CD A0266: The New Harp

The New Harp by William Jackson

CD coverThe New Harp wears its harp on its sleeve, depicting an example of the instrument and its exponent: and sure enough, it's renowned William Jackson, now a rather magisterial figure to those who remember him as young Billy Jackson of Ossian, and of the wistfully evocative suite devoted to Tennents' Brewery, plus a thousand other stages. This collection celebrates a variety of topics - and indeed, locales - from Dunadd, ancient capital of Dalriada, to Donegal, North Carolina and France; and also takes in a grand sweep of chronology, from the early 17th century to Ossian (the poet, not the band, this time) and up to World War Two and "The Heights of Cassino", by Dan McRae of the Camerons; and then to the arrival of his daughter's god-daughter. Once again a triumph of the harpist's art, with a joyously limpid cascade of notes that conjure up a tranquil river on a sunny day - or to destroy the poetic mood entirely. Scots Magazine, “Listen to This “ August 2008

Buy this album now    CD: £12.00 + p&p

William Jackson: profile & list of sheet music and recordings available from Creighton's Collection

Audio Samples & Track Listings

The New Harp
01.  Dunadd -W. Jackson
02.  The New Harp - W. Jackson
03.  Crossing to Scotland - W. Jackson
04.  Le Chant Des Livrees - trad
05.  Chapel Keithack - Wm Marshall
06.  The Hummingbird - W. Jackson
07.  Falkland Palace - W. Jackson
08.  The Heights of Cassino - McRae
       A.A. Cameron's Strathspey - trad
       Harris Dance - trad
09.  Ossianic Air - trad
       The Braes of Busbie - trad
10.  The House on the Hill - W. Jackson
11.  A Skye Air - trad
       Soft May Morn - trad
12.  The Flight of the Earls - W. Jackson

CD Notes & Credits

CD Notes

1.   Dunadd - William Jackson
The ancient King-seat of Dunadd, capital of the kingdom of Daldriada (Dal Riata), rises out of the barren flatness of Crinan Moss, the raised bog floodplain of the meandering river Add. This rocky outcrop was the power base of the  Scotti tribe, who invaded from Ireland in the 8th century AD.The tribe were eventually to give Scotland its name.

2.   The New Tribe - W. Jackson
I wrote this tune while I was nursing a new harp made by Larry Fisher of Winnipeg, for Grainne Hamby. It had been shipped to me in Asheville, NC, and I had the job of harp-sitting and tuning it for a month.

3.   Crossing to Scotland - W. Jackson
This tune was written to celebrate the many trips I have made from Scotland to Donegal, Ireland, and to mark the strong ties between Donegal and Glasgow in particular.

4.   Le Chant Des Livrees - trad / John MacDonald's - Mac Eachern
These two tunes come from my days with the band Ossian. The first is a French traditional melody and the second is from Cape Breton Island.

5.   Chapel Keithack - Wm. Marshall
This tune was composed by William Marshall (1748-1833) who was born in the village of Fochabers in Moray and is one of Scotland's most famous fiddle composers.

6.  The Hummingbird - W. Jackson
I wrote this tune to celebrate the arrival of Alma, who is the Goddaughter of my daughter Maggie, I was inspired by watching a hummingbird flitting about the place.

7.   Falkland Palace - W. Jackson
Falkland has been a royal palace since the days of the Stewarts. King James II adopted it as a royal home (it had earlier been a castle  of the MacDuff family). King James IV completed the main structure and King James V also added to the buildings there transforming it into a sophisticated Renaissance palace. James V died at Falkland Palace on December 14, 1542. His daughter, Mary Queen of Scots was a frequent visitor.

8.   The Heights of Cassino - McRae  / A.A. Cameron's Strathspey - trad / Harris Dance - trad
This march was written by Dan McRae who was a piper in the Camerons during the siege of Monte Cassino in 1944, when during the four battles of Monte Cassino (January-May 1944), the Abbey buliding was pulverized in a series of heavy air-raids. A.A. Cameron's Strathspey is followed by Harris Dance, which is found in the Patrick MacDonald collection of Highland Vocal Airs, 1784.

9.   Ossianic Air - trad / The Braes of Busbie - trad
Both these tunes are to be found in The Inverness Collection of Highland Music. The full title of the first is ''Original air to which the poems of Ossian were sung''. The Braes of Busbie is also played in Ireland as a reel in G major.

10.  The House on the Hill - W. Jackson
I wrote this tune to mark the retirement of Doug Orr as president of Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina. I am grateful for the support and friendship of Doug and his wife Darcy over the years.

11.  A Skye Air - trad / Soft May Morn - trad
Both these tunes are to be found in the Inverness Collection of Highland Music. Soft May Morn is subtitled ''Madainn Chiuin Cheitein''

12.  The Flight of the Earls - W. Jackson
2007 marked the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls, a pivotal moment in Irish history, marking the end of the Gaelic order. In September 1607, four years after the end of the Nine Years War, a group of Ireland's noble elite left their land and people to find refuge and seek assistance for their cause in Europe.


William Jackson plays a Jack Yule ''Raven '' Harp, a Larry Fisher ''Scotia'', and a wire-strung Harp made by Triplett Harps.
William Jackson Plays: Scottish Harp, Wire Strung Harp, Whistle, Bouzouki.

Tracks 4, 9, 11 and 12 recorded at Echo Mountain Studios, Asheville, North Carolina, Jan 2008.
Engineer Julian Dreyer.
All other tracks recorded at Carlekemp Studios, North Berwick, Scotland.
Engineered and mixed by Calum Malcolm, Jan 2008.  
All tracks Mill Music Publishing
Photographs by William Jackson.
Design by Mike Garden@Birnam CD

Mill Records 2008

Artist & Album Information

Instruments: Celtic Harp some accompaniment
Genre: Traditional / Contemporary Scottish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0266
Label: Mill Records
Year: 2008
Origin: Scotland