All Timothy Harps instruments are individually made to exacting standards from premium hardwoods and tone-woods in our climate controlled workshop.
My design philosophy is simple. I build harps that I would want to play myself. Because I am a professional harpist, I know precisely what I want from a harp in the recording studio, on stage, and in my own home. I also fully understand issues of portability, ergonomics, and toughness because I carry harps to my own gigs, play them for hours at a stretch, and want them to be able to take the abuse that inevitably comes their way in the course of performance.
As far as I am concerned, the most critical component of harp design is acoustics. I have devoted thousands of hours to testing components of harp design, researching acoustic theory, and applying that research and theory to practical production of quality instruments. In general, and in order, my design priorities are:
A rich, powerful, balanced and fully articulated voice. Volume is important, but balance is even more so — the bass treble and mid ranges of the harp’s voice need to be commensurate. In addition, every range of the harp voice should sing with clarity and warmth. Individual notes in the bass range need to remain clear and distinct, even when the harp is played with thunderous volume. The treble range should be pure and sparkling, but not brittle or over-bright. We have been told by artists and recording technicians that our harps can be effectively recorded with a single microphone; a testament to the balance of their voices.
Ergonomics. A harp may sound unbelievably beautiful but if it is uncomfortable to play it will eventually be laid aside. Our harps are small at the shoulder and easy to reach around, rest upon the musician with a feather-weight pressure of between 8 and 16 oz, and are light enough for the average harpist to carry them without difficulty. Even our Storm King 40 string is only 27 lbs, and will fit in the back of a Suzuki Swift hatchback.
Durability. If a harp is to give years of service it must be toughly made, carefully joined, and well finished. Obviously, no harp should be subjected to abuse but with sensible care it should be durable enough to be your musical partner for decades.
Aesthetics. We want you to fall in love with your harp’s looks as well as its voice. It should be a pleasure to hold, a delight to see in your home, and a reflection of your professionalism and creativity on stage. Our harps feature clean attractive lines, sinuous, organic curves and sculpted accents, and a rich, burnished oil and wax finish. In addition, you may wish to have your harp ornamented, with carving, illumination or inlay in a style that best suits you as an individual.