Welcome to our Harps for Hope series.
Over the past year, people have highlighted to us how connected they feel to the sound of the harp; how it calms them, comforts them and enhances their sense of national identity.
At a time when collectively we feel undermined by uncertainty, the harp expresses our togetherness and lends its voice to the fight against Covid19.
Never was the saying ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhairimid, we live in each other’s shadows’ more relevant than it is now.
Take a moment to enjoy some harp music from a selection of our leading harpers. The introductory track on each of these videos is An Cruitire from the Spirit of Laois suite composed by harper-composer, Michael Rooney and performed by Siobhán Buckley.
Bringing our Harps for Hope series to a close, we feature some archival footage from the early 1950s by Sheila Larchet-Cuthbert, one of our most esteemed pedal harpists. Sheila was one of the of the founder members of Cairde na Cruite. Together with Gráinne Yeats, Mercedes Garvey, the Ní Shé sisters and Mary O Hara, she put the harp firmly back into the public domain, setting the scene for our vibrant harping tradition today.
Particularly memorable moments were the publication of the Irish Harp Book in 1975 for Cairde na Cruite, and the hosting of the World Harp Congress in Dublin in 2005.
This recording is music arranged specially for her by her father, Professor John Larchet: Suantraí (Lullaby) and The Foggy Dew.
We pay tribute here to Sheila’s lifelong work on our behalf, and thank her for her dedication to harping in Ireland.
HARPS FOR HOPE ENSEMBLE 'Fanny Power' composed by Turlough Carolan. More than 200 young harpers from all over Ireland come together to play in a spirit of hope and celebration. They perform a setting of a well-known love song composed by Turlough Carolan, called Fanny Power, which has been specially arranged for the occasion by harper, Aileen Kennedy.
We dedicate it to those who have suffered great loss during the pandemic and to our front-line workers, who have put their own lives at risk throughout these difficult times.
HARPS FOR HOPE DIT Harp Ensemble performs 'Freedom Suite' composed by Luke Webb. 'Freedom's Prelude' depicts a soldier sitting at a fire the night before a battle, listening to the sounds of his environment. 'Freedom's Call' depicts two armies marching into battle where they meet on the battlefield and none survive.
HARPS FOR HOPE Lily Neill performs 'Loftus Jones', composed by Turlough Carolan.
HARPS FOR HOPE Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister) performs 'Eleanor Plunkett', composed by Turlough Carolan.
HARPS FOR HOPE Caitriona Rowsome performs 'The Fairy Queen' composed by Turlough Carolan. From 'The Complete Carolan Songs and Airs, for Irish Harp' by Caitriona Rowsome. By kind permission of Waltons Music Publishing.
HARPS FOR HOPE Áine Ní Dhubhghaill performs 'Carolan's Farewell to Music'.
HARPS FOR HOPE Helen Lawlor performs 'An Irish Lullaby'.
HARPS FOR HOPE Lisa Canny performs 'Black Pat's Reel' (composed by Tommy Peoples) & 'The Steeplechase' (reel).
HARPS FOR HOPE Lucy Kerr performs 'A Little Tale'.
HARPS FOR HOPE Reidun Schlesinger performs 'Miss Hamilton'.
'Miss Hamilton' was composed by the harper-composer Cornelius Lyons (1680-1750). It was collected from harper Patrick McAlinden in 1802 and published in Edward Bunting's A Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland (Dublin, 1840).
HARPS FOR HOPE Holly Geraghty performs her own composition 'Planxty Dermot Grogan', composed in memory of the late Dermot Grogan, an outstanding flute and accordion player originally from Derrytavrane, Kilkelly in northeast Mayo.
HARPS FOR HOPE Aoife Ní Argáin performs Dílseacht (slow air) and 'Shandon Bells (jig).
HARPS FOR HOPE Sinéad Walshe performs 'Mo Ghrá Thú'
HARPS FOR HOPE Cathy Potter performs two jigs: 'John Blessings Delight' and 'Wheels of the World'
HARPS FOR HOPE Rhian Hanson (Pedal Harp) & Helen Aiken (Voice) perform 'She Moved Through the Fair'
HARPS FOR HOPE Paul Dooley performs Mrs Carroll (strathspey), Johnny Harling’s (reel) and Morse Avenue(reels), all composed by Liz Carroll
HARPS FOR HOPE Damhnait Sweeney & Eimear McDonagh perform 'Walk in Belfast' composed by Janet Harbison in 1996 while out walking on Cave Hill overlooking Belfast City on a sunny Sunday morning meditating on a beautiful city full of sadness.
