At our recent Media Wedding Breakfast at the Kensington Roof Gardens London, I had the pleasure to listen to Aisling perform on her stunning, one of a kind, 23 carat gold harp from Italy.
Aisling calls the Salvi Minerva. ‘Minnie’ as Aisling affectionately refers to her, is breathtakingly beautiful – a treat to the eyes and ears.
- Images courtesy of Alison Bailey Photography
1. I hear your harp is quite new, where and what made you buy that particular harp?
‘Minnie’ as I like to affectionately call her, is a Salvi Minerva harp from Piasco in Italy. Hand crafted from rose wood, walnut and 23 carat gold, the Salvi Minerva is like the Rolls Royce of the harp world. I flew over in March 2010 to test drive her and immediately fell in love. I have a second concert harp which is a lovely instrument, but there is something extra special about Minnie. The quality of sound, the detailed carving and wood work, the gold engravings and finish – she is just breathtaking. A real joy to perform on, and for the person organising their special day – she’s not just an instrument, she is out of this world. It brings such a distinct touch of class and sophistication to any event. Especially in the UK which is spoiled with choice of wonderful venues.
2. When did you start to play the Harp?
I was all of six when I started to play the harp and immediately – yes – fell in love. I was interviewed for an Irish publication at an early age, having won several national competitions. When asked about the harp, I apparently said; ‘It sounds like an angel whispering’. Very sweet and innocent of me at the time, but years on – the harp still sounds like an angel whispering. It can be the softest, most gentle sound in the world, and yet can carry across a room of guests if needs be.
3. Do you have any key tips for brides when they are choosing their wedding music?
Pick a musician who you are wowed by and trust. Then, park the opinions and go with any piece of music, or song that you like the sound of. In the huge mission that is organising one’s wedding, it is easy to loose sight of the simple things – what do you like? With a good musician, they should be able to arrange this for you, or advise you if they think there might be better music out there for you.
4. What is the post popular piece of music you are asked to play at weddings?
The classics are always the most popular. The traditional wedding marches, Bach’s prelude in C Major (which Gounod later used for the accompaniment to his Ave Maria), Gabriel’s Oboe, Pachelbel Canon… I would have a top five in those but if I had to choose one? Pachelbel Canon in D Major. Without doubt the most popular wedding anthem of all time!
5. How many times are you usually asked to play at a wedding?
Usually couples like to have some music as their guests arrive for the ceremony, music throughout the ceremony, and then some music to start their drinks reception. Sometimes, people decide to have live harp music throughout the entire reception and wedding breakfast. I have even had couples ask for solo harp recitals during various points of their reception which I really enjoyed because it gave the harp real centre stage and was something very memorable for the guests. I love when couples go for something above and beyond the norm – not everybody would share my sentiments, but I find it exciting and interesting when people demand more of me musically. Its fun and I feel really satisfied knowing that the couple are creating something extra special for their day and for all their guests.
Please contact Aisling to discuss your wedding music