33rd annual Festival of Harp a resounding success
THE splendid surroundings of an Grainan in Termonfeckin rang to the lilting strains of our national instrument last week, as the 33rd International Festival of Irish Harp played host to the biggest ever harp ensemble to take place in Ireland!
Harpers from all over the world came together at the Festival, a highlight in the Irish harp’s calendar and an important feature of County Louth’s Creative Ireland programme, supported by the Arts Council.
“It was a truly fantastic festival and it was full of so many high points it’s hard to pick just one said Aibhlin McCrann, festival director.“In the festival’s 33 year history, it truly was an historic spectacle to see the young harpers from all over Ireland join festival participants to perform a reimagining of Carolan’s music led by acclaimed harper Triona Marshall and accordionist and composer, Martin Tourish of Altan.” said Aibhlin McCrann, festival director.
Festival 2018 explored and interpreted the music of Turlough Carolan, the renowned harper composer who died in 1738. Workshops and concerts, featuring acclaimed Irish harpers, experimenting and collaborating with other artists, reimagined Carolan’s repertoire in song and story and encourages innovative arrangements for the harp, as well as introducing a new generation of Irish harpers to his music.
“These young harpers literally started with a blank piece of paper at 9.30am and by 5pm, had three-part suite – it was amazing to hear,” adds Aibhlin. Local singers lead by Gerry Cullen were also a festival highlight, as well as free lunchtime concerts in the Thosel in West Street.
Young musicians giving a lunchtime concert in The Tholsel