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Carolan's Dream - played on celtic harp

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Published on Aug 21, 2006

Turlough O'Carolan was an irish harpist who lived in the mid-1600s and wrote pieces for the people he met and stayed with - playing music in exchange for hospitality. Tradition has it that the harp was played last thing at night, before people went to bed.

The building I'm playing it in was a bakery built around 1790, serving the local houses. The bread oven is in the stone wall behind me, and the building has a new floor and triple-glazing on the windows. It's a great mixture of old and new and a great place to play this music.

Appropriately, I recorded this piece very late one night, and just went with the first take so the playing has the odd rough bits. I like to think that's authentic - apparently Carolan never played the same way twice. Bet he never had as much trouble as I did finding DivX codecs, either!

Only the melodies survive, so I've done this arrangement myself and I'm playing it here on a Pilgrim gut-strung harp. The arrangement and video is my copyright. You are welcome to learn and play the arrangement (by ear - I haven't written it down!) if you like it - but please credit me if you play it in public. If you like it, I'll post more music.

To make the recording I used a Sony 3-CCD camera direct to hard disk, with one audio take, noise-reduced in Cool Edit Pro, with Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the visuals together. If you want a higher-quality file to download and keep on your computer, just send me a message.

CD NOW AVAILABLE! Just type "Mark Harmer" into Amazon.co.uk search or if you're in the UK, see here: http://tinyurl.com/carolan

If you prefer iTunes it's at http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZ...

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