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The Origins of Dangerous Harping

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Ursula Burns was born in Belfast

The songstress's troubled relationship with her home town created enough tension to make her want to look at the image of the harp presented in Ireland, versus the reality of her childhood attending school on the Falls road in the troubles.

Breaking the stereotypical image of the harp by inventing her own unique hybrid style, fusing elements of Paraguayan and Celtic techniques. This innovative approach to playing the harp allowed Ursula to explore new musical territories and push the boundaries.

With her wild style of harping, Ursula embarked on a journey that took the harp to unexpected places. She fearlessly ventured into the realms of Circus and theatre, infusing her music with storytelling and performance. Ursula Accidentally embraced the world of comedy, by winning the Irish Musical Comedy Awards with her song "It Does not Rock" and subsequently developed her modern act. Using harping skills, performance and wit to entertain audiences with her one-woman shows and comedic performances. The Dangerous Harpist fearlessly played in venues and locations where harps were rarely seen or heard before. From unconventional performance spaces such as yurts, circus tents, and homemade theatres in the back of her car, Ursula embraced the challenge of bringing her unique musical vision to diverse audiences. Through her artistic exploration, songwriting, performance and comedy shows, Ursula Burns transformed the perception of the harp, demonstrating its versatility and adaptability across genres and mediums. Her fearless spirit and determination to challenge stereotypes have made her a trailblazer in the world of performance and songwriting with the harp. On the cusp of her 30th anniversary of breaking all the rules, Burns would like to tip the hat to the bardic tradition of old. In the 1600s Elizabeth 1st decreed "Hang the Harpers and burn their instruments". At that moment in Irish history harping changed. Ursula has observed the only methods for learning the harp in her time were traditional and classical. Ursula would like to expand the art form and breathe life into the original Irish Harping culture and get Bardic Harping re-established in the psyche of Ireland, its harpers and its people.

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