Music

Ardyth & Jennifer : Magical Harps and Voices from Nova Scotia

Plus: Clydagh Valley by Gearoid O Duinnin, River Underground, Sean Nos Dancers and Genius Loci Cornwall

Yes! Our new edition is out and yours truly is bringing you nothing but the best in Celtic music. All the fresh tunes you want to hear, all the cool bands and music news you want to know-they are in this site!

Everywhere I look there are Celtic inspired companies cropping up. There are young bands and also veterans who continue to create awesome music. A few days ago my muse was inspired by the beautiful Celtic artifacts found in Moravia, the Czech Republic. This goes to show that the Celts were all over Europe during the ancient times and the spirit lives on through us! We are family. Let us continue keeping the flame alive. Slainte!

My friend the legendary and awesome Layne Greene has mixed their harp tunes for the live performance as part of his summer job. That’s how he was able to share these artists. I love the harp and the vocals. Listening to them is a mesmerizing and magical experience.Their track Just Summer speaks of endless possibilities. Sometimes jazzy as in the case of Still Waters, one can feel the spiritual rush of The Angel Gabriel; a tune taken from the Basques. The duo continues to evade being pigeonholed yet are confident in their unique sound that no band sounds like them.

About them:

Ardyth & Jennifer have been performing and giving workshops for many years with their unique mix of harp and original songs. For a list of our favourite links, click here.
Ardyth Robinson

Ardyth Robinson is currently living in the valley with her two girls, Nadia and Claire.

Ardyth Robinson and Jennifer Wyatt met more than a decade ago at a traditional Nova Scotia kitchen party and have been performing together ever since. Bringing their eclectic mix of harps, vocals, bass, percussion, whistles and original songs to audiences throughout the Maritime Provinces and into the New England States they have developed a unique style that combines elements of traditional music with the influence of jazz and contemporary songwriting. They have played at many premier folk festivals and concert venues, showcased in the Roots Room and songwriter’s events at the East Coast Music Awards and at the Juno Fest in Halifax and they have been featured on many local radio and television programs. As they have travelled, their unique style has earned them critical acclaim within the music community and an ever-growing fan base in the Maritimes.

http://www.ardythandjennifer.com/

http://www.myspace.com/149124303

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River Underground Surfacing.

It is great when bands or their friends come forward to promote their music. I know that there hidden gems out there waiting for the light of the day to catch up. How would we know if they keep silent right? I have been fortunate to receive a message from Nick Rossiter about the band River Underground. This is what he wrote.

I am from St. John’s N.L. I love the pubs of George Street, and all around the downtown area!! It is part of a long heritage of Downtown, St.John’s, N.L.
I’m just writing to ask if you could post on your wall, a Celtic band called ” Skraeling”, otherwise know as “River Underground”!!
They are based out of Toronto, Ontario, and quite frequently, Vancouver, B.C. And they do extensive traveling to all places, everywhere!!
They have released 3 C.D.s so far.
They are, quite possibly, Newfoundland’s “Best Kept Secret”!!!
They played Erin’s Pub last week for 3 nights, to a crowd that absolutely Loved them!!
The band members are, Jamie Snider(of the Wonderful Grand Band), Mike Rossiter, and a nice young man on drums, who calls himself “Animal” Pearson!!
They are in Newfoundland till mid August, and then they head back to the mainland after that!!
Also, they are looking for more bookings in any of your local pubs or bars, so if you could repost these links on your wall, it would be greatly appreciated!!
A good contact # is 1 416 873 7886.
Thank-you for sharing this and listening!!
Cheers!!

P.S. This is three of their links to get an idea what their sound is like!!
http://riverunderground.com/ https://www.facebook.com/riverunderground https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skraeling/71575184364

I listened to the music samples and I automatically like their music. It glides in smoothly and everyone in the band plays with such beautiful gusto it makes you want to get up and dance to the jigs.
Sound Samples here: http://riverunderground.com/
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Our pic of the day: Clydagh Valley by Gearoid O Duinnin

Since the day Clydagh Valley came out, it has been shared so many times. This image is by painter Gearoid O Duinnin who is based in County Cork, Ireland. The wild splashes of deep colors hold the imagination. The artwork speaks in volumes.  I can stare at it again and again and imagine I actually live there. I got in touch with him and conducted this little interview.

How long did you work on this painting?

I will always work on a painting for about two months, Layering and layering it with a plain colour. Then I attack the canvas with all the paint. Maybe 5-6 hours for the final bit.

What is your inspiration in creating this painting?

I actually live there. The funny thing is that when I painted it, I had just moved there and a friend pointed out to me afterwards that I had painted the Valley. I wasn’t intentional. I don’t paint from photos etc.

Can you give me the artists who influenced you in terms of your style?

I do like Jackson Pollock and Francis Bacon a lot but mainly for what they had to say about the subconscious as regards to painting. The pictorial result is different but the experience is the same feeling.

You are also a musician on the side. Any plans of pursuing this career or is this just for fun?

I’ve never had any aspirations as a musician. It’s something I do and other musicians ask me to play with them. I’m an accompanist and a fan of the music I suppose. I’m very lucky because I get a front seat in hearing some of the best musicians we have.

What can we expect from you this year in terms of artistic works?

Well…. I’m busy painting at the moment and I hope to have an exhibition that I can take on tour next year. I’ve had some help this year from Udaras na Gaeltachta & the arts council that enabled me to buy badly needed art supplies. Now that the house is full of canvas and paint, I feel confident.

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Video of the day: Sean nós dancers

There is an old form of Irish Dancing called Sean nos which like the style of singing means: Old Style. It is simple, fluid and improvisational. Through the years Irish dancing have grown and developed into other forms but it is great to look back sometimes and realize that everything has origins. My special thanks to Karen Victoria Smith for introducing this form of dancing in her vampire novel Dark Dealings. Here;s her blog to get more info about the book.

http://kvictoriasmith.blogspot.com/

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4 thoughts on “Ardyth & Jennifer : Magical Harps and Voices from Nova Scotia

  1. Bottom to top: I loved the dancers which are so different from what the Irish dancers do today, BUT also very much like it!! It almost seems like American tap dancing.
    Love the painting. I’ve seen it somewhere!
    I love all of the musicians, but Ardith and Jennifer are the tops for me!
    Wow, this entry was truly jam packed!

    • I agree! I get the feeling that after the 19th century, the two styles evolved on their own…those who were brought originally by Irish immigrants continue to evolve while the one left in Ireland evolved as well. But that’s imo.

  2. Pingback: Ardyth & Jennifer : Magical Harps and Voices from Nova Scotia … « larrymatthews

  3. The only caveat I see with this lap harp is ueonrtunatfly a very problematic one. The strings on the harp are looped, and so two notes share one string (see picture) Making it very difficult to keep the harp in tune for long EX: Tightening one side can change the other, and thereby changing both notes. Only a few years into having it as a child, I lost the tuning key and was completely unable to tune it thereafter. [A wrench, pliars, etc strip the small studs] I found my harp again in pristine condition from whence it was packed all these years, and it is still horribly out of tune. I will have to buy a tuning key from a music store after a second try with pliers stripped the pegs yet again. Different tuning keys for different harps so here’s hoping! I recommend the harp if you can KEEP your tuning key, or are adept at keeping it in tune easily. It is a wonderful learning tool, and fun musical instrument that is different than most.

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