Become a Patron of the Arts for Siobhán Armstrong

Hello, friends.  Siobhan Armstrong, an Irish harper, and the director of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland, needs your help.  Siobhan is fundraising for a CD project that will feature the music of 16th Century Ireland.  On the forthcoming CD, she’ll play various harps, including her Kortier Trinity replica, and  will be accompanied by a range of musicians, including, as she explains on the video, a number of “up and coming” young Irish musicians and singers.  What a great project to support!

Please join me in immediately supporting this crowdsourced campaign, which will end on July 26, 2014.  Here’s the link to the secure FundIt site (http://fundit.ie/project/cd-music-of-16th-century-ireland).  Give a little if you can, and give a lot if it’s possible to do so.  Now, go watch the video, be inspired, and support this magnificent instrument’s revival.

PS:  I neglected to post information on the blog about a campaign that Simon Chadwick ran a few months back to support a concert series in St. Andrews, Scotland.   These projects are worthy of support, and you’ll feel the splendid surge of happiness that comes with providing 21st century patronage for players of the marvelous early Gaelic harp.

Wishing you a summer of good music and adventures,

-Sue

 

 

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Harping at the Portland Highland Games

ImageHere’s an exciting development:  for the first time, the Portland Highland Games, taking place next Saturday, July 20, 2013, will include harpers.  A friend of mine made it happen, and I’m proud of her as well as impressed.  I’ll be there with my Trinity College harp to talk with visitors about the clarsach traditions and the 20th/21st century revival of interest in this magnificent instrument.  Here is the schedule:

Harp demonstration and workshop:  1pm-2:30pm
Harp circle:  2:30-4pm

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Mistral plays at Portland’s Bastille Day celebration, 2013.

In other news, I visited the Bastille Day celebration in downtown Portland today, and enjoyed the set played by my favorite Breton band, Mistral.  I hadn’t seen them perform since the excellent Dark Harvest Ballads back at Samhain.  They were in fine form.

If you come to the Highland Games, please come by to say hello!

–Sue

(A special thanks to my friend and mentor in Scotland who nudged me about posting.)

Winter Solstice Musings, 2012

Solstice2012

The Trinity on Solstice day, 2012.

This has been a week of visiting friends, harping, sleep, walks outside on windy days, and of course, an opportunity to write and take stock of the year that has passed.

I am fortunate to be awash in music right now:  music that I want to sing, hope to play, and music that is moving through me all the time.  Something that has been slumbering has awoken, and I am the grateful beneficiary of the muses’ largesse.

A few summers ago I visited the Boyne river valley in Ireland, and walked around at Dowth, the lesser-known mound with a Winter Solstice alignment.  It’s within easy viewing distance of the more famous Newgrange.  Perhaps there will be recent photos added soon.

Settle down with some mulled cider and candlelight, and enjoy the following:

My friend and teacher, Simon Chadwick, plays a spare, beautiful Advent tune, Veni Emmanuel, from a 13th century French manuscript.

Vicente de la Camera Marino, who lives in the Canary Islands, recorded a piece entitled “Bid to Me,” by Lawes.  Here he is playing his handsome MacDonald clarsach.

A joyful solstice to you all, and a Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it.

–Sue

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