March 7, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 9

Harp duo promises 'fast and fiery' pieces

A lecture and performance by Californian harpists Portia Diwa and Diana Stork will be held at the library March 26.

The half-hour lecture, on the history of the harp, is from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. The concert is from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both events are free.

Stork, who performed in Haines about 10 years ago, said she and Diwa will be bringing two Celtic-style harps, a medieval, gothic “harpsicle,” and a small African harp called a “nyatiti” to Haines.

Stork said though harps are generally perceived as soft, gentle instruments, she and Diwa will be playing some “fast and fiery” Latin-influenced melodies in addition to more classical Celtic music.

“There’s a lot more to the harp than you think. We’ll be showcasing that the harp is way more versatile and has way more potential than the classical pedal harp in the orchestra and white wine and women in long chiffon gowns,” Stork said.

The two will also perform some of their own compositions. Diwa described their sound as “California Celtic,” a fusion of classical Celtic, modern rhythms, and contemporary jazz sound.

Diwa, who started studying with Stork when she was 9 years old, said she has been playing with Stork for the majority of her 20-year harp career.

Stork is the director of Festival of Harps, a multicultural music fellowship, while Diwa is the director of Healing Harp, which provides therapeutic bedside harp music for patients in a hospital setting.