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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Harpers at Brighid: a Treasure House of Offerings

Harpers comprehend the significance of the fire festival of Brighid, dedicated to the goddess of smithcraft, poetry and healing.  It also signals the early stirrings of spring.  In honor of Brighid, here is a harper’s assortment of treasures.

Enjoy the new Scoil na gCláirseach video, which gives a glimpse into the special world created by the marvelous staff for one week of each summer in Kilkenny, Ireland.

If you are smitten by the sound of Griogair Labhruidh’s singing at the end of the video clip, enjoy the whole performance of this lament, entitled Cumha Choir’ an Easain.

Another treasure, announced at Brighid:  Javier Sainz has a new website.

Here is a fourth treasure:  an article about Ann Heymann entitled “Brigid, Imbolc, and the Gaelic Harp,” published in 2008 in Eolas, a druidic journal.

And a fifth:  a glimpse of Vicente la Camera’s handsome new MacDonald Trinity clarsach.  Listen to Vicente play Carolan’s Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill.

Enjoy these small beauties, and join me in celebrating music, song, poetry, and those extraordinary harpers living and working among us.  In honor of Brighid,

–Sue

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