How People Like Their Harps
to Kelly Reese asking her opinion of her Celtic Harp:
been visiting with Rick Stanley about building a Tara 36 for me.
He said that you have a Tara that he built for you. So give me your
opinion-what do you think of it in all ways? I have looked at the
pics of them online, and they are beautiful-but I am very skittish
about buying a Harp that I haven’t played...Am trying to figure
out a way to do that before I take the plunge. Any info you would
Care to share would be so much appreciated! Thank you! Happy Harping"
Pat Lindemann, N. Dakota
(See Kelly Reese's response below)
response to Kelly’s email response below, Pat ordered a
Tara and 3 years later was still contacting us.)
"Still love the Tara!! Thank you...I was bragging on my Tara
and on your craftsmanship this past week at a church Camp. Take care
- Thank you!"
response to Pat's inquiry:
happy to talk about my harp. I completely understand your hesitancy
about buying a harp without playing it first-when I think about
it I can’t believe I did it. HOWEVER, it is the most splendid-sounding
harp I have ever heard or played. As beautiful as it is to look
at, it’s many more times as beautiful to listen to and to
The sound is
so rich and bright, it fills my house. Rick is a fantastic musician,
and plays the harp as he’s making it, he tweaks and adjusts
it so that he gets the most sound out of it, and man, does it work!
If I were in the market for another harp, I would order it from
Rick. He’s a master. So far I’ve heard four harps that
he has made, and they have all been splendid. The Tara, being larger
with a bigger sound board, is the most resonant.
I sound like
the Rick Stanley fan club president, don’t I? I think Rick
is an amazing artist, a natural musician, and I’d love to
help him get the recognition he so rightly deserves. Yup, I highly
recommend his harps!"
Kelly Reese - Iowa
Kelly playing her
harp is absolutely beautiful, and the sound is rich! With both the
overall shape of the harp and also the carvings, the harp has real
character and personality. Evan is thrilled; he especially enjoyed
your playing Lover’s Heart for him. Thank you so much! The Harp
is much more comfortable for Evan than his Teacher’s harp, so
the ergonomic design issues including Size and wood selection for
light weight have been successfully solved. The balance of the harp
is designed well so that the harp does not push him back when he is
Mike Lewis - Virginia
Evan with his Tara
you so much Rick! I absolutely love my Travel Harp. I never thought
that 30 strings could sound so full, so resonant. The basses really
sing and hold their note so long it sounds like my 36 string Swan.
The Cherry was definitely the right choice, beautiful and so easy
to carry around to sessions and workshops. Thanks again!"
Gwen - Fairfield IA
Gwen with her Travel
thought I’d say Hi and let you know that I’ve been getting
some good playing in on my new harp. The sound is filling out well
and I don’t know if it could be true, but it seems to sing
in the key of D! Maybe it’s my imagination but it seems to
sound best there. I am very happy with the Harp."
John Howley - California
to John Howley play his harp
love my harp!"
Corinne - Iowa
Tara harp, which Rick Stanley built, sounds more beautiful than any
other Celtic harp I have ever played. I am so happy with my Tara harp!
Rick and I talked before it was built; I told him what I would like
the harp to look and sound like, and it turned out to be beyond my
The sound is amazingly beautiful. The sound is very,very resonant,
very warm, yet bright and clear. The bass is deep with a ringing tone,
and top is like crystal and silk. It is very responsive to the player's
touch. I asked Rick for a certain tension on the strings, and he got
Not only does the harp sound great, but it looks so incredible on
stage. With its mystical lines, it looks as if it just walked out
of a fairytale. The colour of the harp's finish was just as I ordered;
the hand carvings with the lion paw feet are extraordinary, and the
exquisite hand-painting on the board was better than I expected with
the detail and colour. The harp's beauty is heavenly!
Rick Stanley's Tara harp is truly a work of art, a master piece! For
me, it is a dream harp! Thank you, Rick, for your great craftmanship!"
from Harper Don Durham after seeing
and hearing Rick's Tara Harp
While I knew from my sister or someone that you were making this
special harp, I didn't know that it sounded like some sort of portal
into harmony's own personal mystery garden. In all seriousness,
whatever that means, based on all I've been able to hear of the
Tara, I'd have to say that through your applied creative-artistic-intuitive-etc
faculties as well as your meticulous pragmatic-technical methods,
you've managed to bring nothing short of a living and working talisman
of natural magic into manifestation.
I'm sure that these harps are respected and loved by a lot of
harpers, and at the same time, I wonder if other than a very few
really appreciate the magnitude of what you've accomplished with
these instruments. I think probably most people intuit it without
actually realizing what's going on or how rare it is--the sort of
instrument that normally only comes out inadvertently, by accident,
for most harp makers. A number (though certainly not many) of the
highly respected harpmakers' harps sing, but not too awfully many
of them sing That song!
Here I am, finally having determined that the classic Tara harp
form is my all-time favorite among all the ones I've seen and loved--with
its gloriously high headed harmonic curve and just-so-arched pillar,
and its profile altogether that when brought back to the shoulder
looks to me like an offering--and then I come to find that you have
methodically and intuitively-spontaneously coaxed that ideal form
into viable communion with the heart and wholeness of Beauty's archetypical
harmonies and tuned it to the breath of her spirit. (Hey, how's
that for a testimonial, and from someone who doesn't even own one
yet?) Obviously, you've gone too far; the harp is quite beyond being
what it could possibly be--but such is not all that can be said
about the matter.
It can also be said that I must have one somehow. Heaven knows
how--but heaven knows, for sure, as there is absolutely no doubt
in my mind.
Thank you for everything, Rick,