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Day 46 – Heaven

Winter Harp LRThere’s a good reason why we think of heaven when we think of harps. To be transported, spiritually, emotionally and even religiously by the music of a harp is nothing short of heavenly. How much more so when it’s an entire ensemble of harps, with beautiful, achingly beautiful voices and an array of perfectly chosen accompanying period instruments?

Such is a concert by Winter Harp. From the moment they enter in procession, lit only by hand lanterns and singing the simple ancient plainsong melody “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” you are enthralled by their music. The four harps interweave rhythm, harmony and melody seamlessly. Only by watching the players’ hands very closely can you see who is playing what – and then it shifts. Then the singer starts, blended in with the harps at first, then surfacing and rising joyously above them. “Wait!” you say, “I know that carol!” And then again, “Wait! they’ve done something to it. Wonderful! Ingenious! Beautiful! Wow!”

And on and on it goes, making you cry, making you fly, making you laugh, making you sit back in awe. You chuckle at the clever percussion: what other harp concert would feature a drum solo? You gasp in awe at the sheer force and intensity that a harp can produce: who knew there was such power in heaven? Song after song, story after story. Until all too soon it’s over and they leave the stage,in procession once again with their lanterns and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

Still your spirit is in thrall, not quite ready to leave heaven just yet. You hold onto a little piece of it as you leave, and it shines out in your smile as you walk down the street.

Such is a concert by Winter Harp.

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