The Making of a Dreamharp by Danica Wichtermann
From November 23-25th 2007 I attended a Dreamharp workshop with Nis.
I have had little experience with carving and worked with wood a bit when I was at the Perth Waldorf School as a kid. I am now also studying Art at uni doing my majors in Painting and Ceramics, but creating a musical instrument out of a piece of wood has been a completely new experience of exploration of a unique material, which is able to express time, growth, colour, form and texture without you doing anything to it.
So how is it that a tree with its own characteristics can be carved into an instrument of even more beauty and character? An Instrument whose vibrations touch your soul, heal the heart and create a harmony of sound in whichever way you play it. How is it that carving the wood brings you to an inner peace where creativity flows and the mind no longer has control? Where you work with the natural grain of the wood and bring it to life in a sculpture, which expresses its uniqueness as well as expressing your own truth and an essence of self.
It is through a meditative state that you let go of the stories of the mind “I can't do this”,” it’s too hard”, “I have no experience”; by becoming part of the wood and sculpting it in a way which enhances all previous aspects of it. Being part of the wood also allows you to see shapes and patterns emerge, and pictures or symbols, which have meanings to you, become integrated into a design. The essence of life flows through your hands and a piece of wood slowly becomes an instrument, a sculpture, an artwork.
Through the creation of my Dreamharp I have learnt that sometimes you need to let go of all expectations to be able to fully live and be part of the experience. It was an amazing journey, which has taught me the importance of imagination, and of the letting go of what’s holding you back, as well as the value of a piece of wood, and the endless possibilities of creativity.
Thank you Nis,