On Saturday I went to a local SCA event with a friend (it’s H — hi H! she’s getting so many mentions. Ah the fame). For those who might wonder, SCA stands for the Society for Creative Anachronism. Their website says: “The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. … Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more.”
This translates to: loonies who make their own medieval/rennaisance clothing and armor, learn and practice various arts and crafts like making crossbows, embroidery, calligraphy, heraldry, and sword fighting. In other words, they rock, if a bit unconventionally.
This was an arts events, with items entered into competition. I was just along for the ride, and the excuse to wear the medieval garb I made back in college (or, the parts that still fit me, not my snazzy bodice, sad to say), and to play my dear harp, Tikvati, who has sat neglected in the closet for far too long. (No, sad to say, I am not a member, this is only the second event I’ve ever been to. I never said I wasn’t a loony too though. Just not an official one?)
Me, full length (pay no attention to the wonky hems, please), and my baby, Tikvati. She is a cherry wood, 25 string lever harp, made by Heartland Harps (though they don’t make this exact model anymore), range from E below middle C to A (which is what, 3 1/2 octaves? something like that).
H & I, we both play Irish whistle (aka penny whistle or tin whistle — except mine is made of wood, but y’know). Tragically, I’m actually better at whistle right now than harp — my fingers were definitely hurting after only a couple of hours of light playing. Time to build up those callouses again… The best thing about harp though, is that even a raw beginner (or very out of practice player) sounds decent on it (given adequate tuning, which my baby holds quite well). Unlike, say, a raw beginner on the violin. Harp has such a charming sound….
Everyone’s prettier with a harp…