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Simon Chadwick's
Early Gaelic Harp Emporium

CDs by Siobhán Armstrong

Cláirseach na hÉireann - The Harp of Ireland

Siobhán Armstrong
Cláirseach na hÉireann - The Harp of Ireland
Maya MCD0401, 2004
Siobhán, playing a replica of the Trinity College harp with gold strings, is joined by traditional Irish sean nós singer Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin for four tracks on this CD. The resulting songs are superb - a very convincing demonstration of the Gaelic harp's place in Gaelic song. Especially interesting to me was when a harp solo of Ruaidhrí Dall Ó Catháin's "Port Atholl" was followed by Bríd singing Carolan's version of it, Seabhac na hÉirne (the Hawk of Ballyshannon). The recording includes numerous different harp solos - Irish tunes by Carolan and Ó Catháin; English court music; and a set of traditional jigs. Listen to sample tracks
£13 +

Má Bhionn Tú Liom Bí Liom

Róisín Elsafty
Má Bhionn Tú Liom Bí Liom
Vertical Records VERTCD080, 2006
It's worth you buying this CD just for track 12 - Róisín, from a family of Connemara singers, sings Síle Bheag Ní Chonnalláin accompanied by Siobhán Armstrong on early Irish harp. Her singing blends so perfectly with the brass and gold strings of Siobhán's replica of the medieval Trinity College harp, and the harp and voice perfectly complement each other in expression, articulation and ornamentation. This song was performed in Kilkenny, Galway and Dublin during the Historical Harp Society of Ireland's concert series in August 2006. The CD was first available during the series and promptly sold out! It has since been "officially released" by Vertical Records and I have more in stock. The rest of the CD is made up of some excellent unaccompanied sean nós songs as well as songs with traditional instrumental accompaniment.
£13 +

The Cries of London

Les Sacqueboutiers
The Cries of London
Ambroisie AMB 9965, 2004
This CD, produced in France by mainly French artists, is an interesting treatment of a very curious 17th century group of pieces: complex polyphonic art-music of the English royal court, based on the shouts and slogans of London's streets and market places. The French accents of some of the singers make the words hard to follow in places, and the music is dominated by the strident sounds of early brass. Siobhán Armstrong joins the band as continuo player, and the record features some rare chances to hear early Irish harp (Siobhán's replica of the Trinity College harp, strung with brass and gold) played in mainstream consort music, alongside bass viol, organ, drums and brass. Now out of print and apparently completely unavailable.
A few only in stock
£25 +

Gallaway

Les Witches
Lord Gallaway’s Delight
Alpha 534, 2013
The French early music group Les Witches invited Siobhán Armstrong to come over and join them as guest artist for their Irish programme, and she advised them on repertory, style and also wrote some of the liner notes for this very interesting CD. There are a couple of solo harp tracks but most of the lively dances and mournful laments are played as consort music with an ever-changing palette of historical instruments, all beautifully played.
£13 +