It was a year ago ! On the 11th October 2015, at the Espace Glenmor in Carhaix, more than four hundred people came to celebrate the official launch of the Breton Harp Anthology (Antologiezh Telenn Breizh). Among them, twenty-two contributors to the anthology came (in alphabetical order): Nolwenn Arzel, Anne Auffret, Hoëla Barbedette, Dimitri Boekhoorn, Dominig Bouchaud, Nikolaz Cadoret, Jakez François, Muriel Isambert, Florence Jamain, Soazig Kermabon, Tristan Le Govic, Françoise Le Visage, Mael Lhopiteau, Cristine Mérienne, Pierre Nicolas, Soazig Noblet, Nolwenn Philippe, Anne Postic, Gwenola Roparzh, Clotilde Trouillaud, Quentin Vestur and Marie Wambergue.
The Breton harp anthology, Antologiezh Telenn Breizh, is out. This is a unique collection of three music books dedicated to the Celtic harp featuring the best harpists in Brittany (in alphabetical order): Nolwenn Arzel, Anne Auffret, Hoëla Barbedette, Brigitte Baronnet, Yann Bertrand, Dimitri Boekhoorn, Dominig Bouchaud, Aurore Breger, Nikolaz Cadoret, Grégory Cappoen, Georges Cochevelou, Jakez François, Armelle Gourlaouën, Muriel Isambert, Florence Jamain, Gwenael Kerleo, Soazig Kermabon, Mariannig Larc'hantec, Tristan Le Govic, Anne Le Signor, Françoise Le Visage, Mael Lhopiteau, Cristine Mérienne, Martine Millet, Myrdhin, Pierre Nicolas, Soazig Noblet, Kristen Noguès, Nolwenn Philippe, Anne Postic, Hervé Quefféléant, Pol Quefféléant, Gwenola Roparzh, Alan Stivell, Vinciane Tronson, Clotilde Trouillaud, Quentin Vestur and Marie Wambergue.
The Irish and the Highland Harps by Robert Bruce Armstrong is an exceptional document published at the beginning of the 20th century. Now available online, it is also downloadable from the archive.org website. The numerous illustrations and plates of early harps reinserted in their historical context such as the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival followed by the work of Bunting, completed with some arrangements of music by the author himself give both musical and historical perspectives to this book.
As a synonym of intense use of the body, instrumental practice has many consequences in the musician's life. For this reason, optimising the body's capacity to the maximum is necessary; which is possible only by acquiring a right posture. Mentioned as a reference in a previous article about technique, Hara: The Vital Center Of Man, by the German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, is a major help in building this posture.
“Once in a small school in Persia, some pupils were having their first lessons in writing. Holding their breath, gritting their teeth, fingers tensing on their reed pens, they drew as best they could the first letter of the alphabet (alif bâ): the A, alif. It’s a vertical line drawn bottom-up, as simple as the number 1 (written the same way) and, for this reason also, the first letter of the divine name. The children made sure to reproduce the symbol of unity aligning rows of parallel lines on the pages of their writing books. One of them took particular care and, with extreme pleasure, kept filling pages. (more…)
This is the second part of my Master of music dissertation. In this article, I will present the main issues related to the topic of the contemporary repertoire for the Irish harp.
Before getting into the main substance, it is necessary to define some terms. First of all, what is “contemporary music”? Contemporary music is the music composed in the present time, or more broadly in the 20th century, all aesthetics taken together. This matter will lead us to raise musical parameters such as: the melody, the rhythm, the harmony, the tone, the form or the spatialisation.
The dissertation for my Master of music Le Répertoire contemporain de la harpe irlandaise (The Contemporary repertoire for the Irish harp, in French) is available for downloading following the article. Written in 2001-2002, under the supervision of Marie-Claire Mussat, during my studies at the Université de Rennes 2, in Brittany, and University College Cork, in Ireland, this dissertation is based on the contemporary repertoire written and composed for the Irish harp nowadays. The content is divided into two distinct parts. The first part is a methodology work with an annotated bibliography, a questionnaire and a study of contemporary music catalogues. The second part is a development and thoughts on the topic.