With a high school band sousaphone background, Hilary Stagg (named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the famous mountaineer) was an electrician when he attended an Andreas Vollenweider concert in his mid-twenties. He was so inspired that he purchased a small harp. He tried formal lessons but quickly decided he would learn to play the harp a different way; Hilary believed in and practiced lucid dreaming as a way to dance with the Muse in his dreams and explore his creative musical energy. He used this energy as a way of composing music in his “sleep” and it ultimately became the core of his compositions.
As he experimented, Hilary developed a gentle, yet powerful, melodic style that gave new meaning to soothing and relaxing music. He began performing regularly, refining his technique and confidence. The results of his labor and dedication can be heard on all of the titles in his discography.
Hilary has also worked as a commercial diver in the North Sea, spending many, many hours underwater, so it’s not surprising that his music is akin to floating in the ocean: wave after wave reflecting the spiral of life as our planet moves through the heavens.
It is obvious that Hilary has tremendous respect for the harp, as he continues to play on it and speak of his experience on it. “There is something about the harp that captivates not only the listener, but reaches a part of me as well that is difficult to describe or understand,” explained Stagg. And when you listen to his work, it seems inconceivable that Hilary Stagg’s musical journey was relatively brief. With fan mail pouring in regularly from a devoted following, many describing their healing experiences with the music, it’s clear that Stagg’s unique sound has a profound effect upon people no matter what their musical tastes may be.
Hilary died suddenly after a brief illness in June 1999. His music is our gift, ready to comfort and uplift at the touch of a button.