Sorry I’ve been away, and now I’m moving…

Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, Hilo, Hawaii

Here I am, in the 100-year-old Lili’uokalani Park in downtown Hilo – named for the last reigning queen of Hawai’i. It was part of her estate, and she donated the lands for this park.

Hello dear friends,

I’m sorry I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks. Frankly, I’ve been sick as a dog. I teach small children, who are natural petrie dishes for germs, so getting exposed is part of the territory.  But this time, it was a nasty bug that took weeks to finally work its way through. I’m feeling much better, just in time for…


Yep, after 3 1/2 years in Silicon Valley, it’s time to return to a slower pace of life. I’ll be playing, teaching and coaching harp and music from my beloved Hawai’i Island. My little dog, Peanut, and I will fly over on April 22, Earth Day. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

I’ll be without a computer, harps, and other conveniences of life for a few weeks. But once I get some sand in my toes, I’ll be back to making music, island style. I look forward to sharing Hawaiian-flavored harp music with you in the very near future.

In the meantime, I’ll be depending on my trusty iPad and phone to keep in touch. Let me know how you are. I’d love to hear from you.

Until then…blessings of Aloha…

Honored as Pen Women Achiever…wow!

National League of Pen Women, Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist and composerWow, what a honor to receive a Celebrity Achiever award from the National League of Pen Women in February. I was warmly greeted by a group of fabulously talented and artistically inventive women. Not a single wall-flower anywhere.

It was a pleasure to meet the other Music honoree, Lijah Raoof, Art honorees Dorothy Brown, Bonnie Jo Smith, Julia Watson, and Letters honorees Diana Chan, Erica Goss, and Lille McGhee Queen.

Many thanks to Susan Zerweck, who announced the Music awards.

Since 1897, the National League of Pen Wome has promoted the development of the creative talents of professional women in the arts. The League consists of local branches, state associates and members-at-large, a membership of about 2,000 women throughout the United States. Headquarters are in the history Robert Todd Lincoln Mansion at 1300 17th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.

Research: “Compressing recorded music into the MP3 format results in the loss of emotional tones.”

(TechXplore)—A small team of researchers with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has found that Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, composer, teacher, coach, leaving the result with less depth. In their paper published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, the researchers describe their study of the impact of compressing recordings of musical instruments and which instruments suffer the most degradation.

Most people who listen to music saved as an MP3 file know that the is lower than that of a CD or a vinyl album. But what is lost and by how much has not really been investigated. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn which types of musical sounds lose the most emotional quality when a file is converted to MP3 and by how much.

The researchers enlisted the assistance of 20 , each a native English speaker and each with normal hearing. All of the volunteers were asked to listen to recordings of several instruments: saxophone, violin, trumpet, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, flute and horn. Each was asked to rate the sounds they were hearing based on a list of emotional traits: romantic, calm, happy, shy, mysterious, angry, comic, sad and heroic. The researchers then analyzed the answers given by the volunteers to see if there might be any patterns. They found that most of the sounds that fell into the positive category were the most negatively impacted—romantic, calm, comic, heroic and happy were noticeably less present after files had been compressed into the MP3 format. They noted also that some instruments were more impacted than others—trumpets, for example, were found to have lost the most emotional timbre while other horns were impacted the least.

The suggest that those people who are the most serious about tonal quality should limit their exposure to songs compressed into the MP3 format. They also suggest that the current trend in popular music toward growl-like tones or angry lyrics might have arisen due to their ability to translate well into the compressed file format.

More information: Ronald Mo et al. The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (2016). DOI: 10.17743/jaes.2016.0031

© 2016 TechXplore

Sunday, Feb 19; 3p-5p: Musical Reiki Concert, Ben Lomond, CA

Reiki Music Concert, Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist & Reiki masterI’m honored to be playing at Joyce Leonard’s Santa Cruz Reiki Works in Ben Lomond, Calif. I’ll be playing a Musical Reiki Concert, which will include selections from Seasons of the Soul, Spa in a Box. I will also be creating improvised music, based on the energies and needs of the audiences.

Since ancient times, the harp has been recognized for its healing frequencies and vibrations. On its own, it is a powerful instrument for realignment of energies. Combined with Reiki energies, the harp music delivers deep relaxation and inner peace.

