Thanks to the sharp eyes of friend and doctoral research student Karen Loomis, I understand that TG4, the Irish language TV station, has presented a program this evening showing a number of the participants in the November 2009 Belfast harp recital.
The harpers include some of the luminaries, such as Ann Heymann and Alison Kinnaird. Several months ago TG4 released a documentary on a lever harp player, Nollaig Brolly, who sought to recreate the music of Denis O’Hampsey by learning to play a replica of the Downhill Harp. Here’s the original post. If you’d like a quick look at a video that includes an Irish language interview with Brolly, and shows, most interestingly, O’Hampsey’s grand Downhill being removed from its glass prison at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, I’d recommend this short clip. Remember that Brolly is a lever harper, as you can see from her hand positions when she plays the replica.
As soon as TG4 posts the concert documentary, I’ll add it to this blog. After all, I’m extremely eager to see the harpers, and to hear their choices of music. To learn more about the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792, here is a helpful link provided by Simon Chadwick. He’s added some downloadable PDF links if you’d like to take a look at Edward Bunting’s published works inspired by his transcription of the music at the festival.
For some in-depth information about the Downhill harp, here’s a good starting point. You might also take a look at Armstrong’s chapter on the Downhill. Take a look to the right at the link for Armstrong (it’s a very big PDF file–you’ve been warned).
Solstice good wishes,