23 string Harp Guitar
Behold, the Harp Guitar! This very special instrument (that I designed myself) is available for Concerts and House concerts - for 'listening' audience events (e.g. not for background music).
For a truly unique listening experience I offer performances on an amazing and very rare instrument - a 23 string 'Harp Guitar.' This wonderful instrument has to be seen and heard to be believed!
Harp Guitars can have any combination of fretted and un-fretted strings and have been around for many centuries - longer than 6 string guitars in fact, and have a rich and varied but elusive history all across the globe.
They have a sound all of their own - bigger, richer and more resonant than any 'normal' guitar - and a wider range with lower sub-basses and higher super-trebles. The extra strings open up new worlds of musical possibilities and sonic scope.
This instrument has a normal 6 string guitar neck, but also 7 low 'sub-bass' strings (like a Theorbo) and 10 high 'super-treble' strings which sound a little like a zither.
I designed this modern incarnation of the instrument myself (inspired by other similar versions) and had it made by renowned UK luthier Stuart Mewburn - a lengthy and challenging process that took nearly 5 years, but that's another story...
I compose new and original music for Harp Guitar and that was my main reason for creating this instrument. As a composer I draw inspiration from people, events and places I have known and tend to write in a semi impressionistic way, often trying to capture the mood or spirit of a particular place or person.
I also play works by other Harp Guitar composers who have inspired me and also arrange existing guitar repertoire (Bach works well) and popular songs for it.
To hear how it sounds, have a look at these videos below.
Harp Guitar Videos
The Shepherd in the Temple - Fretless HG, by Jon Pickard
"Stream of Intention" by Jon Pickard
"Liquid Moonlight" (Fretless Harp Guitar) by Jon Pickard
"In the Garden of Dreams" by Jon Pickard
Londonderry Air (O Danny Boy) arr. J Pickard
"The Princess & The Walnut" by Jon Pickard
Down By The Salley Gardens (Yeates/Britten)
"Scallywag's Breakfast" by Jon Pickard
"Wayfarer On The Path To Holy Cross Abbey" (John Doan)
"Beating Heart" by Jon Pickard (Harp Guitar)
Un Flambeau Jeanette, Isabelle / Three Ships, Trad.
"Festival" (John Dean), performed by Jon Pickard
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin (Claude Debussy), arr. J Pickard
"St Patrick In The Spirit" (John Doan)
"Prelude / Ave Maria" J.S. Bach, arr. J Pickard
"Bonny Portmore" Trad. Irish. Arr. J Pickard
Herm Trilogy i. "St. Tugual's Retreat"
Herm Trilogy ii. "The Old Spine Road"
Herm Trilogy iii. "Tides At Alderney Point"
"Resting On Jacob's Pillow" (John Doan)
Interview for Frome FM
Harp Guitar CDs, by Jon Pickard
Please click the images below for more info / download / order page