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Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world take you deep into the myths, magic and fabled history of this most captivating instrument.
Patrick Ball - Celtic harp, Spoken Word,
Lisa Lynne - Celtic harp, Irish Bouzouki, and Mandolin.
Aryeh Frankfurter - Celtic harp, Cittern, Nyckelharpa
Patrick Ball is "an American master of the Irish instrument, a modern day bard." (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)
"Lisa Lynne's music is quite possibly the most beautiful music you have ever heard" (WINDHAM HILL RECORDS)
"Aryeh Frankfurter is amazing" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)
Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and a captivating spoken word artist. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold well over a half million copies internationally, winning national awards in both the music and spoken word categories. Patrick’s critically acclaimed concerts and solo theatrical productions have toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and the UK, and have been awarded grants by the California Arts Council and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association. His passion for the oral tradition of Irish storytelling and his love of the wire-strung Celtic harp have made Patrick Ball one of the most beloved performers in Folk music today www.patrickball.com
Lisa Lynne is a multi-instrumentalist and performer who has gained worldwide recognition for her original music featuring her Celtic Harp. She is widely acclaimed for composing memorable and heartwarming melodies on the Windham Hiill/Sony music labels that have repeatedly placed in the Top 10 & Top 20 on the Billboard New age music charts. . Lisa tours year round performing at large US festivals and performing art centers. Her work in Therapeutic music has gained recognition from NBC, CNN, Fox News Atlanta and numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Wall Street Journal. Lisa's music is heard throughout the award winning PBS special "Alone in the Wilderness," amongst many other soundtracks for commercial television and independent films. www.LisaLynne.com
Aryeh Frankfurter is also a renowned Celtic harper and world traveling multi-instrumentalist who went from virtuosic progressive rock violin to intricate Swedish folk and Celtic Music. He began with Classical violin at the age of three, his early studies and successes led him to explore various ethnic and international musical genres. Aryeh taught himself to play a variety of instruments bowed and plucked and most recently the rarely seen Swedish Nyckelharpa. His uncommon approach to the Celtic harp and folk harp repertoire, his numerous critically and commercially successful albums have earned him credit as a musician, recording and performance artist of extraordinary talents and abilities. www.Lionharp.com
Patrick Ball - spoken word, Celtic harp
Lisa Lynne - Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki, and Mandolin.
Aryeh Frankfurter - Celtic harp, Cittern, Nyckelharpa
Patrick Ball - Partial Discography
Celtic Harp I: The Music of Turlough O'Carolan
Celtic Harp II: From a Distant Time
Celtic Harp III: Secret Isles
The Ugly Duckling (with Cher)
Celtic Harp IV: O'Carolan's Dream
The Christmas Rose
Music on the Wind
The Wood of Morois
SPOKEN WORD & MUSIC:
Storyteller / Gwilan's Harp and Other Celtic Tales
The Fine Beauty of the Island
Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter
"Weaving Worlds" 2011
Indie-release on "Lavender Sky Music:
"Two Worlds One" self titled first instrumental album.
Released on New Earth Records
Lisa Lynne Partial Discography
Releases on Windham Hill Records:
"Daughters of the Celtic Moon"
"Seasons of the Soul"
"Hopes & Dreams"
"Love & Peace"
Aryeh Frankfurter - Partial Discography
"Harp Songs of the Midnight Sun"
"Aurora of the Northern Harp"
"The Twisting of the Rope"
Legends of the Celtic Harp / Jan 2012
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Mercury News - Jan 31, 2012 From storyteller Patrick Ball's 'Theater of Legend' comes the legend of...Mercury News - Jan 31, 2012
From storyteller Patrick Ball's 'Theater of Legend' comes the legend of the Celtic harp
By Jean Bartlett
Pacifica Tribune Arts Correspondent
In 2006, spoken word artist and Celtic harpist Patrick Ball sat before his completely silent Pacifica Performances audience and told the tale of the Great Blasket Island, a silent, beautifully rugged island off the tip of the Irish Dingle Peninsula which once housed 160 men, women and children until they realized their cherished yet isolated life of fishing, farming and the telling of stories left them too distant from the modern world. In 1953, all the islanders moved to Ireland's mainland, leaving their cottages and their island to the ways of the mist. In Ireland, they refer to the islanders' exodus as "the vanishing."
In 2009, the folk baritone returned again to Pacifica Performances this time to tell of the legendary romance of Tristan and Iseult. Again, the storyteller spoke in front of an audience so silent that it was nearly impossible to believe that anything at all could exist beyond Ball's voice and his harp.
In 2010, Ball sat for a third time in front of a packed and hushed crowed at Pacifica Performances, and from his "Theater of Legend" he presented "Celtic Harp & Story." This was an evening of Irish storytelling, where Ball mixed old tales of wit and enchantment with the ancient, brass-strung harp of Ireland. Ball is returning to Pacifica Performances this Saturday night. His show is titled "Legends of the Celtic Harp."
