Lord Gallaway's Delight: An Excellent Collection Of Dances & Gaelic Laments Siobhán Armstrong & Les Witches
- 1She Rose and Leit Me In05:22
- 2The Ragg Set By a Gentlemen (Irish Rag)03:55
- 3Ld Gallaways Lamentation06:07
- 4Sr Ulick Burk04:32
- 5Mary O'Neill03:43
- 6On the Cold Ground03:09
- 8Molly Halfpenny (Molly O'hailpin)03:45
- 9Limbrick's Lamentation05:57
- 10I Loved Thee Once05:23
- 11Siege of Limerick03:18
- 12Counsellor Mc Donoghs Lamentation08:11
- 13Jennys Whim, Role the Rumple Sawny02:25
- 14Lads of Leight02:59
- 15Johney Cock Thy Beaver: A Scotch Tune to a Ground03:55
- 16Kings Hornpipe, Newcastle02:58
- 17Miss Hamilton04:15
- 18Da Mihi Manum04:06
Info for Lord Gallaway's Delight: An Excellent Collection Of Dances & Gaelic Laments
The Witches continue their exploration of the music of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This series, successfully launched with the disc Nobody’s Jig, sheds new light on songs and dances at the intersection of the art music and folk music repertories.
Our team of witches is joined here by Siobhán Armstrong, a talented harpist specialising in the Irish repertory. Together they recount an alternative history of Great Britain and Ireland, following the tunes as one goes up the course of a river, discovering with delight the treasures each of them has in store: spellbinding melodies and vivid titles which, in their evocation of people and places, bring the pages of history back to life.
'Galway’s Delight, for me, was dancing in pubs on the West Coast of Ireland in 1984 with my father, a man who was younger then than I am now, whose beard was barely beginning to be streaked white, and who’d wanted me Irish since I was born, though this was the first time he himself had set foot in the land of his ancestors... Day after day and night after night, in Galway and Connemara, our ears and our taste buds, our pale blue eyes and the rhythmic movements of our feet and hearts confirmed the vivacity of this country’s language, music and (mixture of the two) poetry. ‘A terrible beauty is born’ – my father quoted Yeats to me when we visited the poet’s Tor Ballylee together. In those days I think he secretly hoped I’d give up the harpsichord – a fussy, exquisite, elitist instrument with snotty connotations – for the harp, instrument of leprechauns and fairies, symbol of the country’s independence proudly displayed on the flag of the Irish Republic, a unisex, erotic, democratic instrument as portable and universal as the guitar, perhaps even the latter’s precursor.
Now nearly thirty years later I find myself in Ireland again, crazier than ever about Yeats and Beckett and Joyce, again drinking pints of Guinness standing up and listening to that heart-rending music, language and poetry. My father has died in the meantime, the pale blue light in his eyes has gone out, his beard turned wholly white before it evaporated quite, his flesh is ash but oh, oh, lovely constancy of Celtic traditions, mud and gold, green meadow and brown beer, peat and squeat, jigs and jokes...
This evening, thanks to the magic of a compact disc, my many yesterdays can finally converge to make music together, harp and harpsichord can tune up, vibrate and sing in harmony, and I know I can trust ‘Les Witches’ to tell me the true, poignant, melancholy stories of Miss Hamilton and Mary and Molly, make me weep and sing and dance again, albeit in the solitude of my hotel room, occasionally checking in the mirror to make sure my white hair is still dyed a lovely auburn since my father wanted me Irish, and I know this music will forever prove – yes it is true, it will always be true, even here in Dublin on the country’s east coast, at a considerable remove from Galway and the days in which pieces like ‘Lord Gallaway’s Lamentation’ and ‘Siege of Limerick’ and ‘Jenny’s Whim’ were composed – all the world over and even after my own death, yes, oh, yes, I loved thee once.' (Nancy Huston)
Siobhán Armstrong, Irish Harp
is one of a small number of harpists worldwide who play harps from earlier centuries. She has a large collection of copies of instruments from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the baroque era. Siobhán was born in Dublin, lives in Ireland and works as a freelance performer and teacher, mainly in Europe. With fairly eclectic interests, she is equally at home playing 17th century Italian opera, performing on Hollywood film soundtracks and gigging at the world's biggest traditional music festivals. Her greatest interest is encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp. To this end she founded and chairs the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and is the director of Scoil na gCláirseach–Summer School of Early Irish Harp which takes place each August in Ireland. She plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College harp–the national emblem of Ireland–strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann–The Harp of Ireland, was released in 2004. Alongside her solo work, Siobhán Armstrong performs and records with the leading early music soloists, ensembles, and directors in Europe. Siobhán has performed, broadcast and taught throughout Europe, North America and Japan.