Harpress

harpist – a person playing a classical harp
harper, harpress – a person playing a folk or traditional harp

Harpress - Barbara KarlikI have been playing the harp since 2001, learning from books and in workshops with Ann Heymann, Siobhán Armstrong, Javier Sainz, Paul Dooley and Andrew Lawrence King.

I’ve always wanted to play the harp. When I started working and playing with the Ould Land Celtic band, my dreams began to take shape. When, browsing the Internet webpages of craftsmen and shops and saw harps with metal strings, I was lost. The sound of such strings was always more to my liking on guitars, and thus I decided to try and get such an instrument. With help from Robert Parry, a Welsh friend living in Poznan, I  purchased my first harp in 2001 – Shirka (Limerick Lap Harp from the Musicmakers Kits company) and after getting it assembled by the Poznańian luthier Mirosław Baran, I  started learning how to make it produce sounds. My first guide was the Gaelic Harpers First tunes by Ann Heymann. After three years of working on my own with the book, I  managed to contact the founder of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland – Siobhán Armstrong. My subsequent trip to Ireland opened totally new possibilities to me; at first a long lesson with Siobhán, and then participating in the summer harp school Scoil na gCláirseach, in Kilkenny. There I learned from Siobhán Armstrong, Ann Heymann, Javier Sainz, Andrew Lawrence King and Paul Dooley and I enlarged my library with the Coupled hands for harpers. The knowledge I gained in Kilkenny allowed me to choose a new instrument, and in  2006 with some help from my friends, I contacted Leszek Pelc, who on the basis of a translation of Harps of Ireland and highlands by R. B. Armstrong, constructed a cláirseach with the same dimensions of the Queen Mary’s Harp displayed in the museum in Edinburgh.

Also, I’ve been learning to sing since 2001, under the watchful eye of Donata Hoppel. During my lessons I have been working on a classic repertoire, and with the harp I’m using a version between opera emission and , since Irish ballads are very demanding as regards the range of the voice.

I’m currently living in Gdynia and I perform in Poland and abroad.

I have participated in the creation of such theatrical performances as “The Story of Saint Patrick” (“U Przyjaciół” Theatre) and “The History of Ireland Written with Music and Dance” (a project done by the Polish-Ireland Society in Poznań)

I have a technical degree in Animal Breeding, and my interests include dance, music, falconry, horseback riding and role-playing games.