Historical Harp Society of Ireland

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HHSI 2012 summer concert series

The Historical Harp Society of Ireland is delighted to present our 10th summer concert series of medieval to 18th century treasures of Gaelic music:


GALWAY Nun’s Island Theatre, 23 Nun’s Island  Thurs 16th Aug 8.00 p.m.
DUBLIN   St. Ann’s Church, Dawson St., Dublin 2 Fri 17th Aug 8.00 p.m.

Tickets €15/ €10,  payable at the door. Bookings: 087 6332891

We are delighted to celebrate our tenth season by presenting a delicious feast of historical Gaelic music: Irish and Scottish harp music with traditional Irish and Scots Gaelic singing and—in Dublin and Galway—some added piping!

The concerts will present two of the world's finest historical harpists:
Ann Heymann (USA),
Siobhán Armstrong (IRL),
playing rare, early Irish harps strung in brass, silver and gold wires.
They will be joined by Scotland's premier historical piper Barnaby

and acclaimed Scottish traditional singers Griogair Labhruidh and Talitha

Sound clips here: http://www.irishharpschool.com/concerts.htm
Concert poster here: http://www.irishharpschool.com/poster_2012.pdf

These concerts are a rare opportunity to hear early Irish harps, the ancient instruments depicted in Ireland’s national emblem. The performers will play exquisite replicas of the Trinity College or ‘Brian Boru’ harp—Ireland's only surviving carved and bejewelled medieval harp. Audiences will have a rare opportunity to experience the meltingly beautiful sound of brass, silver and 18-carat GOLD strings played in the ancient manner, with fingernails, by three of the world’s foremost early Irish harp players.

Our harpists will be joined by the Scots Gaelic singers, Talitha MacKenzie and Griogair Labhruidh and historical Scottish piper, Barnaby Brown, will join the team. Griogair's family has been steeped in the musical traditions of Argyll for centuries while Barnaby's rare medieval triple-pipes and haunting early 19th century small pipes complement the harps and voices perfectly.

These concerts are part of the international Scoil na gCláirseach—Summer School of Early Irish Harp, which takes place at Kilkenny School of Music
8th-14th August, 2012.

Tickets*  *€15/ €10:, payable at the door. Bookings: 087 6332891

For more information about the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and Scoil na gCláirseach please visit our web-pages at www.irishharp.org or phone us on +353 (0)87 6332891. The Historical Harp Society is grateful for the financial support of An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Ireland is unique in having, as its national emblem, a musical instrument: a harp. The current emblem depicts a real instrument: the 14th-15th century harp kept in the Long Room of Trinity College Library, which is Ireland's only surviving medieval harp. This typifies the kind of harp that was played in Ireland for more than 800 years.

The early Irish harp was played by highly skilled musicians in the Gaelic courts and later the great houses, from the early Middle Ages until its demise in the early 19th century. With a sound-box carved from a single log of willow and strung with brass—and possibly even silver or gold—wire, the extraordinary sound of this instrument, which was played with the fingernails, was described in glowing terms by visitors to Ireland from the 12th century onwards.

The much more familiar neo-Irish harp of the modern era—invented in the 19th-century, strung with gut or nylon and played with the finger pads—has now replaced the early Irish harp. The HHSI is dedicated to reviving the original instrument.