Mark Harmer

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I live in Gloucestershire, UK and for many years ran an online shop at - mainly specialising in violins and accessories, including a range of tuners, rosins, strings and Incredibows. It was an adventure - and we’re sporadically selling the rest of the fiddles / tools / strings on ebay at

I’m also a member of “Slainte” which is a 5-piece band and my solo and band videos are on YouTube at

The harp is one of my passions and I have five of them: a Pilgrim gut-strung, a nylon-strung Dusty Strings Ravenna 34, a wire-strung lap harp, a big Salvi 38 string, and a paraguayan nylon-strung. I’ve run workshops for Morley Harps, the Stamford International Harp Festival and the Clarsach society, all based around the idea of group playing and my “reverse masterclass”, where no-one is allowed to play anything that anyone else is playing! I’ve also taught in Sweden for the Nordic Harp Meeting.

My CD “Carolan’s Journey - Volume 1” is on Amazon and iTunes.

I studied music at school (after a long battle to get the school to support music properly) following which I did O and A levels and a degree in Music. I worked in the BBC for 23 years in radio and TV and have recorded and edited more speech, music and drama, in more languages, that most people have had cold Guinnesses. I was also responsible for BBC-wide leadership, TV and Radio training programmes, working with many commercial organisations.

In my (then) home town of Blockley Gloucestershire, I wrote and performed live music for two community plays, one in 1999 and one running outdoors for a week in 2005. For this latter, I used live instruments, sampling and sequencing to create live sound effects and musical underscoring to live action.

After leaving the BBC in June 2006 and having also taken an MSc in organisation change at Ashridge, I worked with others to explore issues in an effective way through music and organisation theory.

Video is also one of my passions, and I’ve created video to support the Lyre of Ur project (which recreated and then developed for further performance, a replica of a 4500 year old lyre from the Baghdad museum). I’ve been involved in creating support media for music-making with under-7s in Gloucestershire, and a video catalogue for Morley Harps. All of these have been highly collaborative - for example in the Gloucestershire project, we took the edited versions back into preschool settings before finalising the disc, and those triggered new ideas which made it onto the final product. Making TV collaboratively is a really unusual and incredibly enriching production process and one which some of our established broadcasters would benefit from emulating!

In 2010 I streamed a live harp festival over three days from Stamford. I used video and audio mixers, multiple cameras and recording rides interviews from around the world and later made this channel available to others who wanted to broadcast live harp music events.

I have a blog at and am currently playing and teaching the harp professionally at - and continue to produce video and audio materials for LSO education and various other music education projects in Gloucestershire, including recently running a project playing live folk music at a Neonatal unit.