CD: Carillon

Carillon by Janet Harbison and The Belfast Harp Orchestra

CD Cover: Carillon by Janet Harbison and The Belfast Harp OrchestraThe Belfast Harp Orchestra's Best Selling Album of contemporarily arranged Irish music, song and dance with a number of original compositions including Carillon (specially composed by JH for Derek Bell in 1992), Earth, Water, Wind and Fire and many unusual arrangements of rare and well-known tunes including an exceptionally popular arrangement of Danny Boy.

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Audio Samples

Album Information

Instruments: Irish Harp Orchestra
Genre: Traditional / Contemporary
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0033
MCPS: BHO CD005
Label: Irish Harp Centre
Year: 1992
Origin: Eire

Track Listings

 
01 BRIAN BORU'S SET (Trad.)
4.31
02 THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE (Trad.)
3.40
03 EARTH, WATER, WIND AND FIRE (Harbison)
7.09
04 THE VERDANT BRAES OF SKREEN (Trad.)
3.26
05 CAROLAN'S CONCERTO (Trad.)
3.00
06 DANNY BOY (Trad.)
4.40
07 THE BATTLE OF ALISDAIR (An Ulster Epic) (Harbison)
9.48
08 SÉ DO BHEATHA! - DROWSY MAGGIE - GLASS OF BEER  (Trad.)
2.19
09 DOWN BY THE SALLY GARDENS  (Trad.)
3.15
10 TWO BELFAST HORNPIPES (Trad.)
2.29
11 RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSY (Trad.)
3.43
12 CARILLON  (Harbison)
4.48

CD Notes & Credits

Photograph of Janet Harbison
Janet Harbison
Photopgraph of Terence Blackburn
Terence Blackburn
Photograph of Michael Magee
Michael Magee
Photograph of Patrick Davey
Patrick Davey

THE BELFAST HARP ORCHESTRA


The BELFAST HARP ORCHESTRA are a 25 strong group of young Irish and Northern Irish musicians, singers and dancers ranging in age from 10 to 25. At least 20 of the musicians are harpers who present a magnificent spectacle of colour and music on stage and many of these double up on other traditional instruments contributing to what is essentially an Irish music orchestra.

The BELFAST HARP ORCHESTRA was founded in 1992 in the course of the Bicentennial celebrations of the Belfast Harpers' Assembly of 1792. Its members are drawn from all walks of life and from both religious traditions in Northern Ireland. The Harp Orchestra has contributed a great deal to the cultural life of Belfast, Ulster and Ireland, and has been an influential force in the process of reconciliation in the Northern province. It has also featured prominently in bringing the magnificence of Ulster's cultural traditions to the attention of the world, In 1993, The Celtic Harp album (RCA Victor) produced by The Chieftains with The Belfast Harp Orchestra won the Grammy Award for the top folk music album of the year.

JANET HARBISON, the orchestra's director and music arranger, is also responsible for the tuition of most of the orchestra members. She has been a performer, director and organiser in the harp world for some time and has lead a crusading role in the revival of harping in Ireland.

 

Participating orchestra members on this album:
Photgraph of the Belfast Harp OrchestraClaire Creelman (Antrim), Margo Cullen and Tara Cullen (Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim), Dearbhia Finnegan (Kelts, Co.Meath), Grainne Hambly, Niamh Hambly & Roisin Hambly (Claremorris, Co.Mayo), Barbara Haugh (Antrim), Aileen Kennedy (New Ross, Co. Wexford), Suzanne McAlindon (Crumlin, Co.Antrim), Aideen McClelland, Keeva McClelland, & Emma McClelland, Julie McNeill (Antrim), Eleanor Meehan (Monaghan), Aonghus Rooney, Fionnuala Rooney 8e Michael Rooney (Scotstown, Co.Monaghan), Selina Smith (Antrim) and Diana Whelan (Dorset, England).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
This album was recorded at Stranmillis College, Belfast on November 19th 1994 with solo parts added later at Green Dolphin Studios.
Many thanks are due to Patrick Dalgety for his great patience, engineering and aural expertise, to Deborah Salem for valued assistance on the production, and the BHO committee for their sustenance and support.
Cover designed by Donald Neil at Priory Press; BHO photograph by Sean Boylan; individual photos by Jeremy Rowel Friers,

