FAQ: Technical Stuff
Do you play for outdoor events?
Yes. However, because the harp is an expensive and delicate instrument, there are two guidelines that I ask you to follow.
First, please make sure the location you have chosen has a flat, dry, and level surface, approximately 4 ft by 4 ft, for the harp to rest upon. This space should have adequate lighting, but please avoid a location with direct sun if possible (or if not possible, please provide a standing umbrella).
Secondly, please arrange an alternate location indoors in case of inclement weather conditions. Strong winds or rain can easily damage the harp (it's made out of wood and can warp), and I will have to stop playing and move it indoors if it gets wet.
Do you require any additional equipment?
You do not need to provide any additional equipment for me. It is also not necessary to set up or rent an extra chair for me to use. I will bring my own bench, music stand, and any other equipment I may need.
Does the harp need to be amplified?
It really depends on the number of guests and the anticipated noise level at your event. If you are hosting an event that has more than 100 people attending or an event that will be held outdoors in a public place, you may consider amplification to cut over background noise, talking, etc. For wedding ceremonies, I do not typically use amplification unless requested because the harp projects well enough on its own and the noise volume is usually very low.
What is an amplification system and how does it work?
Basically, an amp is just a large speaker that plugs in to the harp and projects the sound across a large area. A pickup (microphone) attached to the back of the harp feeds the sound into a mixer (volume/sound control panel) and then into the amp, which ensures that the natural acoustic tone of the harp will not be distorted or altered in any way.
According to the guys at Guitar Center, who really know their stuff, my amp is the same model that Led Zeppelin used. In other words, it is big and quite loud. However, it is also cumbersome to transport. Because of this, I charge an additional $50 fee to bring my own amplification system to an event.
I highly recommend checking with the event coordinator or the venue hosting your event first to make sure there is an electrical outlet for me to use near the site, especially if the event is going to be held outdoors. You can also inquire whether your venue has a PA system, since I may be able to plug in directly to that instead of providing my own equipment.