow and more challenging than I had anticipated. Over subsequent years I have been grateful for the encouragement of teachers, other adult learners, as well as younger harp students. I've tackled the challenge of sitting harp exams and taking part in performances and workshops. I've also had the privilege of attending harp events in New Zealand and overseas, and online (especially since 2020).
My fascination with the harp continues as I enjoy expanding my repertoire, creating music with other harpists, socialising with harpists, listening to harp performances, and seeking opportunities to learn more about this wonderfully unique instrument.
Harrison Chau (Auckland)
I currently play on an Aoyama Princess Sakura, aside from its elegant design I adore the instrument for its sweet tone.
I began harp lessons at the age of 16, having previously studied the cello and piano. I am currently completing an Honours Degree in Harp Performance at the University of Auckland with Yi Jin. I'm so delighted and incredibly honoured to be a part of the committee and look forward to meeting more of the harpists in our community, my harp journey has been all the more enjoyable because of the wonderful people I've been able to meet through harp playing.
Michael Chappell (Auckland)
Tiffany Baker (Wellington)