I was born and grew up on the edge of the New Forest, and I loved being up on the heath, or at the beach. My mother taught me change-ringing on tower bells when I was just a boy. I went away to University and studied physics for one year before switching to archaeology. I spent many years drifting, travelling, making things, and reading, before turning to music.

I became interested in the old Gaelic harp traditions based on the earlier work of Ann Heymann. I started gathering information about the extant historical harps preserved in museums, and this led to commisisoning replicas or copies of them. I did a lot of work researching and experimenting with historical stringing and setup. I also started collating and studying the sources for old Irish and Scottish harp music, aiming to restore the old music to the reconstructed instruments.

I lived in Oxford for 8 years, and then in St Andrews for 12 years, before moving to Armagh in 2018.

Photo: Brenda Malloy
Performing at Verdant Works in Dundee, 2017
At the Kings Arms, Broad Street, Oxford
With the jouhikko or bowed lyre
Performing in St Andrews with the replica 14th century Queen Mary clarsach
In the National Museum of Scotland, with the 14th century Queen Mary harp. Photo: Ealasaid Gilfillan