It’s often helpful (and very interesting) to see others’ playing styles and techniques on the clarsach. Here is a selection of video clips you might enjoy.
Statement of Fair Use: I intend to only post videos that have been made with the musicians’ knowledge & permission. Be fair: don’t upload and distribute pirated videos. Thanks. –Sue
Vicente la Camera Marino
Vicente lives in the Canary Islands, Spain, and owns a Trinity College replica made by William MacDonald of Skye. Here is a video of the Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill. He has a new address for his YouTube channel. Be sure to visit his fine website/blog, Harp Antiqua.
Brendan received his new Trinity College replica from William MacDonald of MacDonald Clarsachs in Scotland last summer. This recording is one of my favorites: Lament for the Bishop of Argyll, played with some piobaireachd variation sets. It is an elegant version of a piece I first heard Ann Heymann play in 2008 at Ohio Scottish Arts School. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel.
Siobhan is a world famous performer who works throughout Europe with various ensembles. She plays, among other harps, a replica of the Trinity College Harp made by David Kortier. In this video clip, she performs with sean nos singer Róisín Elsafty and uilleann piper Ronan Browne in a performance of Róisín Dubh. This is a very understated example of her playing, but is a rare opportunity to see a video clip of her in performance.
Simon lives in St. Andrews, Scotland, and plays a lovely replica of the Queen Mary harp, made by luthier Davy Patton in Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Over the past several months I’ve been his student, and have seen my own understanding and playing improve. Here’s The Battle of Harlaw, played on his Queen Mary.
View Simon Chadwick’s YouTube channel to see more.
I finally got up my nerve and posted a not-a-video clip on YouTube. This is Duncan MacRae of Kintail’s Lament, a piobaireachd I’ve been working on. Next time I’ll create an actual video.
Barbara lives in Poland, where she busks and performs in concerts and at events. Here is a brief interview which includes the performance of two songs. Barbara plays a replica of the Queen Mary harp made by Leszek Pelc of Rzeszow, Poland.
This video shows Dooley performing on one of his clarsachs in a pub in Co. Clare, Ireland, back in 1997. Dooley is a harper and luthier who lives in Ireland, and has released some CDs. He works with the Robert ap Huw manuscript as well as playing lots of seisun-style music, played with plenty of speed. Visit Paul Dooley’s website for further information.
The video below is a recently-posted recording of “The Siege of Buda,” a tune I hadn’t heard before. Sainz lives and teaches in Spain, and this recording features a replica of the Lamont Harp, made by David Kortier. Visit Javier Sáinz’s channel on YouTube.
Josephine (William MacDonald’s daughter)
Those of you who know of William MacDonald, a luthier on the isle of Skye, know that his daughter Josephine often test drives the harps on YouTube. Here she is playing a harp owned by Aran, one of our local clarsach players. Click here to check out William MacDonald’s YouTube channel.
She is the daughter in law of the late William Butler Yeats, and is a fine Irish harper who is now largely retired. This short video clip shows a brief interview with her. Note what she says about singing and the harp. There is a fine replica of the O’Ffogarty harp in the film, but the playing you hear is a segment of Ann Heymann playing Feachain Gleis, curiously enough. Never mind–just listen to Yeats’s voice and ogle the fine O’Ffogarty.
Natalie is a regular at Scoil na gCláirseach, and is a luthier, too. Here she is playing a newly strung copy of the Trinity College harp at Paul Doyle’s studio in Galway, Ireland. She is playing Da Mihi Manum by Rory Dall Ó Catháin.
Here are a few selected videos of harpmakers describing their work.
Kortier is in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S., and has made the splendid Trinity College and Downhill harps played by Siobhán Armstrong and Ann Heymann, along with several other well known players. He makes a fine selection of student models of historical clarsachs. I currently play a Student Trinity, and am awaiting the completion of a replica of the Trinity College harp this year.
Patton, who made Simon Chadwick’s elegant replica of the Queen Mary harp, lives in Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Here is a link to a short video clip describing his work on one of his replicas.
MacDonald is located on Skye in the west of Scotland. This atmospheric video showcases a Queen Mary replica MacDonald made in 2009, complete with faux wormholes, apparent ages of wear and tear, and metal plates used for repairing the original Queen Mary harp. It is an interesting sight.
Located in Strathpeffer, Scotland, Ardival makes several sizes of clarsachs. While they are not historical replicas, they are well-constructed and bright-sounding. Bill Taylor, a fine musician, is associated with Ardival.
Performers on Other Instruments
Here he is playing Port Jean Lindsay, on a lute, from the Straloch MS. It’s a piece I’m working on in February of 2011. MacKillop is a marvelous lute player, and his website offers insight into his wide-ranging musical interests. Thanks to Simon C. for this recommendation.