Dhá Clairseach

Here I am with my sometime harp partner Irminsul, with his usual Aries pre-gig face on ("Whaddaya mean, real men don't wearskirts?") We don't always play together, because we each have some personal harp agendas, but we have been performing and recordingtogether in Salt Lake City, intermittently since 1994. We  played together at the Scottish Festival in 1995, 1996 and 1998, at the St. Patrick's Day festivities at Crompton's (a former Salt Lake City landmark, now regrettably closed after 20 years of serving the community,) at the Medieval Feast of the Hibernian Society, and were featured on KRCL radio's New Age music program Nexus, discussing Celtic music and playing  pre-release cuts from our first recording, Aisling.Some years ago we were the featured artists at the opening of Lost Arts, an art gallery and
boutique featuring one-of-a-kind works by local artists, sculptors, jewelers, potters and musicians. Irminsul now also plays with Stonecircle,a local Irish band which is rapidly getting a national reputation, and I am doing less performing right now and more writing, working on a solo album of Celtic New Age music and a Goddess-themed song cycle for live presentation.

We are shown here with our matched set of Lyon and Healy Troubadour harps. Irminsul's is a Troubadour IV (Nessa) and I play  a Troubadour III (Gwydion). Uncle Irmy's other harp is a 22-string wire-strung Markwood Celt, yclept Avalon, and my other harps include a 22-string  Gothic Witcher (Dierdre) built in 1980, a lovely copy by local harpbuilder Keith Rogers of the Witcher standing Gothic harp, strung in wire, whose name is Niamh (bright) and an Argent Fox Brother Ambrosius (another wire) called Ceol (song.) (Yes, I know...our harps  have names! What do you expect from a couple of Celtic  Reconstructionists with Medieval attitudes?) Uncle Irmy  also occasionally  whips out one of several tinwhistles, and I have lately begun the  bowed psaltery, which appears on my solo recording Waterharp,(expected release Spring 2004). The variety of instruments (yes, all  those harps do sound different from each other, even the two
Troubadours) has led us to do some exploring in the realm of  repertory. I am a student of Irish style, especially the works of  O'Carolan and the folk repertory, while Irminsul is unabashedly Scottish  when not industrial punk.  I also work with the Breton and Welsh repertory, as well as English folk music, and Himself is fond of tunes from   Nova Scotia, Northumbria, Cornwall and the early American repertory. His solo compositions have a Celtic flair, sounding a  great deal like Scottish ballads and dance tunes, while my own writing  has an Irish flavour, slipping often into New Age and Pagan arrangement and style.

Future plans for Dhá Chlairseach (which is pronounced  " hah KLARshah" and is Irish Gaelic for "Two Harps") include a followup to Aisling (poet's vision), tentatively entitled Amhran (song), as well as possible opportunities for private gigs such as weddings, and charity concerts through Heart and Soul. Each of us will also pursue our individual harp agendas, Irminsul with Stonecircle and as a solo performer, and I in the studio and on the Millennium Harp Quest sponsored by Harping for Harmony. Irminsul's other musical endeavors may be  found  at  http://www.irminsul.biz, while my own musical realm, shared with my partner and sound engineering expert Briana, is  http://www.technoharp.com