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22nd of September, at Fota House, Co. Cork

The early Irish harp is Ireland’s illustrious medieval harp strung in brass and sometimes even silver and gold wire. Played from at least 1000 to 1800 and made famous by harpers such as Carolan, it died out in the early 19th century to be replaced by the neo-Irish harp strung in gut and now also nylon.

East Cork Early Music Festival in association with the Historical Harp Society of Ireland invites everyone to come and discover this uniquely instrument. An illustrated talk/recital on the fascinating history, repertoire and travels of this instrument will be followed by a ‘hands-on’ beginners’ workshop with a chance to play beautiful student facsimiles of surviving early Irish harps.

Siobhán Armstrong is one of a very few harpists worldwide who play harps from earlier centuries and who research historical playing techniques appropriate to these instruments. She has an extensive collection of instruments from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque.

Siobhán is particularly interested in encouraging the revival of the cláirseach: the early Irish wire-strung harp. She founded and chairs the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and is the director of Scoil na gCláirseach - Summer School of Early Irish Harp which is held annually in Ireland. She plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College Harp - the national emblem of Ireland - built by David Kortier of Duluth, Minnesota, and strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument – Cláirseach na hÉireann/The Harp of Ireland – was released on Maya Recordings.

Admission - €30 for workshop - €10/5 for auditors.
Suitable for ages 10 years to adult. Maximum number for workshop: eight.
Booking through East Cork Early Music Festival office 021 463 6761.

For further information check out the Festival’s web-page,
or contact the Festival Office -
95 Main Street, Midleton, Co. Cork

Permalink - Posted: September 18, 2007 at 2:55 pm