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Earthly 'Angel' Works Wonders On His Harp

     TAMPA - To hear his harp music is to be touched by the wings of an angel.

     That's what one fan said of Erik Berglund, an internationally known harpist who travels the world weaving heavenly tunes on his harp and reportedly healing those who come to hear his music.

     Berglund has released four CD's of harp music that have found an audience with New Age and classical music buffs alike.

     "Angels want their music to be heard by all," he said. He feels his recently released CD, "Elysium," has more potential in a wider market than his previous three because he sings on every piece. "My voice is one of my main means of healing," he said. After all, "healing" is the mission behind Berglund's music.

     It's a calling he has followed since 1989, when he gave up his life as a performing artist in New York City to travel the world as a musician aiming to heal people. He's coming to the Bay area for concerts later this month.

     His first reported healing was something he stumbled upon while on a trip to the Andes Mountains in Venezuela in June, 1989. A person he met there asked Berglund to help him with a physical affliction. "I said, 'I can't do anything, but let's ask God and we'll see what he can do,'" he said.

     Three months later, the group paid Berglund's way back to Venezuela for what Berglund thought was a harp concert, but to his amazement, found a crowd lined up outside his door, including doctors and lawyers, wanting to be healed.

     When Berglund returned to the states, he moved to Oregon, then California, where he lives when he's not touring the globe with his harp.

     After the Venezuela trip, he said, the gates were opened for his work and there was no stopping. He continued to help people through touch, prayer and music. He said people come to him with physical and emotional afflictions alike, but most people come to be relieved of guilt they carry from being the victims of child abuse of having an abortion or some other emotional trauma.

     A Tampa psychologist, Nancy Billingsley, uses Berglund's harp music in her office as clients, many of whom have been sexually abused as children, remember the traumatic events from their past. "I use it to calm everyone. His music is very calming and healing," said Billingsley. "Many of them ask me where I got the music and they go buy it and play it at night so they can sleep," she said.

     Although Berglund has always been a performing artist, he was not always a harpist. He said he learned his craft from the best of the best, Mildred Dilling, the same woman who taught Harpo Marx. At the age of 32, Berglund studied with her in New York for the last two years of her life. "She set the track for me. She introduced me to a lot of people and watched me perform," said Berglund.

     His performances included venues in New York City: Carnegie Hall, United Nations, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Lincoln Center, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, gallery openings and weddings.

     The harp Berglund takes on tour was designed by Dilling. The size of a folk harp, it has special levers on top that allow him to switch keys so that he can travel with the scaled-down instrument without losing the versatility of a large harp.

     Berglund has acquired a large network of friends worldwide, who put him up while he plays concerts in Hawaii, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, England, Scotland, Switzerland and Germany.

     One such friend is Arch Thomas, a Harbour Island resident who arranged some of Berglund's Florida appearances and opens his home to Berglund during his Bay area concerts. "Erik is truly an angelic being and when you're in the presence of him, you just feel good about helping," said Thomas.
~ Nona Edelson, Tribune Staff Writer

Erik Berglund: Shasta's Angelic Harpist

     "The harp is Heaven's instrument, and Erik Berglund must have a direct line to channel such radiance," according to a review in the NAPRA Trade Journal. Erik, an internationally known recording artist and healer, travels throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South America giving concerts to reviews like this one. His rich tenor voice and crystalline harp tones combined with years of spiritual discipline and offering of personal healings have created a momentum of energy which the Angels have chosen to utilize. Erik has assisted in bringing forth music from Angelic Realms through such recordings as ANGEL BEAUTY, ANGELIC HARP MUSIC, and his latest release, ELYSIUM ABODE OF THE ANGELS. This is music that touches emotions and heals.

     Of Norwegian descent, Berglund was raised in Minnesota where his mother was a singer and choir director and his father was head of the Fine Arts Department at St. Olaf College. Erik was active in everything from puppetry and film making to drama and painting. He played piano, violin and sang. He toured Norway, playing violin in his father's orchestra. When the St. Olaf choir toured the U.S. and Europe, Erik traveled with them, singing.

     While living in New York City, opportunities arose for this versatile man to pursue a variety of artistic endeavors. He worked for Tomlin Films on educational films; taught mime at the Richard Morse Mime Academy; drew portraits; acted in off-off Broadway productions; co-wrote and performed puppet musicals in conjunction with the Children's Museum of the Native American; gave voice lessons, voice workshops and sang and played violin in the folk-rock group Open-Air-Carriage.

     When Erik discovered the harp, he became fascinated, and began studying with legendary harpist, Mildred Dilling, also the teacher of Harpo Marx. The harp has become Erik's major form of artistic expression. Moving to the West Coast, he has expanded into the global performer he is today.

     During a trip to the Andes in Venezuela healing gifts were reawakened in him. Facilitating thousands of healings has built a momentum which transforms concerts. Energy from such power places as Machu Pichu, the Great Pyramid, Glastonbury, and the Hawaiian Islands has woven through his harp into every performance and recording. Those attending concerts and listening to recordings have reported a variety of healings from the music. Many have commented on the calming, peaceful effects, others claim the music has changed their lives, getting them through some very difficult periods. People have reported headaches cured, eye problems removed, answers to questions revealed, faith in God restored, healing of family separations, inspiration and a new will to go on.

     Each of these events is attributed to the Angels. Angels are beings of feeling, according to Erik, and he simply tunes into the vibrations they send our planet. These translate into healing melodies. Erik believes the Angels truly want their music to be heard at this time. He says, "As a planet primarily made of water which represents the feelings, music as the conduit of feeling is the strongest, most powerful way to begin change. The Angels long for their music to touch humanity's emotions which are presently going through major transformation. The Angels' music can assist in soothing and healing those parts of us that need more love, joy, compassion, faith and trust.

     Mount Shasta has played an integral part in shaping this musical momentum. A haven of rest and peace, it is also a rich source of inspiration. This comes from the mountain and from the creative "family" drawn to the area. Erik has worked with many talented musicians to bring out the best of each, including Aeoliah, Paul Avgerinos, John Mazzei, and Anton Mizerak.

     The next offering to be released by this talented musician will be PROJECT EARTH, a joint effort with Christoph Hausmann, recorded in Germany. Ironically the studio was located in a building formerly used as a Nazi headquarters. Tremendous energy work was being done to transform the studio and the music reflects its realignment with the Earth. Those who have heard the album, can't stop playing it.
~Christine Powell, Mount Shasta Directions