Master harpist and singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom's first harp, a handcrafted Dusty Strings FH36H, has a pretty voice and a melancholy nature. Even though it “has a tendency to get swallowed by larger rooms,” Newsom will vouch that it has the purest and sweetest sound out of all the harps she’s ever played. For a skilled artist like Newsom, the quality of her harp matters tremendously.
Since the reign of Ancient Egypt, the art of crafting these imposing yet elegant instruments—from their wood frames to the brass-and-steel mechanics that support their 47 fine-tuned, high-tension strings—has remained a decidedly analog and handmade process. That is, until now: