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Alison Vardy
Harping On

solo celtic harp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harping On is a CD of solo harp music resonates in the heart with Paraguayan and Celtic harp music.  I've selected my favourite pieces of music and ones which demonstrate the diverse repertoire of the harp as you will see below.  Hence, there is a very wide range of styles and tempos to enjoy for all occasions.
The 13 tracks include 5 of my own rhythmic compositions, South American melodies, Celtic medleys, spirituals and much more. (58 minutes of playing time ). 
I have recorded the majority of the tracks on Harping On using a 36 string all nylon strung Paraguayan harp designed by Australian luthier, Andy Rigby, to my specification and which I later built at his workshop in Newstead, Victoria. The remaining tracks are on a Celtic lever harp crafted by Kim Webby of Whangarai, New Zealand.
I recorded Harping On in the natural reverberation of an acoustically "live" room in a 100 year old heritage villa in Southern New Zealand.  Recording quality is excellent as all tracks were recorded directly to digital using some of the best vintage Neumann valve and condenser  microphones currently available.( This CD was recorded by Fish Street Studio, Dunedin, New Zealand and was released in October 1997).
Close your eyes and you are sitting alongside the harp enjoying your own private concert!          Alison
1)Sunday Syncopations (3:30)       
Stitched together one rainy winter Sunday when a little off-beat rhythm was essential
2) Carolan's Welcome / Drummond Castle              Traditional: Ireland / Scotland (4:11)
       The first tune, composed by Ireland's best known harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670 - 1738), is one of about 200 melodies recovered from near obscurity.  The second is a Scottish tune I learned from friends in Dunedin, New Zealand
3) Yet Another Medley                    Traditional: Ireland / Wales / England (4:23)
       She Walked Through the Fair, followed by Hoffed Meistres Wishart (Beloved Master Richard), The Great Silkie and ending with a "Trad: Vardy"
4) Autumn / Wind-up Toy  (5:49)   
       My first compositions and ones I still enjoy playing on the Celtic harp
5) 10 de Octubre / Che Valle mi Yaguaron          Traditional: Paraguay (5:23)
         Two traditional Galopas from Paraguay.  The Galaopa is a syncopated waltz with the right hand playing a 6 / 8 time signature while the left hand plays 3 / 4 time (like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time).
6) Diddanwhch Gruffudd ap Cynan                                Traditional: Wales (2:47)
       Griffith's Entertainment for Cynan's Son. A hauntingly beautiful tune I stole from the tape of a Welsh group, "Aberjaber".
7) Princess Royale / Roxburgh Castle                     Traditional: Ireland / Scotland (4:07)
       The first tune was sent to me by Dorothea Franchii, once the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra harpist and a kind assistant to me getting started on the Celtic harp.  The second is arranged by Anne McDearmid of Scotland
8) Dunedin Habanera / Cumbia Deliciosa           Alison Vardy / Alfredo Rolando Ortiz (6:19)
       A Caribbean rhythm for less-than-tropical Dunedin, NZ, followed by a Cumbia, a musical genre from Columbia.
9) Swing Low Sweet Chariot / Rich Man               Arthur Warrell / Unknown, U.S.A. (3:28)
       Two spirituals from the days of slavery in the US.
10) Variations on a Mode                                     Alison Vardy (3:09)
        Dorian and mixolydian themes taking turns in a range of dynamics
11) El Rio                                                                 Alfredo Rolando Ortiz (4:20)
        A Tonada (musical genre from Venezuela) with my own arrangements weaving the melody.
12) Dalby Aire / Grandfather Clock                 Trad: Isle of Man / Unknown U.S.A. (3:44)
        A favourite of mine for the transitions from minor to major and back again.  Followed by a piece I used to play on the piano as a child, my father accompanying on the violin.
13) Ecuador / Beneath Wings        Alfredo Rolando Ortiz / Bette Midler (7:10)
        Alfredo is one of the most recorded Paraguayan harpists and he's not even Paraguayan!  Born Cuban, raised in Columbia and Venezuela and now living in Los Angelos, he is a renowned performer, composer and teacher on  the Paraguayan harp.  Ecuador is a Pasillo, a traditional musical genre from Columbia.  Beneath Wings provides a quiet contrast in this duo.

