Kathleen Loughnane

What is your name / where are you from?
My name is Kathleen Loughnane.

How did you start playing the harp?
I cannot say I was enchanted with the shape and sound of the harp as a little girl; I would at that time only have seen harps in the hands of angels in stained glass windows.

Then, at the age of 12 – out of the blue – my mum asked if I would like to learn the harp. She had learned it would be taught at the school I was going to attend. Being one of a family of 5 girls and the forever recipient of hand-me-down clothes, my reply was a resounding YES! A bright span-new harp, all for me!

After that opportunistic yes, I worked at, and fell in love with, the harp – and it has been my dear companion ever since.

To the point where now – to misquote Pete Seeger – ‘How can I keep from playing?’

What does the harp mean to you?
The harp is my comfort, my meditation, my creative outlet.

It has engaged me with the wonder of music, the history of the instrument and the creation of the future out of the past.

It has given me the opportunity to be part of the joyous continuum – “the carrying stream” – of traditional music into the future.

What do you like most about Lá na Cruite | Harp Day?
Lá na Cruite is a wonderful, inclusive, celebration of the harp – in its versatility and its capacity to express the wide range of human mood and emotion. On this day, the harp will sound out all over Ireland, and – increasingly – further afield, in many varied ensembles and in its distinctive solo voice.