Cost: sliding scale: $15-$25 ; 

RSVP desired, but not required – everyone invited, no Reiki experience necessary! 

  • Who: Curious about Reiki or long time practitioner
  • What: Musical Reiki Concert
  • Where: Santa Cruz Reiki Works, Ben Lomond, CA
  • When: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, 3-5 p.m.
  • Why: To experience the gentle healing presence of Reiki energies

For Tickets: Santa Cruz Reiki Works…your wellness, 831-421-1877

(Location provided when you register for the concert).

Campbell Express: Nonprofit Organization Honors Women in the Arts

From the Campbell Express, February 2017:

Campbell Express article Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist & composer“On Feb. 12, a location celebrity luncheon will be hosted by the Santa Clara County branch of the National League of American Pen Women, a nonprofit encouraging women to pursue careers in the arts. The luncheon will recognize eight women in the county who participate in music, writing or art.

The luncheon will be held at the Elsk Lodge, 444 W. Alma Ave in San Jose. Tickets are $35 each. Proceeds from the ticket sales go toward scholarships for women graduating from high school, college undergraduates, or women of any age returning to school to complete their education in the arts.

According to Patricia Dennis, the branch’s publicity coordinator, $7500 in scholarship money is given to four women this year. Dennis, a Campbell resident, was a past scholarship recipient in the arts category.

Giving Women Artists Courage

“For some recipients, this award makes a difference, giving them the courage to pursue their career goals, knowing that their endeavors were acknowledged by such a prestigious organization,” Dennis said.

Former Campbell resident, Cymber Quinn will play the harp at the luncheon. Other women to be recognized at the event include San Jose residents Lija Raeof, Dorothy Brown, Bonnie Smith, Julia Watson and Lilie Queen, along with Erica Goss from Los Gatos, and Xana Chas from Los Altos Hills.

Quinn, who recently moved to Santa Clara, was nominated for recognition by Dennis.

“Her music is absolutely wonderful,” Dennis said.

How a Copywriter Becomes a Harpist

As a child in Greeley, Colorado, Quinn played drums, the french horn, and multiple wind instruments, and also sang.

“By the time I was 15, I was burned out.” Quinn said, “adding that she didn’t sing or play music for 27 years.

During her musical hiatus, she worked as a copywriter for the Indianapolis News, writing obituaries. She then worked in advertising and came to the Santa Clara Valley during the dot-com boom in 1996, staying until 2004.

At the age of 42, Quinn found her way back to music after trying to heal from several surgeries and undergoing a hysterectomy in her late 30s.

“I wasn’t really recovering well,” Quinn said. “The doctors weren’t really sure why, so I started more alternative approaches to healing.”

She looked to Reiki, a stress reduction method to heal one’s body through hand movements. The Reiki master Quinn was learning from suggested finding what made her happy when she was a child. In 2008, when Quinn was flipping through a catalog, she came across a harp.

“I have this memory of being 6 years old and my parents taking me to hear the symphony – and that night the harpist had a solo,” Quinn said.

Harp Lessons by Skype

At the time, Quinn ordered her harp, she was living in Hawaii, which made finding a harp teacher difficult. She eventually found a harpist who taughet her how to play via Skype and showed her the healing effect it could have on other people.

In 2013, when she returned to the Santa Clara Valley, she took up teaching at The Music Place, a music school for children in San Jose. Since then, she’s been teaching harp to children and playing at churches and yoga studios. She also plays at the bedside of the elderly and ill, and at Touch to Heal Spa in Campbell.

“There are many benefits to hearing relaxing and meditative music,” Quinn said, adding that the vibrations from the harp have helped people. Quinn said that she’s even had people tell her they play her CDs on their commute home from work to relax them.

Quinn has released four CDs, in of which was featured on National Public Radio. Another album is in the works. Quinn said she is moving back to Hawaii in April.

by Jasmine Layva


Been Meaning to Take Music Lessons? Here’s your encouragement…

Luke Foo, Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, composer, teacher

It’s true that I also teach ukulele…I call it the Hawaiian Harp, and it’s another great way to pluck some strings…here’s one one student had to say.

