New Work for Irish Harp Ensemble at West Cork Chamber Music Festival
A new work for three harps by Sam Perkin will be premiered at the 2023 West Cork Chamber Music Festival on Sunday, June 25th .
For Three Lever Harps was commissioned by the Cork ETB School of Music in 2019. However, the
COVID 19 pandemic intervened, and it is only now that the work is receiving its first performance.
Writing about the Commission Sam Perkin says: -
“For Three Lever Harps is about the beauty that spontaneously comes into being when we step back,
embracing the waiting, and watch the wonder of life unfold. The exploration of awe has now become
a central aspect of my artistic output. As an artist I seek to explore the purity of childlike wonder.
This is something we often lose contact with as we age, and which gets replaced by apathy and void.
It can be scary to fully accept being alive, though if we manage to get out of our own way and let life
emerge, we can authentically participate in its gift with humility”.
Composed especially for the CETB’s harp teacher Damhnait Nic Suibhne and her students, this work
is scored for three lever harps but allows for individual parts to be doubled freely at the discretion
of, and relative to the availability of, the performers.
In his performance notes Sam Perkin says “In the piece we hear waves of staccato chords which
overlap and echo between the three parts. The regular silences enhance the atmosphere, which is
intended to sound as neutral as possible. Gradually a new pattern emerges, leading us to hear what
we first heard in a new way. The three harps finally synchronise for the first time near the end of the
work, leading to a delicate fading out of the music”.
Carol Daly, Principal of Cork ETB School of Music is very pleased that this creative piece will be
played for the first time as part of the ETB School of Music’s ‘Young Ensembles’ concert at the West
Cork Chamber Music Festival. “We are really looking forward to hearing Sam Perkin’s wonderful
composition which we commissioned to demonstrate our commitment to and pride in harping in our
school and we are delighted that these fine harpers, will perform at the World Premiere. We are also
very grateful to West Cork Music for the opportunity”.