The name Lorien was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and is the home of the elves. The founder of Harps of Lorien, Inc, Raphael Weisman somewhat resembles an Elf himself. He has been making instruments and been involved in creative artwork for over 30 years. He studied Musical Instrument technology and design in London and was one of the few instrument builders in the forefront of the revival of Early Music in Europe. He built Lutes, Bandoras, Orpharions, Renaissance Guitars, and other instruments based on originals that survived the ravages of time and ended up in museums around the world. He researched and specialized in the manufacture of the Vihuela, the predecessor of the guitar, spending a year making a replica of the only surviving instrument found in a museum in Paris, an intricately decorated bass instrument from around 1500, believed to originate in Moorish Spain.

Raphael exhibited his work in numerous shows in Europe, the USA and Israel, and won awards for his craftsmanship. He also appeared on television, was interviewed on a number of radio shows and appeared in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. He has lived in South Africa, Israel, England and the USA.

About 20 years ago he turned his hand to the manufacture of Lyres and meditation instruments in order to provide easy-to-play pentatonic instruments for families and Waldorf Schools, and also pursued his love of Celtic and Folk music by making Celtic Harps. His designs are flowing, sculptural and are works of art as much as playable instruments. He continues to provide Lyres, Lyre kits for the Waldorf movement, and the haunting Little Minstrel Harp, a portable instrument that can be played by virtually anyone to induce a quiet, meditational vibration. He has also developed a line of Celtic or Folk Harps of different sizes, including two models of Travel Harps that fit in the overhead compartment of airplanes. He has traveled with them many times himself, even hitchhiking with one around Hawaii. His first Travel Harp was used to record on in the Great Pyramid. Some of his harps have delicate carvings and all his work is meticulously sanded and finished creating a combination of tactile, aural and visual experience.

He is committed to bringing healing and comfort to those who benefit from the sound of the harp, seeing this vibration as a force for healing on the planet. He has developed a line of Therapy harps for use by those who are working with sick or dying patients. These new models also provide a line of economy harps which allow beginners to purchase an entry level harp at an affordable price, thus proliferating the use of harps in the world.

He is now retired and living in Santa Fe, where he practices playing the harp and is involved in consciousness-raising projects, such as the Santa Fe Water Awareness Group, Healing the Scars, and Heart Thread. He has posted additional information about himself on www.RaphaelWeisman.wordpress.com.

 
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