Monday, December 2, 2013

Claasagh – New Manx Harp Book



Scottish harpist Rachel Hair is recognised as one of the UK’s finest contemporary Celtic harpists and tunesmiths, with several tune books and a number of CDs under her belt, but she has recently widened her focus to include the Island’s rich traditional musical heritage.

For the past two years Rachel has been giving monthly harp lessons (courtesy of the Manx Heritage Foundation) to a growing number of pupils on the Isle of Man, and from this has emerged a collection of 20 tunes which she has arranged for her students, and now available to everyone under the fitting title of Claasagh (Manx Gaelic for harp).

Based in Glasgow, Rachel is a First Class Music Honours graduate and a winner of the Alexander Stone Award for excellence in performance, and keeps herself busy with a full range of teaching, touring and recording.

Claasagh is an extension of her first two books which concentrated on Scottish and other Celtic music, with volume three devoted exclusively to Manx compositions.

Ranging from elementary to advanced level, it’s a fantastic introduction to the Island’s traditional music and a useful addition to any harpist’s repertoire, and contains well-known easy favourites such as Smuggler’s Lullaby to a jazzy interpretation of Car ny Ferrishyn.

Published by March Hair Publications, in association with the Manx Heritage Foundation, Claasagh is available from all good bookshops or online for £13 (inc. postage) from www.rachelhair.com

Valerie Caine
© November 2013

(Courtesy of Manx Life)


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