Harper Tasche: Millennium Harper of Washington State


Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 19:07:51 -0500 To: jl@harpingforharmony.org From: "Harper Tasche" Subject: [Harplist] Harping for Harmony quest completed!

Hi everybody! I just got home from the last stop on my Harping for Harmony quest, which was to play at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. I took my little Argent Fox 44-string cross-strung, which has been my companion on most of this quest, and had a marvelous time playing unamplified in the enormous marble rotunda between the Senate and House chambers. The sound of the harp just rolled around and around in there, and it was a lot of fun watching people on the four stories open to the rotunda try to find the source of the music (me, sitting on the second floor near the Great Seal of the state which is set into the floor and gold-plated). It felt especially appropriate to end my quest there, surrounded by each of the county flags and the legislative center of the state.

It's been an amazing experience to play in every county in Washington, all 39 of them since January first. I've driven literally thousands of miles to do it, and have played in all kinds of circumstances: family reunions, state parks, memorial sites, caf?s, historical centers, retreats, picnics, hospitals, aboard boats, in regular concerts, live on the radio, in the high desert, at the ocean, and even at a volcano observatory.

Seven of my thirty-nine stops were professional engagements to one degree or another. Only one other was scheduled in advance, when I was the focus of an hour-long live broadcast ("Soundscapes" hosted by Norvel Trosst on Spokane Public Radio). The other 31 were harping-on-the-spot, which was generally a whole lot of fun. Anti-terrorism, if you will, where instead of something suddenly horrific happening, this bearded guy pulls up, jumps out of a truck, grabs a... HARP, and plays music! :-)

One of the most common surprises has been when people realize that this is a volunteer effort: nearly everyone assumes that I have a grant from the government, or some giant philanthropic organization, which is paying me to drive all over the state and play harp. The idea that someone would do something like this, just because they thought it would be a good thing to do, has maybe been as powerful an experience for people as having live harp music appear without warning -- that perhaps there are ways that they, too, can spontaneously make life a little nicer for others.

I'm grateful to John Lozier and the Harping for Harmony Foundation (http://www.harpingforharmony.org) for providing the idea, and a structure, to get folks "out there" to bring their special touch with the harp to more people, places, and circumstances. This has been a uniquely rewarding experience for me, and I'll always be glad to have done it.

I heartily encourage everyone on this list to take their harp out into the world more often. It doesn't have to be a big deal, even sitting and playing quietly in a local park is good. Just hearing the voices of our harps as part of ordinary reality is truly a rare and beautiful gift which we can all bring to our communities, our regions, our countries, and our world.

As always -- Harper Tasche, Millennium Harper of Washington State

(below is Harper's original declaration from early 2001 - JL)

I, Harper Tasche, hereby declare my intention to claim the title "Millennium Harper of Washington State," by virtue of playing harp in each of Washington's 39 counties between January 1 and December 31 of 2001.? To document my claim I will obtain a signature from a witness in each county. This is where I was born, where my parents were born, and where I have lived most of my life; it only seems fitting that I should combine my ancestry with my calling.? :-)

Now, to sit down with a good map and my calendar... !!

Blessings and peace, as always --

Harper Tasche, www.harpspectrum.org, 1122 E Pike St #1397, Seattle WA 98122 USA