Nadia Birkenstock ft. Roxane Genot – “Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill”.

Hey people! 🙂 

   This mournful piece I’d like to share with you today was composed by Turlough O’Carolan, an Irish harper and composer whose many compositions, played by different harpists, I’ve shared on here so far. Nadia Birkenstock is also someone whose music has been featured on this blog a couple times before. This time round, she plays this together with the French cellist Roxane Genot. I love the combination of harp and cello so much, though cello always makes me sad because it reminds me of my late friend Jacek from Helsinki who played this instrument. As for Owen Roe O’Neill, he was a soldier and leader of one of the Irish Catholic revolts against the rule of England. 

Aberjaber – “Taith Madog” (Madog’s Journey”

Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I have an interesting piece for you from the Anglo-Welsh group Aberjaber, one of whose members was Delyth Evans (currently Jenkins), the harpist whose solo music I’ve also shared quite a lot with you on here. This piece, as you can see in the title, is called Madog’s Journey in English, and I don’t know that for sure, but it feels quite safe to assume that the Madog is the Welsh prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, who is said to have sailed to the Americas some three hundred years before Columbus.

Nadja Birkenstock – “Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant” (He Is Born, The Divine Child).

Hey people! 🙂 

   Epiphany is coming tomorrow, so it’s still Christmas time, and I decided to share with you this joyful French Christmas carol, played by the German Celtic harpist. 

Susan Scott “Clair De Lune”.

Hi people! 🙂 

   Today, let’s listen to this very famous and beautiful piece by Claude Debussy, played by Celtic harpist Susan Scott. I really like this composition, and I think it sounds especially good on the harp, harp is a great instrument for playing music about the moon, imo. 

 

Aine Minogue – “The Selkie” & Cecile Corbel – “The Great Selkie”.

Hey people! 🙂

I think I’ve shared that on my blog already that one of my favourite folk creatures are selkies. So today I thought I’d share with you two songs about them, which are practically variations of one song, both vastly differing arrangements. Both Aine Minogue’s and Cecile Corbel’s music has already been featured on my blog. They’re both harpists. Aine was born in country Tipperary in Ireland but currently resides in the Boston area, whereas Cecile is from Brittany.

Usually when I share two versions of the same or almost the same song it’s because I can’t choose between them, but here, I can say with no hesitation that Aine’s version speaks to me much more. Still, I really like Cecile’s version too, and I think it sounds very interesting, and even more so when you compare the two.

Aine Minogue:

Cecile Corbel:

Órla Fallon – “Wild Mountain Thyme”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you quite a popular folk song which is Scottish in origin. It was adapted by Francis McPeake from Belfast, from a poem called Braes of Balquhither by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill, with already existing music composed by Robert Archibald Smith. Ever since it was first recorded in 1950’s, it has been sung by loads of Anglophone folk musicians and it’s also alternately known as Will Ye Go, Lassie Go. Órla Fallon’s version is oone of my favourites.

Delyth Evans – “Pandeira de Nebra”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to a harp piece from Delyth Evans (currently better known as Delyth Jenkins). I have no idea what the title of this piece means, if anything, haven’t been able to figure anything out. It looks like Spanish or Portuguese to my brain but doesn’t seem to mean anything particular in either of these languages. Still, it’s a beautiful piece, and that’s what’s important to me.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Glan Môr Heli” (Seaside of Heli).

Hey people! 🙂

For today I have for you a beautiful piece played and sung by Welsh Celtic harpist and folk singer Gwenan Gibbard. As far as I know, it’s a traditional tune. Honestly though, I don’t really know what “Heli” in the title is supposed to me. As far as I can tell, there’s no such word in Welsh and it’s quite clearly a placename, but I don’t know of any place called Heli in Wales (which doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t one, just that I haven’t come across it). The only thing that I can think of is a town called Pwllheli on the Llŷn Peninsula, which, as it happens, is Gwenan Gibbard’s hometown, so maybe it’s colloquially known as Heli or used to be called Heli in the past or something. Maybe I’d be able to figure out more about what Heli is if I understood more of the lyrics. I’m pretty sure from what I do understand that there’s a mention of Ireland in this song though.

Margie Butler ft. Florrie Brown – “Beauty of the North/Glen of Copsewood”.

For today, I have a beautiful Celtic two-piece set. I don’t know any other music from Florrie Brown, but as for Margie Butler she’s one of the very first Celtic harpists I’ve heard, I got a cassette with her music from my Mum years ago, Margie is from Ireland. As far as I’m aware, this first piece was composed by Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and the other is traditional.

Celia Briar – “We Wish You A Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Hey people! 🙂

Christmas isn’t yet here, but it’s coming very soon, and so I thought I’d share something Christmassy today, the second Christmassy song this Advent. This set of two pieces comes from the Irish Celtic harpist Celia Briar whose music I’ve already shared on here a few times. As you can figure out from the titles, the first one is We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and the second is the Scottish Auld Lang Syne. It comes from her Christmas album Celtic Peace at Christmas.

Celia Briar – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas/Auld Lang Syne”.

Sarah Copus – “Walking in the Air”.

And today, it’s time for the first Christmas song on here this Christmas season! I’ve already shared with you this lovely Christmas classic performed by one of my faza people Declan Galbraith, but I also really like this ethereal version by Sarah Copus. Sarah Copus is a singer and harpist, who aside from her own solo activity, also collaborates with their parents’ new age-y (and a bit creepy sounding to me most of the time) music project called 2002, she contributes the vocals on a lot of their newer music.

