minstrel: Harp beginner's book

Holly Linette at epix.net
Sat Dec 1 19:17:36 PST 2001

At 09:03 PM 12/1/01 -0500, Tibicen wrote:
>I noticed that neither of my two young harper friends had any
>inspirational recordings of people doing great things with folk harps,
>much less great period things.
>Any must-buy recordings I should know about?  If some poor undergrad
>were going to buy only one CD, what would you recommend?

Um, sorry, can't recommend only one CD.  Not gonna happen.  A few off the 
top of my head....

A favorite is Carol Wood's Chaucer Songbook.  A very lovely production of a 
variety of early songs, instrumental only, and with voice, three different 
female soloists and a very deep bass solo on two songs.  Beautiful, 
wonderful music.  I don't feel able to say that the arrangements are 
medieval in style, but they are often evocative, and Carol's playing is 
remarkable.  Even better, if you buy the CD & book set, it costs only $25, 
and you get the incredible CD, and the music to play it yourself (if you 
can! It's not always easy!), and quite a lot of very interesting commentary 
from a knowledgeable scholar.  I believe it's available at Mel Bay.

Bill Taylor has a couple of CD's - one is named something "Two Worlds of 
the Welsh Harp" I think?  and there's another one - "Greysteil" which is 
waaaaay cool.

Sinfonye has a CD "Bella Dona" which has Andrew Lawrence King plyaing harp 
on some songs.  I especially like the Cantigas de Amigo of martin Codax.

Laura Zaerr has a CD that was mentioned recently.  I can't remember the 
name.  I haven't heard the CD yet, but I've seen her live and she's an 
amazing player.

And David Parish-Whitaker (who so recently posted to this list) plays an 
excellent harp, and there are some songs on his group's CD.  I think you 
can go to <www.thegoliards.com> to order one (or buy one from my father's 
business, but if you buy directly from David, his group gets more money!  Duh!)

Ranging further afield, into "merely" folk harp music, my recent 
discoveries have included Harper Tasche, a gentleman from Alaska? who 
paints beautiful music pictures with his gentle playing.  Just gorgeous 
music.  Pamela Bruner plays and sings and writes songs, and one of her 
CD's, "Til We Meet Again: Songs of Celtic Women" has some songs that might 
be appropriate for post-revels, if not formal bardic circles.  Lovely, 
lovely music.  Other folk harpers to search on would include Laurie Riley, 
Sue Richards (some Celtic and interesting Scandinavian music), Tina Tourin, 
Kathy DeAngelo.  Those are a few of the harpers I saw at last year Somerset 
Folk Harp Festival in Somerset NJ, which will happen again next year on 
July 18th-22.  Awesome place to get inspired about harps.  Write me for 
more info!

Well, this is what you get, asking for one CD recommendation.  I can babble 
at the best of times, and I'm overtired now - sorry if I've talked 
(written) anyone's ears off!


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