CD A0357: Harp I Do

Harp music audio CD
Harp I Do
Corrina Hewat

CD cover: Harp I Do by Corrina HewatThis is a remarkably crisp and sharp-sounding album of solo harp music. The recording is absolutely first class, capturing not just the melodies themselves, but the palpable tension as each string is firmly plucked and the enduring, humming resonance that follows. Try listening to this with headphones on at a decent volume -- this is music you can feel, it shivers your nerves and shudders your bones, it's like having your ear pressed up against the soundboard of the harp. This may be an album of solo harp, but it's played with a vigour that an ensemble would struggle to match .... Mike Wilson;

Buy this album now    CD: £11.00 + p&p   

Corrina Hewat: Artist profile & catalogue of works

Track Listing & Audio Samples

1 berserk nana
2 fourteen years
3 amberanna
4 suntrap ratman
5 my love dodging rizla
6 milligan's waltz
7 ledger's bogle peelers
8 sister's lament
9 new voice
Total running time

CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

1.  The berserk (Hewat)
     Nana's walkabout
(Johnny Cunningham)

This opening set revolves around change and possibly even growing up a little. The Berserk was written after an extremely bad spell of self-doubt. Life wasn't doing what I thought it was going to do, and my dreams were being scunnered. My first thought was to cut my harp strings and smash the instrument to bits. Not totally practical. So I forced myself to write something. And it became the Berserk. Thankfully, like myself, it has mellowed(slightly) with age.

I learnt Nana's many years ago, from Kenny Hadden. Kenny had brought along the soundtrack to 'Peter and Wendy', based on J.M.Barrie's 1904 'Peter Pan'. The music and lyrics to the puppet play were composed by Johnny Cunningham, and the whole thing is extremely beautiful and very dark. In Barrie's words all children in their hearts know they are going to grow up - "Two is the beginning of the end." Nooo, say it is not so!!! Nana is the Darlings' lolloping dog/nurse.

2.  Fourteen years (Hewat)

This was written for an anniversary in 2004. I wrote it, played it a couple of times, then promtly forgot it. Heather Downie reminded me of it during one of her harp lesson- two day before this recording. And I'm very grateful she did.

3.  Amberanna (Ian Carr)

This is a lovely tune written by a lovely guitarist. I first heard it on the Two Duos album (Karen Tweed/Ian Carr & Chris Wood/Andy Cutting) and it grabbed me instantly. I listened to it about a zillion times, whilst driving backwards and forwards from the Borders to Edinburgh to rehearse with Shine and it has never left me.

4.  Suntrap (Hewat)
     Ratman (Hewat)

Suntrap was written within the third movement of "Photons in Vapour", a piece I was commissioned to write by An Tobar, the funky arts centre in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. The concept of the commission was Light and how fundamental it was to island and the community's wellbeing. The title was chosen by the arts centre director, Gordon Maclean, who has lived on Mull all his life. It became a very fitting title, being as intangible as the piece itself. A recording was released in 2000 on Tob Records.

Ratman was written in celebration of my sister and her attempt to help the man who was going to get rid of the rats in our cottage. She met a rat in the kitchen when she was about 11 years old. The rat was bigger than our cat! And was strangely confident in its ownership of the kitchen. So when the ratman came, she and him went out to the back field to see what could be done to stop the rats making their way back in. She bounced alongside him, head popping up over the barley. I couldn't call it Ratman and Bobbin' but I wanted to.

5.  My love I miss her so (Peter Ostroushko)
     Dodging the frogs (Hewat)
     The rizla (McKerron)

I heard Peter Ostroushko's tune played in the Arran Folk Festival by Deiseal back in the days when I was in Seannachie. The tune has stayed with me ever since. I like it. And he really must miss her.

Dodging was written after an extremely hairy drive on the Isle of Skye, heading down the single-track road to Sabhal Mor Pstaig in the middle of the night. The frogs were out - thousands of them all over the road, every-where! All doing their own thing.Luckily, I was driving a teeny-weeny hired Cinqueccento, so was able to drive around them all. Being a vegetarian, this is important to me, you understand.

One sunny afternoon, Mary Macmaster and I shared some tunes together in her yellow musicroom. She taught me this great tune by Mr McKerron, and it just so happens I have a rizla trick or two, learnt from a juggler during the Durham Summer School week a couple of years ago. Ah, the joys of being a touring musician. And having a party trick.

6.  Milligan's waltz (Hewat)

This waltz is dedicated to all those left-footed dancers out there, who are trying to perfect the trusty 'when in doubt-step and point' approach to dance. It's a  great dance move. Personally, I love dancing a St Bernard's Waltz to this tune.

7.  Ledger's lines (Mike Vass)
     Bogle's majority (Anna Massie)
     Peeler's jacket (trad arr Hewat)

I first heard Ledger's from Mike during the TMSA Young Trad Tour rehersals in the Birnam House Hotel. 'Hands Up For Trad's BBC Young Trad Musician of the Year competition always has a wealth of young talent in the final, and the group then tours around their hometowns and various lovely venues in Scotland.

Bogle's is an exceptionally happy march(originally written in A) which we play in The Unusual Suspects, the 22-piece folk big band, and I love it! Anna id such a good tune writer, and a cheery soul to have around.

The Peeler's Jacket is an Irish reel I learnt late one night during the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. Cormac De Barra, Mary Macmaster, Jochen Vogel and myself had a rocking kitchen party at Mary's house, and many tunes were exchanged. This tune from Cormac was one I woke up singing in my head. Which is rare the morrning after a session, I can tell you.

8.  Sister's lament (Trad arr Hewat)
     (Rorie Dall's lament for his sister)

Otherwise known as Cumha Peathar Ruaidhri - most probably written by Ruaidhri Dall O Cathain, the Irish blind harper who spent most of his life in Scotland, living around Perthshire. It was collected by Daniel Dow in "A collection of Ancient Scots Music for the Violin, Harpsichord, or German Flute never before printed" (ca 1775), Edinburgh, Scotland. A rare early work available in some libraries, such as the exceptional resource at Wighton, Dundee. It's now available as a digital download by Taigh na Teud Music Publishers. When I recorded it,I was playing it for my sister and Mr Pye.

9.  New voice (Hewat)

This is the opening of the 'Making the Connection' commission, which made up the first 'New Voices' series of concerts at the Celtic Connections Festival in 1998. A visionary series developed by Colin Hynd, to highlight the talent for new writing within Scotland. I was very thankful for the opportunity to write a 50-minute long piece, talking in all the influences I had within me. It has yet to be released. The piece was performed in the Strathclyde Suite, featuring amongst eight other musicians; Martyn Bennett and Johnny Cunningham.

I recorded this piece looking out of the window and over the hills of the Scottish Borders, thinking of these two amazing men who I had the pleasure of working with for such a short time, and who affected me and my music so greatly.And thinking on why I hadn't recorded it properly, when I had the chance. Don't let your dreams fade away- life is just too short for that.


Big Bash Records
11A Ettrick Road, Selkirk, Scotland TD75AJ

Recorded in the Scottish Borders   

Album Information

Instruments: Harp
Genre: Scottish / Celtic /Folk
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0357
Label: Big Bash Records
Year: 2008
Origin: UK