I recently completed a project for the local Waldorf School.
Kevin Meyers asked me about creating a Kinderharp for the classroom. I agreed. For those who may not know about Kinderharps:
The Kinderharp is a small lyre strung with 7 strings which are tuned to a pentatonic scale. There is no resonance chamber, so the instrument is a delicate, quiet singer, but sweet and dotted by sparkle and shimmer.
My knowledge of how, exactly, the instrument is used in the classroom is limited, but from what I gather it is a tradition charged with mythic power and heavenly intentions.
I used some very special wood from my collection for this beauty. Mesquite and Osage Orange cut from a good friend’s land in the Great State of Texas make up the body and saddle of the harp. I chose some spare Ebony to act at the anchor point of the strings. After cutting, carving, and sanding I spent about a week French Polishing the instrument. Finally, I installed the tuning pins, strings and brought it up to pitch: D E G A B D E – lowest to highest.
What a sweet song. The most surprising part was found in holding the harp up to my chest and plucking the strings. The vibrations in the body moved me straight to the heart.
Thank you to all involved. What a gift to be asked to bring this into the world.