The mill blades of the Netherlands turn again with a fresh wind. Regarding harp, the country has been the birthplace of many audacious projects: more than thirty years ago, the World Harp Congress was founded as an outgrowth of the Harpweken (Harp Week) on the initiative of the Dutch harpist Phia Berghout; created in 2007 by the Dutch harp players Sabine Meijers and Brenda Dor-Groot, the International Jazz Harp Foundation is based in the Netherlands. More recently, the Nederlandse Harpvereniging (Dutch Harp Association) and the Nederlandse Folk Harp Vereniging (Dutch Folk Harp Association) have launched a common event: Open Harp Dag. Centered on an international pedal harp competition held every two years, the Dutch Harp Festival also promotes other music played on different harps; workshops are scheduled all over the country with local teachers as well as musicians coming from abroad. (more…)
The Scottish Harp Anthology is a unique collection in three volumes of traditional tunes in arrangement and new compositions by about twenty Scottish or Scottish based harp players: Cheyenne Brown, Gillian Fleetwood, Maeve Gilchrist, Rachel Hair, Corrina Hewat, Emily Hoile, Màiri MacLeod, Mary Macmaster, Karen Marshalsay, Marie Louise Napier, Rachel Newton, Hannah Phillips, Ailie Robertson, Fiona Rutherford, Patsy Seddon, Wendy Stewart, Fraya Thomsen, Heather Yule and myself, since I was living in the country at that time.
Nothing seems to reconcile Glasgow, the economic capital of Scotland, with Edinburgh, political capital of the country. The two main cities of the Scottish belt stare at, tease and respect each other like porcelain dogs that nothing can bring together. Even the M8 – the motorway between the two cities – increases the differences between them: a logical bypass in Edinburgh, an amputation and stretch of the highway straight into the heart of Glasgow. The tone is set: since the first one prides itself for having an old city classified as World heritage for humanity, the official line for Glasgow will be "the most modern city in Europe" thanks to another – but this one infamous – Robert Bruce1 and his city restructuring plan.
The news headlines all over the word: the scientists of the CERN large Hadron Collider confirmed that the discovery of the ultimate elementary particle, the Higgs boson, will considerably transform our understanding of the universe. Reconciling Einstein’s general relativity and quantum physics, the string theory describes the matter in creating a model as a musical instrument. Priscilla Clark, from the Elementary Particle Physics Faculty of the University of Minnesota, and harp player in her spare time, explains to us the discovery: