Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ireland and Scotland: a conversation on the harp

William Jackson and Grainne Hambly
Music from Ireland and Scotland

William Jackson is from Scotland. He’s worked with group Ossian, recorded several well received solo albums, and scored films.

Grainne Hambly is from Ireland. She too has several highly regarded solo albums to her credit, has played on the Irish Christmas in America tour with the band Teada, among other projects, and is in demand to teach at summer music schools.

You do not really need to consider their backgrounds to enjoy the music here, though. That’s one of the nice things about this recording: there’s more than enough going on to hold your interest if you’re well familiar with harps or with Celtic music, and it’s melodic and clear and intriguing enough to enjoy if you are not up on any of that.

The dozen tracks comprise reels, jigs and airs,. If you’re thinking stiff and formal harp music, this isn't that. It is a lively program of mainly traditional music that Jackson and Hambly present as fresh and engaging. The two each play the harp, and it’s good conversation they keep going there. Jackson adds in whistle, bouzouki, and laud (think lute), and Hambly brings in concertina. It’s good to just let the program play through as they’ve sequenced it, but especially worth noting are the Mull of the Mountains/Drummond Castle set and the Cam Ye By Atholl/Eliza Ross’s/A’Chubhag set.

you may also wish to see
Scotland on the harp: Corrina Hewat

winter meditation: Aine Minogue

Catriona McKay: Starfish

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Alexandra said...

Another great suggestion for my nephew! I cannot buy him everything, so I will have to start passing them on to his parents.

6:22 PM  

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