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.