Ball, who has been frequently recognized by the California Arts Council and the National Storytelling Association, will be joined Saturday night by Aryeh Frankfurter on nyckelharpa, cittern and Celtic harp and Lisa Lynne on Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki and mandolin. (A nyckelharpa, sometimes called the "keyed fiddle" is a traditional Swedish instrument, dating back 600 years. It sounds something like a fiddle, only with a great deal more resonance.)
Multi-instrumentalist Frankfurter, who is based in the Bay Area, has played throughout the world for audiences over 3,000 as well as for small, intimate audiences including a performance for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Multi-instrumentalist Lynne, whose music was heard throughout the award-winning PBS special "Alone in the Wilderness," has also had her music featured on NBC, CNN, and Fox News Atlanta among other television and film venues.
With "Legends of the Celtic Harp," Ball, Frankfurter and Lynne will provide listeners with rich theater as they join their talents to present the myths, magic, and fabled history of the Celtic harp.
Ball, who has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and the UK — did not know in his earliest years that he would be a storyteller and a harpist. Instead he thought he would follow in his beloved dad's footsteps and become a lawyer. But something happened at college.
While he studied history to meet his academic requirements, he discovered the history of Ireland called to him like a long lost friend across the water. Ball said when his father died, "all thoughts of law school died with him" — and Ball made that journey to Ireland where he met those who could spin a narrative in such a way as to change all dreams.
Returning to the States, Ball received his Master's Degree in history from Dominican College and then he moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where for two years, he studied at the Penland School of Crafts. Here, he encountered Appalachian storytellers, ever-inspiring his own thoughts of such a magical career. When he met an instrument maker of the rare wire-string Celtic harp, all the pieces of his life came together as he taught himself to play. He has said it was then his that his passion became his livelihood.
When Patrick Ball tells a story, his audience resides in the lands and the lives of whence came his eloquently chosen words. And as all members of the storyteller's previous Pacifica audiences know, we will go silently, whatever the distance — to hear this keeper of the oral tradition.
"Legends of the Celtic Harp"
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Patrick Ball was introduced to the Celtic harp in the '80s at a Renaissance fair. As a student of Ir...Patrick Ball was introduced to the Celtic harp in the '80s at a Renaissance fair. As a student of Irish history, a storyteller and a musician, he was attracted to the harp's rich, bell-like qualities. Since that time, Ball has recorded nine albums and traveled internationally, presenting his theatrical histories and playing a wire-strung Celtic harp made by luthier Jay Witcher. Now, Ball has teamed with San Francisco-based harpists Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter for a new project, "Legends of the Celtic Harp."
“The whole drift of the narrative concerns the history and the legends of these particular instruments,” Ball says
More than 200 years ago, the wire-strung harp disappeared from the Celtic repertoire as a result of Irish subjugation by the English. With the expulsion of the age-old instrument, much of the music, which had never been recorded, was lost.
Since the 1970s, musicians and historians have sought to resurrect the instrument along with its forgotten melodies.
"These harps had lots of myths and lore attached to them, so there was no shortage of stories," Ball says.
The first half of the program weaves myths, memoirs and vignettes with works by anonymous composers as well as pieces by Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), a blind harpist known as the "last of the Irish bards."
"He lived in an oppressive time but wrote these astonishing, beautiful and uplifting pieces," Ball says.
For the second set, Ball will relate the story of Gwilan, a young Irish harpist who traveled between rural villages, serenading
folks with her wonderful gift of music.
The story was written by Ursula K. Le Guin and is set in A.D. 1000.
When Ball first heard the story, he says he immediately thought of Lynne's music.
"It was almost like a soundtrack to this particular story," Ball says.
In addition to collaborating on "Legends of the Celtic Harp," Lynne and Frankfurter are independent musicians with their own record labels and studios. The two perform as a duo and as solo musicians.
Lynne and Frankfurter also share parallel histories. They each have about 15 solo albums, were introduced to the harp at Renaissance fairs and have backgrounds in slightly more "upbeat" music.
In the '80s, Frankfurter played electric violin in a progressive rock band, and Lynne played bass in a heavy-metal band. The musicians have long since discovered their affinity for the harp.
Lynne's music has repeatedly placed in the Top 10 and Top 20 on Billboard's New Age music chart.
For the show, Lynne plays a nylon-strung harp, mandolin and bouzouki, and Frankfurter plays nylon-strung harp, Swedish nyckelharpa and Irish cittern.
"Irish folk harps should not be confused with the big, golden, pedal harps you see in orchestras, which were developed much later — in the 17th century — when Renaissance music went
into classical," Lynne says. Celtic harps have a much warmer, earthy sound, she says.
Patrick Ball, Celtic Harp & Story
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“An American master of the Irish instrument, a peripatetic modern day bard, combining tale-telling, ...“An American master of the Irish instrument, a peripatetic modern day bard, combining tale-telling, history and music into a seamless compound that reaches all ages and types of listeners.”
San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA
“It’s rare that we will feature a performer on our fine performances season for two consecutive years, but then Patrick is a rare artist...The audience was entranced by his harp playing, amused by his storytelling. Patrick is a grand man who puts on a great show. A warm and magical performance.”