HARPS FOR HOPE Alisha McMahon performs The Wingflapper (slip jig) and George White's Reel
HARPS FOR HOPE Teresa O'Donnell performs 'The Dawning of the Day'
HARPS FOR HOPE Síle Denvir performs Seabhac na hÉirne ('The Hawk of Ballyshannon') composed by Turlough O'Carolan
HARPS FOR HOPE Kim Fleming performs Carolan's Welcome
HARPS FOR HOPE Jean Kelly performs Carolan's 'Lament for Terence MacDonough' & 'Planxty Madam Maxwell'
HARPS FOR HOPE Kavan Donohoe performs Big John's Hard Jig, untitled reel and O'Connell's Reel, accompanied by Cillian King on guitar and Dermot Sheedy on bodhran.
HARPS FOR HOPE Richard Allen performs Prelude No. 1 from Spring Fancies, Hamilton Harty composer
HARPS FOR HOPE Seána Davey performs two reels: 'The Corner House' and 'The Flood in the Holm'
HARPS FOR HOPE Sharon Carroll performs Carolan’s Sí Beag Sí Mór (with Tom Watson on guitar)
HARPS FOR HOPE Andreja Malir performs 'Danny Boy'
HARPS FOR HOPE Katy Bustard performs 'Carolan’s quarrel with the Land Lady' and 'Blind Mary
HARPS FOR HOPE Tara Viscardi performs Molly Na gCuach Ní Chuilleanáin
HARPS FOR HOPE Eimear Coughlan performs ‘A Granddaughter’s Dream’ composed and arranged by Carl Hession. This track features Eimear Coughlan on Harp, Carl Hession on Piano, Bogden Sofei on Violin and Sharon Howely on Cello.
HARPS FOR HOPE Deirdre Ní Bhuachalla performs 'Carolan’s Farewell' arranged by Sheila Larchet-Cuthbert and a hornpipe called 'The Drunken Sailor'
HARPS FOR HOPE Geraldine O'Doherty performs The Lass of Aughrim
HARPS FOR HOPE Oisín Morrison performs Maile Ní Mhaoileoin & Two William Davis's
HARPS FOR HOPE Noreen O'Donoghue performs 'Feathered Gale', a strathspey by John Sheehan and a slip jig by John and Séamas McMahon from Co. Clare called 'Heart-shaped Wood'
HARPS FOR HOPE Alannah Thornburg performs Mrs O’Neill of Carlane (O’Carolan) & The Hut in the Bog (reel)
HARPS FOR HOPE Tanya Houghton performs The Lark in the Clear Air
HARPS FOR HOPE Janet Harbison performs her own composition By Strangford Water.
HARPS FOR HOPE Aisling Lyons performs 2 jigs: If Sick, Is It Tea You Want (O'Neill's Collection) & The First Pint (Kevin Crawford).
HARPS FOR HOPE Deirdre Granville performs two wedding planxties - Planxty Nóirín composed with my sister Aoife and cousins Meghan and Rhianne Kelly for our cousin Nóirín's wedding, and Máirseáil Miffy for my friends, Claire & Joe Kevane's wedding. I want to dedicate both tunes to all my friends and relations working in frontline services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
HARPS FOR HOPE Fiana Ní Chonaill performs her own composition The Garden Hill and The Wind o’er the Lake which she learned from Gráinne Hambly.
Celebrating the hope and new life heralded by the ancient feast of Bealtaine, the wonderful Irish soprano, Tara Erraught joins harpist Aisling Ennis to sing ‘Queen of the May’ which dates back to the thirteenth century, and a hymn often sung during the Catholic Church’s traditional May Day procession.
HARPS FOR HOPE Fiachra Ó Corragáin performs his own compotition 'Restored'. "The hope of a new dawn after a long, dark night. Every morning, a new start is heralded by the first rays of sunlight and the singing of the birds. There is healing in new beginnings. Hope will guide us in times of sorrow and in brighter days, calm and lightheartedness is restored."