“I signed up for lessons with Cymber with the goal to learn how to play a few tunes just for fun, accompanied with my voice because I also love to sing.  My ulterior motive was to play in public someday, maybe not a big crowd, but in front of family, friends, and co-workers.  

“In a little less than 2 months, I am happy to report that I achieved my goals, with Cymber’s help.  

“She gave me a sold foundation to get me on the right track.  She encouraged me to buy a few recommended books, which included songbooks of my favorite tunes, a Hal Leonard primer which provided music theory and taught me how to read notes, and a book on techniques and licks.  

“I resisted at first when she suggested I learn how to read music, but it turned out to be a tremendous help in figuring out how to sing the melody lines in some of the passages I had trouble singing.  

“In one of my early lessons with Cymber, I tried to demonstrate a tune I had just learned to play and sing.  I was nervous and my hands were slightly trembling.  She noticed it right away, and  taught me how to stay calm and focused, and play with the proper sitting position.

“But to make a long story short,  my colleagues at work found out that I was taking uke lessons and encouraged me to bring my uke to work.  It was arranged that I would play at the following week’s company meeting.  

“I practiced, practiced, and practiced in preparation for my public appearance.  I was nervous leading up to the very hour of my performance.  Somehow, by a miracle, I summoned the courage to just do it and not worry about it.  The end result was I hit a home run and received big round of applause and praises.

“The ukulele is a fun instrument, and I takeaway a life long skill that will put a smile on everyone’s face.” – Luke Foo, southern California

Holiday Harp Meditation: Celebrating the Solstice (North and South)

I celebrated the December Solstice with a Facebook Live event (below). I played pieces from my first CD, Seasons of the Soul.

For the Northern Hemisphere folks, I played music that I composed to represent Autumn and Winter (my hats helped me remember where I was musically).

For Southern Hemisphere folks, I played music for Spring transitioning into Early Summer.

I hope it helps you find your own place in the seasons as they make the changes in the way we receive light.

Holiday Harp Meditation: a “Silent Night” gift for you…

Silent Night from FB Live 2016 | Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist and composer, Hawaii, San JoseI recently created and performed a Holiday Harp Meditation on Facebook Live (see below), where I played a version of the Christmas carol, “Silent Night.” This lullaby is one of my favorites, and it seems it is a favorite with others, too!

I got so many requests for a holiday CD that I decided two things:

  • One, I will make a holiday CD this year and have it ready for 2017.
  • And I recorded this as a gift to you. All you have to do is right-click and save it onto your computer.

No sign-ups, no auto-responders. Just a gift for you. Blessings


Silent Night – Solo Holiday Harp Meditation. Right-click and save to your computer.

And be sure to sign-up for my newsletter to get more music and harp meditations.


Here’s the Facebook Live event that started this tiny project: “Holiday Harp Meditations.”

Get the First Single from “Spa in a Box” for Free

Grace at Finch Creek |Spa in a Box | CYMBER, new age harpistSpa in a Box is now available! And you can get the first single from the CD for free…

Grace at Finch Creek

Finch Lake is located about 5 miles above the Wild Basin Ranger Station near Allenspark, Colorado. I went hiking there with an old friend. We admired the views, ate lunch, caught up, and enjoyed the view. Then on the way back home, we stopped to enjoy the delicate gurgling of a tiny creek. I recorded audio, which is included in the song.

Download Grace at Finch Creek here…>>

(This is an MP3 download. To get the full AIFF audio file, purchase the CD.)


  • Bookmark this page, so you can easier get back here to listen.
  • Or, put your pointer on this bar below, right click, and then save this file to your computer.


Whoops…Let me try that again… Facebook Live…Wednesday…noon PT

Cymber Lily Quinn | Harp Meditations on FB Live

Whoops…if you tried to join me last Wednesday (and I know some of you did), I apologize. I was down with the crud and wasn’t able to make it. Note to self:  no matter how beautiful the holiday chocolates are, I still can’t eat them. So…now that I’m feeling much better…

Please join me for some peace, stillness, and inner quiet. I’ll be playing Harp Meditations every Wednesday at noon, Pacific Time, throughout December. Join me online!