The Collectif ARP was created a year ago by Clotilde Trouillaud, Cristine Mérienne, Alice Soria-Cadoret and Nikolaz Cadoret. It was built on a simple idea, to develop their harp activities together. Tristan Le Govic joined them a few months later and Nathalie D’Alcantara, Jean-Yves Cadoret and Philippe Dos accompany them in their projects.
Originally from Scotland, clàrsach in hand, Maeve Gilchrist has moved to the United States where she has developed a unique sound between Celtic, jazz and experimental music. The release of her new album, 20 Chandler Street, gives us the opportunity to come back to the unusual career of one of today's most talented harpists.
Dimitri Boekhoorn always surprises us with his versatility as a musician. On stage, with a dozen harps, of different times, sizes and sounds, with wire strings (brass, bronze, steel), horsehair, ancient gut, in synthetic materials (nylon, carbon), historical harps from the Middle Ages or modern instruments created from scratch, he travels time, space, and music. He still surprises us when he presents a real mystery: a harp with golden strings. Answers from him:
Daughter in law of Nobel prize winner William Butler Yeats, Gráinne Yeats passed away on April 18th this year. She is, together with Sheila Larchet Cuthbert and Mercedes Bolger, credited with the Irish harp revival and particularly that of the wire-strung harp. Gráinne was an internationally accomplished harp player, singer, teacher and historian. Born in a family close to its Irish roots, she knew some hundreds of songs learned during her childhood in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region).
In one week, the 30th edition of the Dinan Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique will be launched (see the post dedicated to this subject). The artistic director and founder of the festival, Myrdhin, gave us an interview in which he talks about the creation of the Rencontres, the important years and the present edition.
Retiring early from a specialised medical career, the Irishman Derek Ball can now devote himself full-time to composition. His repertoire includes solo instruments pieces, chamber music (like his Songs and Stories of Caílte's Time for Celtic harp and speaker, created by Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Séamus mac Gabhan) as well as larger works for symphonic orchestra and operas. Particularly present on the Irish contemporary music scene, his music has been programmed by the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, the Dublin Symphony Orchestra and performed in the United-States. Derek Ball is a composer who does not hesitate to combine the Celtic harp with any kind of other instruments, voice and even computer.
Surprisingly, the great composer and conductor Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), who’s works – such as the well-known Adagietto of the 5th symphony – are considered among the most beautiful pages of the pedal harp music, actually did hear of the Celtic harp during his life. However unlikely that, in the 19th century, the Austrian composer would have had the opportunity to see – and even less hear – the harp of the bards, he couldn’t ignore the existence of such an instrument. (more…)