Pale Rays of Sun at the Winter Solstice

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Entrance to Bru na Boinne. Photo by Sue, 2009.

Today I awoke to a gray morning, but within an hour the pale December sun, low in the sky, asserted itself and softened the day.  This morning in Co. Meath, Ireland, people gathered in the dark passage at Newgrange to welcome the beam of sun down the shaft of the tomb.  The sun came out in time to illuminate the interior of the passage–for the first time since 2007.

The inside of the tomb is elegantly carved and constructed.  Recently I happened upon a high quality virtual tour of the interior. at Voices from the Dawn.  While I’ve visited the actual site twice, I’d recommend the virtual tour for a closer, leisurely gaze at the features of the interior.  Here it is.  Notice that there is a clickable link to either a regular or tablet version.  You might also enjoy a post from this blog entitled Winter Solstice in the House of the Dagda.

And now for a glorious concert by Ann and Charlie Heymann, performed at the Moore Institute at NIU Galway earlier this year, where Ann enjoyed a fellowship.  The title is:  Guth Binn agus Téada Oir: Bardic Voices, Horns & Medieval Harps.  Ann and Charlie perform a number of bardic pieces, some quite experimental.  The Donegal singer, Lillis O Laoire, performs with them.  This is a highly unique and rare opportunity to see Ann perform in concert, and it is well worth watching.

With warmest solstice good wishes,

–Sue

Galway Early Music Festival features Harpers and Pipers

In just a few weeks the Galway Early Music Festival will begin in the west of Ireland.  This year, the organizers, several of whom are regulars at Scoil na gCláirseach, have succeeded in bringing harper Siobhán Armstrong, piper Barnaby Brown and piper and singer Griogair Labhruidh, the members of Coracle, to the festival.  If you are able to attend, it should be a glorious performance.

–Sue

Harper pictured on a cross at St. James’s Church, Castledermot, Ireland. Photo by Sue, 2009.

Harpers for Housing: Sunday, December 4th

You’re invited to the third annual

Harpers for Housing

Harpers for Housing: a holiday tradition!

Sunday, December 4th at 2pm
at the Lincoln Street United Methodist Church,
5145 SE Lincoln St., Portland
Suggested donation: $10
(please click here to see a map)

Come enjoy a festive holiday concert featuring harpers, singers, and a wonderful mandolin player!  This is a benefit for a wonderful local nonprofit, the Northwest Pilot Project, which “provides housing services for seniors ages 55 and older who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”  NWPP assists elders in living their lives in safety and dignity, which is more important than ever in difficult economic times.  Kathleen Staub, a friend of mine and a well-known, beloved local lever harp teacher, is the organizing force behind this event.

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