The Harp Music of Shirley Starke and the Celtic Art of Elly Fithian
Shirley Starke, Harpist
Elly Fithian, Artist
Valkyrie Publications takes its name from a passage in a book about Norse mythology describing the Valkyries as “the thought and will of the Allfather, made visible on the battlefield in the form of armed women.” How wonderful it would be to express the will of our Father so perfectly! And so it was named for the aspiration to become a true expression, some day, of the will of God.
Valkyrie Publications has music inspired by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Andrew Lang, and – in a collection of Christian songs – Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross. In the beauty of the trees, waters, woods, and meadows, we find an intimation of the world beyond, and in human love we find an echo of the wondrous love of God. We hope that people of all faiths will find something in our music to play on their harps – and to inspire them with the strength, joy, and dedication of the Valkyries.
We have four books of original songs for the harp, one instruction book, and over 40 pieces of sheet music, including eight-piece sets of arrangements of Christmas carols, old hymns, and Irish traditional songs that include both the original Gaelic words and English translations. Our sheet music includes a new setting of “Hail Holy Queen,” settings of Psalms, love songs, songs inspired by the woods and water and by Celtic myth and legend, and a new setting of the Proper of the Mass which we will print out for you or send you free by email.
Our music is written and arranged on Shirley’s Lyon and Healy Troubadour and illustrated with Elly’s intricate Celtic designs. It is especially suited to the lever harp, though it can be played on the pedal harp as well. The level of most of our pieces is easy to upper intermediate, and it includes both instrumental music and music for harp and voice. We have tried to keep lever changes within a piece to a minimum: in Song for the White Rider, for instance, the levers are set at the beginning so that the entire song cycle can be played in three keys (one sharp through one flat) with no required changes. We want our music to be accessible to as many harpists as possible, and want you to enjoy playing it.
The music you hear is a MIDI version of “The Pity of Love” by W.B. Yeats, set to music by Shirley Starke.
You can hear more music on the “More About Us” page.
All art on this website is by Elly Fithian except the “Song for the White Rider” cover, “Voices of the Trees” cover, and “Once Upon the End of Day” illustration, which are by Shirley Starke.