I think I first played a public concert on the harp almost 10 years ago, on 4th October 2006, for the first ever Friends of Wighton lunchtime concert in the Wighton Centre in Dundee.
But yesterday’s in St Andrews was the first I have ever tried filming.
Continue reading Concert in St Andrews
I am working hard this week, preparing for three events in three days. On Saturday I am in Dundee; on Sunday in St Andrews and on Monday in London.
Continue reading Events in Dundee, St Andrews and London
Steach gu Ciosamul an aighir,
Far a faighte cuirm ri gabhail
Ol fìon o oidhche gus an latha,
Pìobaireachd na feadan lagach,
‘s clàrsach bhinn ga gleusadh mar ris…
I was at Castlebay this past weekend, to play the harp at the Galley Castles Conference organised by the Islands Book Trust. I played three times for three different events during the conference, all of them fairly informal. Though I didn’t get a chance to formally present a paper on my research into the medieval Hebridean harp music and instrument tradition, I was pleased to be able to discuss my research and work with a number of interested academics working in this area on the history and archaeology of the castles and society of the medieval Western Isles and the Lordship of the Isles.
Continue reading Playing the harp in Kisimul Castle
I am preparing for Wednesday’s concert here in St Andrews. I am going to play a programme of “Ceòl Rígh Innse Gall”, my speculative re-imaginings of medieval West-Highland ceremonial music. This project is still very much a work-in-progress, and I am still thinking hard about how this music should work, and what sources of inspiration and musical material to raid.
Continue reading Ceòl Rí Innse Gall
As I have been practicing the Fairy Queen for tomorrow’s concert, and I have the Downhill harp here this week, I thought I would do a quick Youtube of it as a record of where I am at the moment.
Continue reading The Fairy Queen
I am preparing for my Carolan concert in a couple of weeks time, and today I made up the posters ready to be put around town.
Continue reading Carolan’s Concerto
At today’s concert in All Saints Church Hall, I played Cumha Raonuill Mhic Ailein Òig on the fiddle, as part of my new programme “The contest betwixt fiddle & harp”. I was very nervous to present the fiddle in public but it seemed to go down very well.
Continue reading Playing a fiddle tune
Here’s a photo of me taken at today’s Lament for the Union concert at the Wighton Centre in Dundee.
Continue reading Wighton centre, Dundee
On Friday 24th April is the first big public outing of the replica Queen Mary harp after it has been seriously reworked inside by Natalie Surina of Ériú Harps. I am going to present my “Margaret 1281” programme of storytelling, song, harp music and bowed-lyre tunes, as part of the annual Northern Streams festival in Edinburgh.
Continue reading Margaret 1281 concert at Northern Streams
I have been getting my records out, ready for next Wednesday’s event in the Wighton Centre, Dundee. I am getting nervous now, whether the machine will behave itself, and whether it will all run to time OK! I have about half an hour, and so I was thinking that perhaps 6 sides would be OK, though I do think I may overrun if I chat about each track! But I do want to include Gaelic song, Scots song, fiddle, pipes and clarsach, so that’s 5 sides instantly, and I have to play the disc with Marjory Kennedy-fraser at the piano. So we’ll see.
I am thinking I might also take along some of my other discs just to show off or for people to look at (and perhaps for requests after the event is over!). I have another 1914 “Scots song” disc, the Joseph Hislop disc, and one Jimmy Shand (from the ’40s I suppose) and one Harry Lauder which looks like it is from the teens. It’s not a huge collection but it is pretty diverse representation of Scottish music.
I thought of also taking the Mabel Dolmetsch discs to show as well, but they are just too fragile to risk travelling with and they can’t be played so I think there is no point.
You can get the full description of the event next Wednesday lunchtime on the Friends of Wighton news page.