Programme Notes

BRIAN BORU'S SET (Trad.)
Here are three tunes in jig time, two of which are war marches: Brian Boru's and the Atholl Highlander's, The third is Burke's jig learned by Janet from her friends Nigel and Diana Boullier of Bangor, north Down.

THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE (Trad.)
A young man muses: "If I were the king of Ireland, and had all things at my will", the greatest fortune he could win would be the heart of Martha, the flower ...

EARTH, WATER, WIND AND FIRE (Harbison)
This piece of music was composed in 1993 for the festival of Bealtine in Derry, Ulster's northern-most city, on May 1st, the day when the ancient Celtic ritual of the burning of the earth is re-enacted. The pagan Celts worshiped nature's elements and the constant beat of the human heart provides the uniting motif throughout this dramatic piece.

THE VERDANT BRAES OF SKREEN (Trad.)
This melodic folk-song is one of the many Ulster songs with a strong hint of Scottish dialect. The story is a common one of love and mistrust - a maiden is cautioned that if she chooses an old man for a lover, he is likely to be desperate, and a young man is likely to be unfaithful.

CAROLAN'S CONCERTO (Trad.)
Turlough O'Carolan's most famous piece which is said to have been composed during a duel of musical mastery between the petulant Carolan and the Italian Violin maestro, Geminiani, in the early 1700s.

DANNY BOY (Trad.)
Also known as "The Londonderry Air" as it was untitled when collected by Jane Ross of Limavady in the county of Londonderry in 1841. The famous text was set to the tune in the late 1800s but, in fact, true to the nature of an oral tradition, many different texts and meanings exist for the song.

THE BATTLE OF ALISDAIR (An Ulster Epic) (Harbison)
This piece is usually thought to he one of the great piping epics, but many of the constituent parts are to be found in ancient sources of harp music. It is possible that the music accompanied the courtly recitation of the tale of Alisdair MacColcitto Mac Donnell's demise in the 1640s.

The constituent tune titles are as follows: The Ulster Cry; War March of Alisdair MacDonnell; The Trumpet Calls the Men to Battle; Awaiting the Order for Battle; Alisdair Calls Out for Support; Gathering for the Battle; Strike and Slasli and Leave No-one Alive; The Fall of Alisdair; The Women Search for their Dead Heroes ("Is this he, is that he?" - Harp solo, Janet Harbison); Gol na mBan san Ar (The Women's Lament at the Slaughter), Castle Hill (The Graveside Jig).

SÉ DO BHEATHA! - DROWSY MAGGIE - GLASS OF BEER (Trad.)
'Oró, Sé do Bheatha 'Bhaile', to give its full title, is a rousing patriotic song composed by Pádraig Pearce in the early years of this century. He was writing of historical times when Ireland rallied her European allies to meet the foe! We follow the song with two great reels.

DOWN BY THE SALLY GARDENS (Trad.)
The poem of this song was penned by the great William Butler Yeats himself and tells of the advice that a young girl gives the singer that life and love should he taken "aisy". It was set to the folk-tune of "The Maids of the Mourne, Shore" hy Herbert Hughes in 1909.

TWO BELFAST HORNPIPES (Trad.)
The first of these two hornpipes is very well known hy the title, but in O'Neill's mammoth collection of Irish music published in Chicago in 1904, it is titled "The Fisher's Hornpipe". The second tune is the one published by O'Neill with the "Belfast Hornpipe" title!

RAGGLE TAGGLE GYPSY (Trad.)
This ballad tells of an unfortunate lord who marries a lady who would rather live the wild outdoor life with a gypsy than enjoy the comforts offered by her wealth. Another tune, "The Man of Aran" (reel) by Darrach de Brun is included in this arrangement.
Extra Solos: Michael Rooney (whistle); Aonghus Rooney (fiddle)

CARILLON (Harbison)
This piece was composed by Janet as a harp solo for Derek Bell, the Chieftain's harper, and a cherished friend of the harp orchestra. Here it is set for the harp orchestra and is inspired by a ringing carillon of bells.

Credits

All music composed/arranged by Janet Harbison

SOLOS:

Michael Magee, Terence Blackburn & Janet Harbison: Vocals
Janet Harbison: Harp, Hunting Horn
Patrick Davey: Uilleann Pipes, Flutes and Whistle

Produced by Janet Harbison; Engineered by Patrick Dalgety

Artist Information & Contact Details

The Irish Harp Centre


Photograph of Janet harbison
Janet Harbison
Photograph 1 of Irish Harp Orchestra
Irish Harp Orchestra
Photograph 2 of Irish Harp Orchestra
Irish Harp Orchestra
Photograph 2 of Irish Harp Orchestra
Irish Harp Orchestra

Janet Harbison

Born in Dublin on August 1st, 1955, Janet Harbison is acknowledged as one of Ireland's most prominent traditional harpers and pioneering personalities in the Irish harp music scene. She is an authoritative resource on the history and music of the Irish harp and ethnic music.

Her discovery and enthusiasm for much of the extinct ancient harp repertoire led her into teaching and reviving the music through the oral tradition. For this activity, she has often been referred to as "Ireland's Crusading Harper" and many of today's rising professional performers and teachers are former students.

To describe Janet as an influential teacher would be to tell only half of the story. She is also a prolific composer, a talented performer, writer and producer.

She established the Harp Orchestras in order to provide her students with the opportunity to perform in public and to develop careers as professional harpers.

As a composer she realized that there was little ‘new’ music being written for the Irish harp and set about correcting the imbalance. Her arrangements are widely used and harpers worldwide await her new publications with bated breath.

With more than 20 years of performance, composition, teaching and promoting the tradition of harping she has a staggering number accolades to her name.

"…wonderfully attractive, professional, faultless, highly delightful and charming, Janet Harbison’s performances are technically impeccable, and always most subtle, musical and expressive.”
DEREK BELL, Harper with the Chieftains

The Irish Harp Orchestra and The National Harp Orchestra.

The Irish Harp Orchestra is a professional touring company while The National Harp Orchestra is a junior stage production company with membership from 11 years upward. The Irish Harp Orchestra grew out of the junior orchestra and featured on a Grammy Award winning album with the Chieftains. This is an internationally touring company which features up to 16 harpers and 8 other musicians, singers and a team of up to 32 dancers in large scales concert presentations.

The National Harp Orchestra offers a unique opportunity for young and maturing people to mix in a cultural environment, to participate in large scale stage productions and gain valuable life experience, sharing in the great adventure of the orchestra on tour. Members receive training in stage craft, concert presentation, personal development, confidence building and leadership skills, TV work and recording.

The original orchestra was found in 1992 as the Belfast Harp Orchestra to celebrate the Bicentenary year of the Belfast Harpers’ Assembly an historical event which original took place in 1772. In 2004 we will establish the Irish American Harp orchestra in our continuing effort to offer all traditional harpers the opportunity to perform in public and to continue our work of promoting and celebrating the tradition of Irish Harping.


Contact Details
Irish Harp Centre
The Old School House
Chapel Hill
Castleconnell
Co. Limerick
IRELAND
Telephone +353 (0)61 372777
Fax +353 (0)61 372712
E-mail info@irishharpcentre.com

Booking & Courses Please visit the Irish Harp Centre web site for full details of courses, stage school and bookings for Corporate Entertainment & Weddings.

Artists web site www.irishharpcentre.com

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