The bass end of the Carolan harp (which was sometimes called the Rose Mooney harp) is very damaged, and there has been a lot of movement inside the bass joint. However it’s not possible to measure this movement from the outside, because of the later repairs with iron straps and canvas bandages completely covering this part of the harp.
I had an idea to try and make stereo pair photographs of this part of the harp, to see if I could use them to measure the amount of movement both downwards (towards the bass end of the soundbox) and backwards (towards the back of the harp).
Continue reading 3d photography as a measurement tool
A discussion about the provenance of the Rose Mooney or Carolan harp which is owned by the National Museum of Ireland, prompted some thoughts about the decorative finial on the tops of the forepillars of the old Irish harps. I thought it might be interesting to line them all up to see if there were patterns or groups.
Continue reading Irish harp finials: scrolls, figures and beasts
I was reviewing my interview with Mícheál Ó Catháin for forthcoming inclusion on his State of the Art interview series, and a comment on my upbringing in the English change-ringing tradition started me thinking about the potential soundscape of change-ringing in the ears of the old Irish harp tradition bearers.
Continue reading harpers listening to bells
I started my blog on 17th May 2010. I shifted it to a WordPress site hosted at clarsach.scot on 4th October 2014. Now that I’m no longer based in Scotland I have let that domain go, and after some consideration, I decided to streamline things and move the blog and the archive onto my personal home page.
I still aim to post at least one thing a month – you will see from the archives that I failed this August due to my move to Armagh, and travelling to Kilkenny and Brittany.
My home page image is of my new business card. This is done as an homage to my grandfather whose business card forms the header to this post.
Thanks for reading this far and I hope to see you around here in the future as well!
my very old teacher
a pupil of Hempson
He plucked the
strings with his
J P Sherwin
Continue reading A pupil of Hempson
On Friday I was at Áras an Uachtaráin with Siobhán Armstrong and Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin, for Culture Night. We gave a 20 minute presentation to the President’s guests; I spoke for a few minutes and then Siobhán and Eibhlís played and sang.
Continue reading Early Irish harp at Áras an Uachtaráin
I was passing through the village of St Tugen, and so I stopped and looked into his church. It is a beautiful building, full of painted wooden sculpture. There was an information sheet that gave his life story, and there was a glass case with his relics.
Continue reading Saint Tugen
After 12½ years in St Andrews I have moved to Armagh – from the ancient ecclesiastical centre of Scotland, to the ancient ecclesiastical centre of Ireland.
Continue reading Change of address
I was in Edinburgh on 28th April 2018, to see the Lord Lyon King of Arms and one of his Unicorn Pursuviants presenting Dr. Robert Currie with his commission as Commander of the Name and Arms of Currie. Continue reading Failte Mhic Mhuirich
Yesterday I was at Verdant Works in Dundee to play the lunchtime concert in their delightful “Music in the Mill” series. I played two big pibroch tunes, and I videoed one of them for you:
Continue reading Ceòl mór at Verdant Works