Edward Bunting‘s first field notebook, which he used to take down live transcriptions from the old harpers in 1792 and later, is kept at Queens University Belfast, Special Collections, MS4/29.
Usually known as ms29, it is a small oblong notebook stuffed full of sketchy drafts and scribbled transcriptions from the playing of the last tradition bearers.
On page 1 of the book is a two-staff arrangement of “The Banks of Claudy”.
Continue reading The Banks of Claudy
Today in St Andrews I played the second in this summer’s season of medieval harp concerts. I chose to play the traditional piobaireachd, Cogadh no sith (war or peace), re-imagined as a medieval ceremonial march for the Lords of the Isles.
Continue reading A half-hour pibroch
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
When Iris Nevins gave me the Arnold Dolmetsch harp no.10, it had a bad soundboard crack. Closer inspection showed that the entire area where the neck attached to the soundbox was also loose.
I had promised Iris that I would get the harp up and running and do a video of it being played, so first I had to repair it.
Continue reading Repairing, restringing and playing the Dolmetsch harp
Yesterday I drove out from Oxford to the Uffington white horse. On the way I stopped at the Blowing Stone, and blew it. Continue reading The Blowing Stone
I have never done this, or seen it done, or even heard it done. But here is a video on Youtube showing the ringers at Blackburn firing! Thanks to the Ringing World letters page for this link! Continue reading Firing the bells
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
On a whim, I went to the cave, and recorded a video of the pìobaireachd, Uamh an Òir (the Cave of Gold). Continue reading Uamh an Òir
Here are the two Youtubes, showing the sound of the harp before and after the work. Let me know what you think.
Continue reading Before & after
I have been practicing my jouhikko tunes in preparation for Northern Streams in Edinburgh, (24-25 April 2015). These are the very first jouhikko tunes I learned, as they were on the ‘Reel’ demo tape with Alexander Leonov’s jouhikko playing, which I was given as a gift many years ago, brought back from Petrozavodsk Folk Festival by a friend. Continue reading Karelian jouhikko tunes