Posts Tagged ‘harp’


During the Welsh Showcase at WOMEX 2010 Catrin Finch was introduced to the audience as the “Queen of Harps.”

Coming from a nation of singers and harpists (as she mentions of Wales in her brief intro) this is a moniker indeed, and one she lives up to.

The song presented here is only one of a varied program she performed, in which she displayed not only a traditional sensibility, but plenty of adventure, too.

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December 31st, 2010

Of the three Welsh bands presented at WOMEX 2010, I was drawn most to Calan. While not all of their repertoire excited me, their love of Welsh tradition and obvious enjoyment with each other on stage won me over.

They are also very young, and as I edited this video I could not help but be pleased that members of “this generation” that we so frequently think has been lost to the enticements of the internet and thousands of mind-sucking video games, are so involved in the intimacy of making acoustic music together. Their arrangements are excellent, with thoughtful chord alterations, and they attacked dance tunes with righteous fire. There is something immensely pure about it all.

Of course, as each player gets older, they will be confronted by more and more of life’s pathways and possibilities, but right now they are a tight ensemble with tremendous potential. Without a doubt some day they will look back at this time as special. I wish them very, very well.

Yes, I’m waxing maudlin. It must be the New Year….I’ll stop.

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MAY 4, 2009, 12:00PM

Just had a great visit with bandura virtuoso Julian Kytasty. Ever since I heard him play this celestial instrument I’ve been wanting to spread the word, so on this particular installment of the blog I kept my mouth shut and just let Julian do his thing.
I hope you enjoy it; it’s gonna be in two parts because it ran rather long, and I couldn’t bear to cut it all down. The first post here is just one composed piece, and the second part is to come; it’ll be more about the traditional repertoire.

The meeting was also fun because he lives in what used to be the predominantly Slavic section of Manhattan, has lived there for 30 years and so knows where you can still get the best potato pirogy. (Which turns out to be a weekend church kitchen run by some sprightly elderly ladies.) And yes, we went there and had some mighty FINE home-made borscht and pirogy!

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Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.