I’ve been playing the harp since I was ten years old. I started at a new school and acquired a new piano teacher and on my first lesson, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful carved golden harp in her music room. Some of my friends were learning too, and we’d sit in our school’s harp room at break times taking turns to play tunes. I begged for lessons and my parents gave in.
I took a break from the harp in my twenties, but a chance conversation with a friend who was newly engaged led to me offering to play at her wedding. At the time it had been a fair few years since I had touched a harp, and in this period I’d broken a thumb falling off a motorbike while racing at Cadwell Park. I set about finding a harp to see if I could even still play.
A local teacher, Danielle Perrett, soon became an inspirational mentor and a dear friend. She rented me a harp, unpicked all the reasons I had for giving up all those years ago, and then set me off on the most wonderful and unexpected musical journey.
Among other places, my harp has since taken me to the hills of northern Italy, an old brandy distillery in the Netherlands, a Norman castle in rural Essex, and now to a whole new life in Scotland.
I studied at the Trinity College of Music Junior Department in London and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I’m classically trained but I enjoy playing many different forms of music. My particular favourites include the French Romantic pieces that helped develop the harp as we know it today, and old jazz standards from the 1930s and 1940s.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with my electric harp and working with a mentor, Deborah Henson-Conant, to help me understand how the harp moves in and out of my life. I’m currently preparing for a new show and writing a book about my adventures.
When I’m not playing my harp, you’ll find me running in the hills near where I live in Glasgow, or hanging out with my graceful retired elderly lady greyhound Wendy.