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Harp player Lily Neill releases her second solo album, “The Habit of a Foreign Sky”, a follow up to her highly acclaimed 2004 debut album, “Without Words”.  Neill has spent the past much of the past few years on tour, performing in cities as diverse as Washington, D.C., Dublin, Kazan, Vilnius, Helsinki, Paris, London, New York, Moscow and St. Petersburg.  This extensive travel has shaped the tone of Neill’s new album, making it a truly original work and a kaleidoscope of music that redefines harp playing.

Around the world, Neill has earned accolades for her musicianship and she has had the honor of performing for the former U.S. President Bill Clinton and more recently for Ireland’s President, Mary McAleese.  In addition to her solo work, Neill has performed and recorded with rock, pop and folk groups including the Irish super group “The Chieftains” alongside legendary harp player Derek Bell.  She has gone from strength to strength, performing in venues ranging from clubs, to festivals, to concert halls, raising the profile of the harp as a dynamic, expressive instrument.

Irish Music Magazine has called Neill’s work, “…part of the new Harp revolution extolling aspects of harp music never previously heard” and this is apparent in “The Habit of a Foreign Sky”.  In addition to the solo tracks that make up most of the album, special guests Timo Alakotila, Ilkka Heinonen, Kukka Lehto and Vesa Norilo join Neill for several tracks and the result is a powerful, bold combination of musical colours.  From Neill’s original compositions – including the swinging “Life on Wheels” to the striking, empyreal “Beneath a Balcony” and an audience favourite, “Johnny” – to Irish and Finnish dance tunes, the full-on, sensuous Finnish tango “Rannalla” and Phil Cunningham’s glorious composition, “Lady Ramsey”, which was recorded by the late, irreplaceable Finnish rock and metal producer T.T Oksala, the thirteen tracks of “The Habit of a Foreign Sky” comprise an album that traverses the uncharted range of the harp and demands attention and exploration.

To learn more about Lily Neill please visit her web-site,

Permalink - Posted: June 16, 2011 at 9:22 am