If I were a blackbird, Kim Robertson, La Crosse Irish Fest 2008

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, real life has taken over in a big way and computer activities are at a minimum right now (most harpists can relate to the craziness of the holiday concert season; add major home renovations on top of that and you get the general idea). My goal is to get the Harp Blog back into its usual swing in the new year. In the meantime, here’s a video of the incomparable Kim Robertson, who I had the honour to meet and chat with at the Northern Lights Harp Fest.

To find out more about Kim and her music, you can visit her website at www.kimrobertson.net. You can see more videos of Kim at La Crosee ’08 via the LAXIrishFest YouTube channel (or by following the links in the video above).

Alan Stivell: Brian Boru on gold harp

Very cool version of Brian Boru’s, from the master of Celtic fusion himself.  I had only ever heard (and played) the traditional march version of this tune before, but it works surprisingly well as a song.  Complete lyrics are included below (they’re pretty much identical on all the online lyrics sites, including the notes in French and English, presumably taken from the liner notes of the CD).

The Harp Blog posted Brian Boru’s as a tune of the month way back when, which you can download here.  Following the link to Chubby Sparrow Music will take you to a midi version of the tune (along with a bunch of other free trad Celtic midi files).

A summary of Alan Stivell’s career and influence on Celtic & harp music can be found here (and of course the standard Wiki entry, here).  Alain’s official website is www.alan-stivell.com (trilingual in Breton, French & English).

LYRICS:

Marv Brian Boru ‘rein buhez ‘n Iwerzhon
Dihan e Bro-Ulad ha ba ker Dulenn
Undedan tiegezhn unded an dud-man
Unded ar Gelted hag an douar

Maraiodh Brian Boru chun beatha nna heireann
Siochain in gcuige Uladh agus i mbaile ‘cliath
Aontacht an teaghlaigh, aontacht na dtuath
Aontacht an domhain is na gCeiltteach

Diouzh nerzh ar c’hadou da nerzh an ehan
Diouzh ‘bed doueek bennozh ar c’haroud
O neart an chata go neart na siochana
On brith dhiaga beannacht an ghra

Duirt siad gurbh i seo sochraide ar muintire
Gur choir duinn bheith sollunta fein
Biodh nach Raibh bronach

Marv Brian Boru ‘rein buhez ‘n Iwerzhon
Dihan e Bro-Ulad ha ba ker Dulenn
Undedan tiegezhn unded an dud-man
Unded ar Gelted hag an douar

Ta muid ‘nos ha haimsire
Go hairid an ghrian
Agus thogh muid ait bhog cois abhann.

NOTES:

Brian Boru :
Nom d’un chef irlandais qui fut vainqueur posthume des Vikings.
Brian Boru, chef de Tuath, chassa les Danois du Munster,
conquit le Leinster, devint le roi-suprème de l’Irlande en 1002
et battit les Vikings en 1014 à Clontharf.
Mais il fut assassiné dans la soirée par un fuyard alors qu’il se reposait.

Transmuter l’énergie de guerre en énergie de paix.
Mort brian Boru donnant vie en Irlande
Paix en Ulster et dedans Dublin
Unis les Celtes et la terre !
De la force des combats à celle de la paix
Du monde divin, bénédiction de l’amour.
ALAN STIVELL.

They said that we were shameless celebrating our love
With devastation all around us
We are like the weather, specially the sun
And we choose a soft place by the river.
CAITLIN MAUDE, from Amhran grà Vietnam.

Cynthia Valenzuela on Metallic Harp

Live performance at Encuentro de Arpa de Durango 2005 “Diva’s Harp”.  And yes, the actual harp itself is made of metal, not just the strings. Certainly makes for a unique sound! Too bad it gets cut off at the end.

You can see another short video of Cynthia demonstrating the “Vera” metallic harp below.

April 17 & 26: Harp Events in New Jersey

April 17 ’09: “Slight Imperfection” Celtic Harp and Guitar Duo plays at Crossroads.
Friday, April 17, 7:00 p.m. Cost: $5.
Location: Crossroads, 78 North Ave, Garwood, NJ.

Slight imperfection is: Odarka Stockert (Vocals, Celtic and Pedal Harp and Percussion) and Redentor Jimenez (Vocals, Guitar and Mandolin)

Crossroads Fri. Apr. 17 lineup: Beale Street Love, Generation Gap, Slight Imperfection, Astronaut Jones

More info: (908)-518-3023
www.xxroads.com  
myspace.com/slightimperfection

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April 26: The North Jersey Chapter of the American Harp Society invites you to attend their Harpers Bazaar on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at the Evangelical Covenant Church of Montclair, 17 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ from 11:15am to 3:00 pm.

Our vendors include Virginia Harp Center, Gerald Goodman, Colin Harp Music and Rharps, and there will as CD’s, music and crafts made by our members for sale. There will be an open mic performance for harpists, raffles and a bake sale. Admission is free. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Sharon Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact Diane Michaels at dianemichaels@verizon.net