July 4th 2021

Finding the Secret Stories of Ancient Harps

Listen to the HHSI's Dr Karen Loomis on this American podcast

Maureen Buscareno's 'Moon over the Trees' podcast is a treasure trove of interviews with leading scholar-performers involved in the modern rediscovery of the early Irish harp. Recently Buscareno has interviewed doyenne of the modern revival, Ann Heymann (listen here), and also HHSI director, Siobhán Armstrong (listen here). 

This latest episode is a fascinating interview with the HHSI's Dr Karen Loomis, on Loomis's background, training, and current research projects in the field of early-Irish harp organology (listen here). 

Among the subjects covered is an HHSI project at the National Museum of Ireland that Loomis led in 2020, to make a scientific survey of the 18th-century Hollybrook harp. You can find the research outputs as a free, public resource on our website here.

Listen, in this podcast, to the story of how she figured out how to see all the decoration on the harp, which has been invisible for the best part of a century now.

Karen is giving an illustrated talk – Queen of Music: The Early Irish Harp – at Scoil na gCláírseach–Festival of Irish Harp this month (July 2021). You can access it 25–29 July, PLUS two concerts, for €20 here.

You might also enjoy a podcast episode with Irish-harp historian and early harpist, Nancy Hurrell here.