• Brought to you by The CLARSACH SOCIETY

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  • Laoise Kelly : Llio Rhydderch : Adriano Sangineto : Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy

    Mon, 12 April 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:30 pm BST

    Adriano Sangineto

    Italian musician Adriano presents Arpa Creativa, a show with a thousand aspects, where his harp becomes an extension of his lively and engaging character. His original compositions bring new and unexpected twists to the mainstream harp repertoire.  Hands and feet keep on moving under and over the stage as he draws on his experience of many styles and genres, skilfully blending them with humour into his own inimitable performance.

    Laoise Kelly

    Laoise’s concert will feature material from her solo traditional repertoire displaying her iconic driving style for which she is famed and admired.  She will also perform some of her new compositions inspired by birdsong and evoking the beautiful environment of her native Ireland.

    Llio Rhydderch

    Steeped from birth in the living tradition of the Welsh Triple Harp, Llio has preserved and extended this music into this century, sharing it with the world and passing it on to her students. In performance she brings her own boundary breaking artistry to create sound worlds of exquisite vision and emotional depth.

    Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy

    Combining Scotland’s oldest Scottish instrument, the clarsach, and the newest addition to the traditional music arsenal, the guitar, Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy embrace the rich cultural tradition that currently thrives throughout Scotland.  With a repertoire ranging from crisp strathspeys and heartfelt airs to virtuosic reels and driving jigs, Rachel and Ron dissect some of Scotland’s most ancient of melodies and intersperse them with new ideas and self-penned tunes, performing music from their latest release, SPARKS.

    “Sparkling and inspiring” **** Songlines Magazine

    “Brilliantly simpatico duo, exhilarating adrenalin ecstatic emotion” fRoots Magazine

    Sponsored by David & Brenda Lamb.

    £4 – £12

    Dråm : Esther Swift : Park Stickney : Hermanos Corbalán

    Sun, 11 April 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:30 pm BST


    The Swedish musicians Erik Ask-Upmark and Anna Rynefors – known as “Dråm” perform their Nordic music in a captivating way with much charm and humour.  The quietness of Sweden’s deep forests and wide open spaces is reflected in the sonorous qualities of the harp, which goes back to Viking times, blending perfectly with the haunting and mellow Swedish bagpipes and the unique Swedish instrument, the Nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle).  They are both Riksspelman – “Master Musician of the Realm” and have taken their music to many places, including Anna playing for thousands of children in The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Erik performing in China on the World’s first ice harp!  Dråm approaches Nordic music with respect and love, imparting a contemporary and passionate character to a tradition.

    Esther Swift

    Esther will perform her own Time Spinner for solo pedal harp, commissioned by her former harp teacher Eira Lynn Jones, which was written in celebration and honour of the life of their mutual friend and fellow harpist Helen MacLeod.   She will follow this with her own setting of Problems to Sharpen the Young, a poem about immigration in the context of a 9th century recreational mathematics problem, by Irish poet Rachel McCrum.  She will then perform one of her favourite songs by Kate Bush, as well as her lockdown single Song for a Quiet Winter as recently featured on Radio 3’s Night Tracks.

    Hermanos Corbalán  

    Sixto and Juanjo will take us on a journey through the musical landscapes of their native Paraguay, full of harmonies and sounds that have their roots in the compound 6/8 time typical of that region. Their virtuosic and expressive playing will transport us into the freedom of their world of harmonic, rhythmic and melodic improvisation.

    Park Stickney

    “Yes, my office is always this clean”: a video house concert with Park Stickney, involving jazz and serendipity.    An at-home concert which explores the question “Can we possibly make this any more logistically convenient?”, a concert with the smallest possible carbon footprint.    Stickney will perform while wearing one of his prized collection of (2) Edinburgh Harp Festival t-shirts.  This, however, isn’t surprising as he’s been basically wearing them nonstop since March 2020.  [flash photography and filming strongly encouraged]

    Supported by the Jack Hayward Insurance.

    £4 – £12

    Corrina Hewat & Dave Milligan : Yiota Myserli : Young Chinese Musicians : Maeve Gilchrist : Tarab Trio

    Sat, 10 April 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:30 pm BST

    Corrina Hewat and Dave Milligan

    Corrina Hewat & Dave Milligan have been creating music together since the early 1990s, when they formed the band Bachué. Always with the duo of harp and piano at the heart of their music, the band evolved over the following years, releasing three critically acclaimed albums: Bachué Café (1996); A Certain Smile (1999) and The Butterfly (2004). Consistently lauded for their ground-breaking and jazz-inflected approach to Scottish traditions, their music has inspired a whole new generation of players and their three releases are often cited as a source of inspiration for new music being created to this day.