Song of the day (6th December) – Clannad – “Mrs. McDermot”.

Hey people!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to share the song for yesterday on time as I had a migraine so I’m doing it today. I thought I’d share with you another song composed by the Irish 19th century harper Turlough O’Carolan, whose compositions, played by different artists, I’ve already shared many times on here. He dedicated a lot of his tunes to people that were important in his life, particularly his patrons who supported his career and development as a musician, and it’s no different with this piece. Mrs. MacDermot Roe was actually someone of key importance in O’Carolan’s life because it was thanks to her and her family that he became a harper. It is in her house that he seems to have found a second family home and that’s also where he died. She was the wife of his father employer, who took care of young Turlough’s education when he lost his sight at eighteen due to smallpox. She paid for his training, and then gave him money, a guide, and a horse, so that he could travel round the country and compose his music and earn a living this way. Most often I’ve shared with you O’Carolan’s pieces played by the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared his music played by Clannad before. Specifically, it’s Maire/Moya Brennan (who’s also the vocalist) who plays the harp in their family band.

Delyth & Angharad Jenkins – “Casse en Lorient”.

For today, I’d like to share with you another harp & fiddle piece from this Welsh mother-daughter duo whose music appears on my blog quite frequently. They’re also known as DNA or D&A. I think it’s a really beautiful piece with a kind of reflective vibe to it.

Delyth & Angharad Jenkins – “Casse en Lorient”.

Lynn Saoirse – “Mr. O’Connor With Jig”.

Hey people! 🙂

Time for another piece from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by the 18th century Irish blind harpist Turlough O’Carolan. As I mentioned when talking about several other pieces from this album, O’Carolan often dedicated his music to his various patrons who supported him throughout his career, that’s why many of his tunes have different people’s names in their titles. I’m not sure who Mr. O’Connor was for him exactly though. As you’ll be able to hear, this piece consists of two parts. The first, longer one is a waltz, and the second, as is easy to figure out from the title, is a jig, although usually this piece is simply called Mr. O’Connor/O’Conner unlike on Lynn Saoirse’s album. While this piece is delightful in its entirety, I really really love this first, floaty waltz part.

Cecile Corbel – “L’orage” (The Storm).

Hey guys! 🙂

I am quite surprised that I haven’t shared any music from this artist so far, because I really like her and have been familiar with her music for many years now. Cecile Corbel is a Celtic harpist and singer from Finistere in Brittany. She first learned about Celtic harp during a concert of Greek harpist Elisa Vellia, who later became her teacher. Cecile sings in many languages, from English to French to Breton to Irish to Japanese. I guess what she’s particularly known for is composing the soundtrack to Arrietty the Borrower. I like her characteristic, a bit child-like-sounding voice. This song I want to share with you today comes from her latest album SongBook, Vol. 5 – Notes. As regular readers know, I have no idea about French, but Google Translate claims the title of this song translates to English as The Storm.

Song of the day (12th November) – Delyth & Angharad Jenkins – “Can y Lleisoniaid” (Song of the Lleisons).

I’ve already shared one interpretation of this song, played by Gwenan Gibbard. If I had to choose which one I prefer, I definitely wouldn’t be able to tell, they’re all beautiful, and I suppose this mournful-sounding piece would be really difficult to properly butcher by anyone. As I’ve explained when sharing the Gwenan Gibbard rendition, Lleison is a Welsh surname. I wonder who they were and what’s the story behind this piece.

Aberjaber – “Y Crefftwr/Kost Ar Choat/Whelan’s Jig” (The Craftsman/Kost Ar Choat/Whelan’s Jig).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a set of three pieces, played by the Anglo-Welsh band Aberjaber, another quite regularly appearing act on this blog, which no longer exists but which sparked myy interest because Delyth Jenkins (or Delyth Evans back then) – the Welsh harpist whom I really like – was part of it.

I could be wrong but it seems very likely to me, based on these pieces’ names, that each of them comes from a different Celtic region. The first one, Y Crefftwr, means The Craftsman in Welsh. The second, Kost Ar Choat, seems to be some kind of Breton dance. And the third, Whelan’s Jig, seems Irish to me, given that the last name Whelan is Irish in origin. I really like all three of these pieces.

Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – “Hinna-Djulo”.

Hi people!

The piece I want to share with you today comes from this amazing Welsh-Senegalese duo’s latest album called Soar which I really love. Catrin is a very versatile Welsh Celtic harpist, and Seckou Keita is a kora player, the first kora player whom I ever heard playing this instrument and who made me realise that I like it a lot. Apparently, despite Hinna-Djulo was released on their latest album in 2018, this piece is older than that, but only when working on Soar did they feel that it was ready to be shown. I think it’s interesting because to me this piece feels so perfect that it totally makes sense that they must have been polishing it for ages to make it sound the way it does. Catrin’s harp is incredible here.

Catrin Finch ft. Seckou Keita – “Hinna-Djulo”.

Delyth Evans – “Ysbryt Kilvrough” (Spirit of Kilvrough).

Hi people! 🙂

Today I have for you a piece played by the Welsh Celtic harpist Delyth Evans, better known as Delyth Jenkins these days, from her 1991 album “Delta (Cerddoriaeth y Delyn Geltaidd/Music of the Celtic Harp”. I suppose that the Kilvrough in the title refers to Kilvrough Manor, a country house near Swansea. And the spirit should perhaps actually be translated as ghost? I’m not sure, I haven’t heard anything about this place being haunted or the like, but then I know next to nothing about it in general.