Dalharrold Wind Harp – Mackay Clan

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Client: Lord Tanlaw - Simon Brooke Mackay

Location: Northern Scotland, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist

Ross Barrable

Soundscapes International Inc

Client

Simon Brooke Mackay

Tanlaw Foundation

Art Consultant

Phil Diduca

Kelpie Woodlands

Overview

Simon Brooke Mackay commissioned this wind harp as a memorial to the Battle of Dalharrold and the Scottish “Clearances”. He requested a design that would honor the Mackay Clan and be able to withstand the heavy gales of the northern Scottish highlands. We agreed upon a stainless steel construction with 9 tunable titanium strings. The harp stands 12.5 feet tall and has a sound hole designed with the Clan Mackay crest cut into the soundboard.

Goals

Goals : Create an memorial sound sculpture that will endure the ravages of time in an intense northern Scottish landscape and sing its healing melodies for years to come . This memorial is designed to honor the Mackay Clan and it's struggles to defend their right of domain through the centuries past. The wind harp has been give the name "Harp of Dalharrold" in honor of the Battle of Dalharrold . It was here that the Scots won the final battle with the invading Vikings and drove them back across the water from whence they came and never to return.
This harp is also created in Memorium to what became known as the ''Highland Clearances'', it was not just a hundred or so victims who suffered eviction, but tens of thousands of men, women and children being evicted, often violently, from their homes to make way for large scale sheep farming. This wind harp is easily accessible by single track forest service roads and the installation site has seating to accommodate those visitors to enjoy the haunting call of the Wind Harp as it sings its timeless melody of peace .

Process

Lord Tanlaw contacted Soundscapes International in April 2016 and requested to have a wind harp built that could withstand the climate of the norther Scottish Highlands, and be designed as a memorial sculpture to honor the past suffering of many of the Scottish Clansmen through the Clearances ( 1748- 1850). We traded many designs, ideas and tunings back and forth and after 2 years arrived at an accord with the current deign complete with titanium strings that are tuned to the Pythagorean scale based upon the cosmic frequency of A= 432 Hz . The coat of Arms needed to be incorporated into the design in some form and when the idea arose that we create a sound hole in the likeness of the Coat of Arms the project moved forward and we began fabrication. The collaboration process was totally organic and unfolded very naturally and the artist was invited to participate in the installation at the site in Dalharrold Scotland September 2018 . Phil Di Duca identified and prepared the wind harp site complete with footer for permanent installation and foot path to the site. Phil's assistance was very instrumental in all aspects of the installation.

Additional Information

Rosal Wind Harp - "Spirit of the Wind" in memory of Christina Mackay , Haiku for Wind Harp - Aeolian fifth - key for timeless unison, with those departed. * by Simon Mackay 18 January 2019, location coordinates - Lat.58.39N Long. 4.20W.