Andrea Smith Sweet Embrace

With the release of her newest cd 'Sweet Embrace' Andrea has experienced a surge in popularity and recognition for her songwriting skills, not to mention her fabulous vocal work on the album. The album features the best of west coast musicians including, Phil Dwyer, Pat Coleman, Ken Lister, Pat Steward, Dave Gogo, Todd Sacerty, Rick Salt, Miles Black and Tina Jones. With an indie label (www.RootCellarRecords.ca) and national distribution, this island girl is indeed on her way to great things.

Review

"...A new bright light on the local music scene, Andrea Smith is a powerful and expressive vocalist as well as an excellent guitar player. Her original songs are catchy, rhythmic and very lyrically creative. To add to her talents she has a genuine magnetic personality and is a polished professional performer. I play her music regularly on my show as do others at CHLY here in Nanaimo. Andrea is on her way to great things musically."

B. Hazelbower Programmer CHLY Radio, Nanaimo

Bobbi Schram Terminal Station

Bobbi Schram is a singer/songwriter on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bobbi's been writing, singing, playing piano and guitar for quite a number of years. Only in the past few years she has been playing for larger audiences.

Bobbi decided a couple of years ago to have some songs recorded, and went shopping for a studio. Raincoast Studio in Nanaimo was the one. Recording engineer Jerry Paquette took on the project, and now there is a full length cd with 14 of Bobbi's origional songs. Almost 2 years later!

Most are on piano, a few on guitar, some have violin, cello, and some percussion. Most are laid back, easy listening songs.

The title of the CD is actually a song within it.  "Terminal Station", is about a homeless man laying on a bench in the park out front of the main train station in Vancouver.

So, sit back and relax, hope you enjoy!

Fiona Stuart Songs For Mona Lisa

Fiona Stuart, originally with the group Mosaic, releases her solo cd.

Flora Scott
Then and Now

CD (March 1, 1999)
Original Release Date: March 1, 1999
'Then & Now' represents the span of time over which these tunes were composed. Some were written in the 1920's, 30's, 40's and 50's including an original song "Stay" by Flora herself.
Flora selected these tunes to record because she found the older jazz melodies particularly appealing while at the same time the lyrics are still effective and meaningful by today's standards.
Featuring Hugh Fraser and produced by Claire Lawrence with arrangements by Anita Bonkowski. Also appearing: Campbell Ryga, Ross Taggart, Brad Turner, Ken Lister, Dave Robbins, and Craig Scott.

Produced by Claire Lawrence and Hugh Fraser

Arrangements - Anita Bonkowski
Recorded in 1998 at Blue Wave Productions Limited,
Vancouver, B.C.
Engineering & mixing - Perry Barret
Mixing on "East of the Sun" and "I've got it Bad"
by Blair Calibaba
Assistant engineer - Matt Martiensson
Mastered by Craig Waddell

Cover photo by Rob Destrube at Destrube Photography, Victoria, B.C.
Photo of Craig Scott by Tom Siddal
All other photos by Erhard Laslo, Victoria, B.C.
Graphics by Ajana, Media Magic, Victoria, B.C.

Members/Musicians

Flora Scott - guitar, vocals
Hugh Fraser - trombone, piano
Campbell Ryga - alto and soprano sax
Ross Taggart - piano, tenor sax
Brad Turner - trumpet, flugel horn, piano
Ken Lister - bass
Dave Robbins - drums
Craig Scott - drums



Jolene White
Broken Down Angel

Jolene White's debut CD is beautifully real. Filled with the ups and downs we all experience with relationships. Masterfully produced by Zak Cohen of The Woodworking Recording Studio. Jolene's CD easily places near the top of Vancouver Island releases.  A regular performer at the Island Folk Festival, Jolene White has a show well worth catching. Did I mention she's related to Diamond Joe and Penny White. For Diamond Joe fans, Jolene offers a treat covering her Dad's song "Let Go of Me" with Joe singing backup. I look forward to more recordings from this talented singer-songwriter.

