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How to start

I'm sure you get posts like this all the time! I just subscribed to the list today and though I have been spending time searching around the archives, I'm impatient enough to just come out and ask my question.
I want to get started using looping devices in order to channel the incessant music I hear in my head.  I love what Andrew Bird and Caryn Lin are doing with the violin, and Zoe Keating with the cello.... I want to do something similar with harp.  While they make electroacoustic harps now, I am in no position to run out and buy one.
So I will be using my acoustic semi-grand pedal harp, though it's difficult to capture the harp's full range.  Was looking at a Line 6 DL4 delay pedal (used by Andrew Bird), and briefly looked at the Akai Headrush pedal (though I think the sampling time is too short for what I need).  The equipment I currently have is a Tascam Portastudio, a Peavey Ecoustic amp, and a few mics (at least one condenser).  Sad but true -- when you are playing weddings all the time, you really don't have the need for anything else! I have asked around on some harp sites about looping devices, but apparently no one has experience with playing the harp in this way (oh the blasphemy...)
My goal is to create real-time loops for live performances (eventually) and to work out ideas that I can take to a studio and record.  I'm in relative isolation here in the Midwest given my interests and instrument, so perhaps erroneously have been thinking that the only way to get where I want to go, I'll have to do it myself.
Any advice to a bumbling beginner would be so much appreciated.
Trista Hill