Last September, a brief article published in the Daily Mail entitled “Natural Painkillers” echoed the interesting results of an American study saying that music, harp music in particular, can reduce pain in patients undergoing treatment. It is not rare that such studies show the impact of music in that matter. The results are such that some hospitals have now a harp therapist among their staff, and programs, such as the International Harp Therapy Program, have been set up in many countries. As an introduction to the subject, we asked the harp therapist Anouk Platenkamp to tell us what a day playing the harp in hospital is like.
A Breton Finn, another one Swedish. A Czech Breton, another one Swedish. A Swedish American, a Japanese American, an English Icelander, a Karelian Finn, a Belgian Swede, etc. Is the Nordic Harp Meeting the rendez-vous of travellers? One can find there those who are looking for something, and having found it one day want to share their discovery. Many things here seem to come from the past – the origins of instruments such as harp, lyre, hummel, langspil, and all the instruments which all of a sudden gave an authentic aspect in a present too rushed – but, in Järna, we are in the present.
The mill blades of the Netherlands turn again with a fresh wind. Regarding harp, the country has been the birthplace of many audacious projects: more than thirty years ago, the World Harp Congress was founded as an outgrowth of the Harpweken (Harp Week) on the initiative of the Dutch harpist Phia Berghout; created in 2007 by the Dutch harp players Sabine Meijers and Brenda Dor-Groot, the International Jazz Harp Foundation is based in the Netherlands. More recently, the Nederlandse Harpvereniging (Dutch Harp Association) and the Nederlandse Folk Harp Vereniging (Dutch Folk Harp Association) have launched a common event: Open Harp Dag. Centered on an international pedal harp competition held every two years, the Dutch Harp Festival also promotes other music played on different harps; workshops are scheduled all over the country with local teachers as well as musicians coming from abroad. (more…)