Ric Lafontaine
CdIsle.ca

Layla EP

EP SOLD OUT
Layla Zoe was 4 years old when she began singing and loving it! Born in Victoria, B.C. Layla was raised around "good" music and continued to explore her musical tastes as well as writing poetry and performing at open stages in Vancouver, B.C. at the age of fifteen.

" I taught myself to sing by listening to old records." - Layla Zoe.

Growing up listening to Robert Johnson, Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters, Layla grew up with a good knowledge of the blues. As Layla matured she began to find her own tastes lying more in the 60's-70's genre of psychedelic rock and blues. Listening to artists like the Band, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin and Santana as well as singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Van Morrison, one can hear Layla's major influences. Layla also became a fan of jazz, clasical, even opera and worldbeat. Layla is known for having a diverse taste in music and it can be heard in her vocal inflections.

In 2001 Layla attended the Hornby Island Blues Workshop (BC)where she met David Gogo, Ken Whiteley, Rick Fines, Doug Cox, Ellen McIlwaine and many more Canadian musicians. Layla later worked with David Gogo, and performed to a sold-out audience at the Port theatre in Nanaimo, B.C. for Gogo's "The Evolution of the Blues" concert, which later aired on CBC radio's Saturday Night Blues Show hosted by Holger Peterson.

"Layla Zoe, a young blues siren! She reached deep into her guts to hit some of the notes. She had the audience in the palm of her hands."
-by Walter Cordery - Daily News -(Review from the "The Evolution of the Blues")

Layla also appeared on a pilot episode of the tv series "Canadian Idol"; Layla was "too bluesy" for the pop idol tv competition. Layla has recently released her debut limited edition EP cd "You Will" after working with producer Alec Watson (Production and Engineering credits include Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West, Michelle Wright, Rick Henry) She plans to work with Watson again in early 2006 to release her full length album.

In the meantime Layla is opening for artists such as Juno nominated Amos Garrett, Juno Winner Ken Hamm, critically acclaimed guitarist Bill Johnson and world renowned dobro master Doug Cox. This summer(2005),Layla also performed at the same festivals as Michael Franti/Spearhead, David Lindley, Keb Mo, Bo Diddley and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Romi Mayes
On The Road In 2 days

Romi Mayes, female Country Blues and Bluegrass player, sings songs that tell the stories of her travels across Canada and the people she met along the way. Anyone close to Romi will tell you she is a straight ahead character with no fear of the truth. A little bit of grit and the road less travelled are a part of her and her performances. With an acoustic guitar and a voice true and simple, Romi breathes fresh new life into her genre and helps us find hope with her subtle sarcastic humour and witty stories.  All political correctness aside, Romi isn't just a chic with a guitar- she plays guitar like a guy but sings sweet and heartfelt like only a woman can. Her songs contain a kind of sympathy and honesty that are true to Country Blues and Bluegrass but they maintain a contemporary to appeal to all ages, as well.

Rosemary Beland
The Tinkers' Wedding

Hammer Dulcimer Recordings

"Being a musical journey through a time and place that belongs in some Celtic world, far and away and as long ago as yesterday. Rosemary's beautiful melodies married perfectly into the old story of the Tinkers' Wedding. Here's a gift of magic!" - Will Millar ot the Irish Rovers.


Arranged for hammer dulcimer, celtic harp, guitar, oboe, cello, and penny whistle
Musicians - Rosemary Beland, Denis Donnelly, Michael Byrne, Mark Rodgers, Will Millar, John Ellis

Saskia Munroe
Saskia

Saskia Munroe - Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals & Bass

Nathan Tinkham - Guitar & Dobro

Molly Newman - Percussion

Caridwen Irvine - Fiddle

Michael Brooks - Mandolin