A performance of the Celestial Harp for the Rosicrucian Society in the Victoria Masonic Temple
with Robin Armstrong, Lisa Swarbrick and Jesse Footit
Special Thanks to Niall Good
The idea for the Celestial Harp came from a vision after thirteen months of meditating in solitude in India. The vision was a merging of Astrology, the I Ching, colour and music, The Celestial harp was designed to play a person’s horoscope and even the horoscope of the moment one was playing.
It is a 72 stringed instrument with strings radiating out from a central core. There are eight double strings and frets fro every string. The music moves around a circle and there is no real beginning or end to it. It is designed for several people to play at the same time.
It is a classical instrument and it is both acoustic and percussive. It incorporates the rhythms of the Zodiac and the changes within the I Ching. The constellations are inlaid in the top of the harp and each string represents one hexagram.
As the strings radiate out, they cross over a spiral bridge, a circle of frets and a square bridge. The relations of the spiral, the circle and the square represent the mathematical foundations of the Celestial Harp. Your fingers represent the Sun, the Moon and the planets.
The Celestial Harp represents the birth of a new galaxy in the universe of music.
1. Celestial Ascension (2’02”) …. Robin Armstrong
Robin strumming around the Celestial Harp so that the complete
cycle of sounds in the harp and in the zodiac are heard.
2. Cornerstone Presence (14’08”) …. Robin Armstrong
This piece is based upon the horoscope drawn for the laying
of the cornerstone of this Masonic Temple on July 3, 1909. Also
included are segments relating to the horoscope progressed to
June 29, 2010, one hundred and one years later for the time of the
performance. The planetary positions for the performance were also
taken into consideration.
3. Pyramid Power (2’40”) …. Robin Armstrong
This is a percussive piece played on two corners of the Celestial
Harp which is includes the shape of the pyramid in its design.
4. Eightfold Path (6’11”) …Robin Armstrong, Lisa Swarbrick & Jesse Footit.
This is a percussive piece for three on the harp. The 8 trigrams of the
I Ching are played. The trigrams also correspond to the eightfold path
of the Buddha.
5. IAO (3’35”) …. Robin Armstrong and Lisa Swarbrick
Chanting a sacred chant into the Celestial harp.
6. Call to Aziel (10’14”) …. Robin Armstrong and Lisa Swarbrick
This was inspired by the name of the street on the side of the
temple. Aziel governs 11 to 15 degrees of Taurus and has special
qualities to reveal to the magician who invokes her.
1. The Origin and Meaning of the Celestial Harp (28’54”)
by Robin Armstrong
Robin explains the construction, development of the Celestial Harp
and reveals some of the meaning built into it.
Links to the Celestial Harp:
Railway Town Productions
Tuning system # 13
Cover design by Robin Armstrong
Cover photograph by Zara Gabriel
Videography by Peter Elliot and Milan Cobanov
Video Editing by Peter Elliott
Printing by: Printer Gateway
RA Publications, Toronto, ON.
© 2010 Robin Armstrong, Toronto, ON. M5W 1N5