Siobhán Armstrong is one of Europe’s foremost historical harpists and plays an extensive collection of copies of medieval, Renaissance and multi-row baroque harps. We first met Siobhan in May 2011 when she performed in our chapel as part of the Galway Early Music Festival just one day after she played for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Trinity College during their State visit to Ireland. Although she generally plays only early music with the historical harp she graciously agreed to accompany 'Calm the Soul' and the delightful and subtle sound of her Irish harp can be heard especially in the Interlude of the song.
Her great passion is encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp. Siobhán performs and records 15th- to 18th-century music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical musicians, and also collaborates with some of Ireland’s best traditional Irish music performers including Ronan Browne. She herself plays a replica of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp — the national emblem of Ireland — strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann: The Harp of Ireland, was released in 2004.
Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that he might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.