Harp Composers Concert

A good friend of mine plays the harp (along with a few other instruments) and a few weeks ago he sent me some information about an upcoming harp concert. Me being the fan of Celtic music that I am, couldn't pass up the opportunity for this rare event and on Saturday, I made my way over to Celtic Traditions, a wonderful little store/music school on West 10th for an unprecedented treat.

The night started off with a great performance from Victoria harpist Josh Layne. He's a fabulous musician who played a few of his own compositions beautifully and watching him perform was spectacular. The power and concentration on his face while he was performing was nearly as mesmerizing as the music itself. He performed this piece, titled "Passage", which blew my mind:

He was followed by Elizabeth Volpé Bligh who has been the VSO's principal harpist since 1982 and she played an assortment of her own compositions along with a "Vancouver Suite" which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

After a short intermission and my indulgence in a decadent slice of banana cream pie, Clare Morgan took the stage. She was easily my favourite of the performers - mostly because she has a much more modern approach to the harp which I heard referred to as "punkified". I absolutely loved her set and can't wait to get my hands on a CD of her work. I snapped this video of her performing "Cheshire Moon":

The night was closed off with a performance from Mehlinda Heartt who performed a number of pieces - a few solo and a few with some of her students that joined her on-stage. Here's one I thoroughly enjoyed:

You can check out more from Mehlinda at her YouTube Channel or her MySpace page.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable night and I can't wait to take in more music! Apparently Celtic Traditions holds a concert series (of which this event was the last for the year) which starts again in September. I've put myself on the mailing list for upcoming events and I'm very excited at the prospect of seeing more. This harp event was one of a kind (apparently it's not often you get three world class harpists performing together in such an intimate concert) but live music in general is a win for me and this was a wonderful taste. I also have a few more pictures from the event over on Flickr.


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