    Their passion for exploring and fusing styles grew, eventually resulting in the birth of The Unusual Suspects; one of the most ambitious and successful large-scale music ensembles in modern Scottish music. In the intimate format of duo again, Hewat and Milligan explore the repertoire of Scottish and Celtic traditions, blended with original music & songs and delivered through a wide lens of musical vocabulary and style.

    Maeve Gilchrist

    Enjoy a rare and intimate solo concert with US Based, Edinburgh-born Harper, Maeve Gilchrist. She will be playing solo versions of repertoire from her latest release The Harp Weaver, as well as a couple of new tunes and even a bit of poetry!

    Tarab Trio – The Sultan’s Serenade   

    Tom Daun (Germany), Akad Shawayri (Iran), Saher Issa (Iraq)

    Sparkling sounds of the santur, the Persian hammered dulcimer, mix with soft harp chords and melancholic melodies on the saz, the long-necked lute of Anatolia. Tarab Trio offer a colourful programme ranging from Kurdish folk dances and early music of the Ottoman court to Balkan rhythms and expressive songs in Arabic and Kurdish. The trio was formed in 2015 and has performed frequently in concerts and festivals, winning many fans and admirers.

    Young Chinese Musicians.

    We are pleased be able to include these performances which were organised by Professor Ping Zhang of the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot Watt University. Thanks to Professor Zhang and Steve King Director of Music at Heriot Watt for permission to play these recordings at EIHF 2021.

    The Guzheng Ensemble plays a 20th century piece Fighting Typhoon which portrays dock workers fighting against the devastating effects of the storm. The guzheng, like the clarsach, is an ancient instrument which has been developed into its modern version which we hear today.

    The Folk Music Ensemble performs The Ancient Tea Horse Road. Sometimes called The Silk Road, this is an ancient trading road stretching over 4000 kilometres between China and South East Asia.

    Yiota Myserli – Winner of The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award 2019-20

    Yiota’s award-winning composition The Path invites the listener to dive into deeper emotions, past experiences and nostalgic moments and to take a moment of reflection on the trajectory of life. The piece is offered to the audience as a blank canvas where everyone can project their own feelings and experiences. To Yiota, it expresses a personal trip into her deeper thoughts and emotions and she is delighted to share it with the audience through this performance.

    Supported by the Edinburgh Branch of The Clarsach Society.

    £4 – £12

    All Concert Pass

    Fri, 9 April 2021 @ 7:00 pm Mon, 12 April 2021 @ 9:30 pm BST

    Experience an ear-tingling array of top-class harp music for just £15.

    Line-up to include:

    Adriano Sangineto / Ailie Robertson / Corrina Hewat / Eira Lynn Jones and Anne Denholm / Esther Swift / Hermanos Corbalán / Ingrid Henderson and Iain Macfarlane / Laoise Kelly / Llio Rhydderch / Maeve Gilchrist / Maggie MacInnes / Park Stickney / Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy / Sileas / Tarab Trio

    Available for a limited time only, so book without delay!


    Ailie Robertson : Iain MacFarlane & Ingrid Henderson : Maggie MacInnes : Sìleas

    Fri, 9 April 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:30 pm BST

    Ailie Robertson                  

    Ailie will present a programme drawn from her repertoire of favourite tunes from the Scottish and Irish traditions.  She is also a prolific composer of highly original material, displaying “otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic Harp“.

    Iain MacFarlane & Ingrid Henderson

    Together these musical stalwarts create a stunning sound, reflective of the beautiful, culture-rich West Highlands that continue to shape them.  Based mainly on fiddle and harp they combine years of performing experience and a genuine love and understanding of the tradition to produce a sound which leaves you enriched and enlightened. They bring an absolute joy to their live performances, complementing each other’s musical attributes with intuitive musicality. Stories and anecdotes about the melodies and humorous recollections enhance MacFarlane & Henderson superbly fluent, always expressive and engaging music.

    “Always a treat for the ears and the soul”

    Maggie MacInnes

    Maggie will be performing much loved favourite songs from her vast repertoire in the many albums she has recorded over the years to celebrate this special 40th anniversary of the Harp Festival.

    Sìleas (Mary Macmaster and Patsy Seddon)

    Mary and Patsy first met during a Clarsach Society summer school in 1977 and then again in 1981 in Edinburgh University’s Celtic Studies Department.  They shared a love of Scottish and Gaelic music and song and began playing together, sparking off each other’s ideas and composing their own pieces to add to the rich seam of Scottish music.

    After graduating in 1985, they toured extensively, releasing several recordings as Sìleas and with the groups Clan Alba and The Poozies. In Sìleas, the intricacy of their interwoven harps is heard in its most pure and beautiful form alongside the magical harmonies of their Gaelic and Scots song.

    Over the last decades they have inspired many, taking the clarsach to places “it may never recover from”!

    Supported by the Edinburgh Branch of The Clarsach Society.