HARPS FOR HOPE Méabh McKenna performs Anonn ’s Anall (Suantraí/Lullaby). Lyrics by Colm Ó Lochlainn, arrangement by Méabh McKenna. Dedicated to anyone who has been having difficulty sleeping, and to those who feel alone or lost in these strange times.
HARPS FOR HOPE Michelle Mulcahy performs her own composition 'The Karen March' and 'The Duke of Leinster', a reel arranged by Michelle.
HARPS FOR HOPE Aileen Kennedy performs 'Boolavogue', a traditional Wexford air and her own composition 'The Middle East Mazurka'.
The artists whose work features in this video are Anthony Doyle, Eileen Cloney and Eoin O'Connor.
HARPS FOR HOPE Michael Rooney performs 'Deireadh Ré' and 'Desolation' (Both pieces from Michael Rooney's recent work, 'The Constance Suite 2020', commemorating Constance Markievicz)
HARPS FOR HOPE Nodlaig Brolly performs her own composition 'Cuimhní Rúnda' (Hidden Memories) about Fanad lighthouse, a spectacularly beautiful place on the Donegal coast and a ship, the SS Laurentic, which sank in 1917 with the loss of 300 lives and 3,211 gold bars.
HARPS FOR HOPE Grainne & Alexander Meyer perform Paddy Fahey's Jig and the Cúil Aodha Jig
HARPS FOR HOPE Lauren O'Neill performs An Buailteoir Aerach.
HARPS FOR HOPE Eilís Lavelle performs Marbhna Luimní.
HARPS FOR HOPE Úna Monaghan performs The Dobbin Compositions (2020) ‘Close in Mind’ and ‘Two Months By Sea’, commissioned by the Ireland Canada University Foundation, for Mark Dobbin of St John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
HARPS FOR HOPE Cliona Doris and Denise Kelly McDonnell perform Movement 3 (Dance for an Ancient Ritual) and Movement 4 (No title) from Brian Boydell: Four Sketches for Two Irish Harps, Op. 52 (1961-62)
HARPS FOR HOPE Séamus Ó Flatharta performs Tyrrell’s Pass, Cúnnla/The Friar’s Britches and O’Sullivan’s March
HARPS FOR HOPE Laoise Kelly performs An Máire Fhada
HARPS FOR HOPE Luke Webb performs his own composition Fredo's Lullaby
HARPS FOR HOPE Rachel Duffy performs Amhrán na Leabhar and The Gateway.
HARPS FOR HOPE Dearbhail Finnegan with Greg Bailey, fiddle and guitar, performs Moran’s Return.
HARPS FOR HOPE Tríona Marshall with David James, cello, performs Aisling na hEalaí composed by Martin Tourish.
HARPS FOR HOPE Siobhan Buckley performs An Cruitire composed by Michael Rooney.
HARPS FOR HOPE Fiona Gryson performs Angel's Hymn and Lullaby composed by Rhett Barnwell.
HARPS FOR HOPE Máire Ní Chathasigh performs Charles O'Conor composed by Turlough O'Carolan (trad. arr. Máire Ní Chathasaigh) & Father Hanly (trad. arr. Máire Ní Chathasaigh).
HARPS FOR HOPE Úna Ní Fhlannagáin performs Áine's Air, dedicated to her mother, Áine.
HARPS FOR HOPE Catríona Cannon & Kathleen Loughnane
The Jointure & Jig composed by the Co. Sligo harpers, Thomas and William Connellan.
From the album The Harpers Connellan : Irish Music of the Late 17th century
HARPS FOR HOPE Anne-Marie O'Farrell
Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No 1.
HARPS FOR HOPE Siobhán Armstrong & The Irish Consort
Two Irish jigs from the 1500s - Trenchmore & The Whip of Dunboyne
These dance tunes are played on the early Irish harp with a Renaissance lute and a bass viol in a way that might have been heard by the Butler Earls of Ormond in Kilkenny and Carrick-on–Suir, and also at the court of Elizabeth I in London.
HARPS FOR HOPE Grainne Hambly & William Jackson
Sunday Morning, collected by Edward Bunting in Westport, Co Mayo in 1802, followed by Clancy’s Single Jig, associated with the uilleann piper Willie Clancy.
HARPS FOR HOPE Cormac de Barra
An Buachaill Caol Dubh & The Graf Spey