||The Evening Post
September 5, 2000
Lord of the Strings
The $360 million production borrowed a small harp called Tara Leprechaun from craftsman Keith Harrison for possible use in the films.
Mr Harrison, who has been making harps for about six years, said the harp is likely to be played by a Hobbit, though he's not sure how long it will be on screen or if it would be easy to spot.
"They (Hobbits) have parties at night and they all sit around campfires and sing songs. I'm expecting when I watch the movie to see it in the background somewhere, you might just get a shot of it. I'll buy the video and say `that's my harp'."
Mr Harrison said at first he was asked to make a harp for the film, but he and the film company couldn't agree on whether he could promote it as being made for the films. He later agreed to let them borrow Tara Leprechaun in exchange for two bottles of wine. "In the United States they hire harps out at $10 a week, that's about $20 in New Zealand (dollars). So I said `how about a couple of bottles of wine?' They hired it for two weeks, which I thought was a good deal."
The word Tara is a place in Ireland with King Arthur associations. Mr Harrison's wife played the harp and it was for sale. The price? The same as for any 31-string Tara Leprechaun he makes - $3100.