APAP Report / Humboldt State University
“Patrick Ball conjured some Druid magic...weaving words and music into a spellbinding program.”
The Blade, Toledo, OH
“The SRO audience loved Mr. Ball’s performance, asking when we will be bringing him back. Ball was a delight to work with, very professional and he is superb at captivating an audience.”
APAP Report / Arizona State University
“His concert consisted of ethereally gorgeous instrumental music and colorful stories. The music, like that of many Windham Hill artists, painted a feeling with delicate wisps of sound. But there is something special about the sound of the harp and the sight of someone playing it. His renditions of musical antiquities were almost a spiritual experience.”
The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY
“Ball weaves a pleasant skein of shanachie tales with a fair bit of wit, but it’s just so much string for his true jewels, the short harp solos. These extremely delicate and gracefully measured melodies shone like constellations over a moonless heath.”
The Boston Globe
“One of the premier interpreters of O’Carolan’s music today.”
Los Angeles Times
“Patrick Ball...casts a haunting spell... a graceful and often bittersweet evocation of the past.”
“Patrick Ball is the finest interpreter of traditional Celtic music I have ever heard in my professional career. His storytelling is wonderful and his entire program combines storytelling and Celtic harp tunes seamlessly. He is a delightful entertainer.”
APAP Event Report / Barbara A. Harris, Caffe Lena
“Patrick Ball is a real artist; perhaps a profound one.”
Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, MI
“Thank you again for the wonderful concert and residency at Elon College. I am still getting rave reviews from all those who attended the performance. Truly your music and stories bridged the generation gap; students, faculty and community patrons have uniformly shared enthusiastic comments about the evening. The music was enthralling and the stories delightful. We all appreciate the opportunity we had to become acquainted with you and we look forward to having you return to Elon.”
George W. Troxler, Director of Cultural Programs,
Elon College, NC
“Once again, ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you’ for the wonderful experiences you brought to the audiences of ASU’s Kerr Cultural Center. The “Coffee at Kerr” you hosted on Friday morning was both informative and entertaining, the two elements we strive for in theses presentations. AND Friday evening’s performance was magical. I received so many wonderful comments from the audience, including ‘When is he coming back?’ It was a genuine pleasure working with you. I am sincerely looking forward to our next encounter.”
A. Nannette Taylor, Kerr Cultural Center,
Arizona State University
“It’s some of the most interesting and heart-stoppingly gorgeous music to come along in some time...Ball plays with skill and feeling, weaving intricate textures and rendering the centuries-old material compelling from the first note...The harp itself sounds so glorious that it’s quite understandable why it’s reputed to be the instrument of choice among the angels.”
The California Music Magazine, Los Angeles, CA
“The leading practitioner of O’Carolan’s art is Patrick Ball. He systematically explores O’Carolan’s prolific output, as well as branching out to other traditions in his laudable and ambitious search of a by-gone Celtic past.”
Tower Records Pulse!
“Patrick Ball plays the ancient, wire-strung Celtic harp with a sense of magic and refinement that takes you back to a time when musicwas more direct and powerful in its simplicity.”
“The show is a rare treat.”
The Arcata Union (Humboldt State University concert)
O'Carolans Farewell to Music / Patrick Ball
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“Hauntingly beautiful ballads and lilting storytelling...it might spring from the 17th century...but...“Hauntingly beautiful ballads and lilting storytelling...it might spring from the 17th century...but the play seems as current as the latest troubles in Belfast...Patrick Ball’s acting is fine, his musicianship outstanding...A small gem.”
Variety, New York
“Richly theatrical...the spell he casts is hauntingly beautiful...Ball embodies his subject with uncanny realism...a gem of a show.”
St. Petersburg Times, Florida
An Irish Bard Plucks at Heartstrings
“... whenever performer Patrick Ball pulls his stool up to the harp, streams of silvery tunes glisten and shimmer. It’s instant Irish nostalgia, even for a listener who has no particular connection to the country and its culture...Ball plays the pedalless Celtic harp with a deft, florid touch. The melodies are lovingly shaped and the intricate finger work gracefully phrased.”
San Francisco Chronicle, California
A Poet’s Fond Stirring Farewell
“Ball is both a master storyteller and one of the world’s leading Celtic harpists...he smoothly melds the two skills into an arresting oral biography of O’Carolan. The music is glowingly distinctive, lingering in the memory after the last note dies. Ball gives MacCabe’s recollections a depth of emotion and a true sense of loss. Together the words and music create a moving portrait of O’Carolan.”
The News Journal, Wilmington, DE
Harp Takes Audience on Irish Time Travels
“Ball is a master of the Celtic harp, a fascinating instrument that sounds at times like a harpsichord and at other times like bells, but always, beneath his hand, passionate and evocative of the undaunted Irish spirit and the emotional pull of the Irish landscape. Ball is also a skillful actor with an understated style and a gift for both storytelling and characterization which gently brings alive MacCabe, O’Carolan and the various characters they encounter.”
“It is a fantastic respite from standard holiday fare, yet at the same time gives you the sort of emotional lift so enjoyable during the season. O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music makes an excellent early Christmas present.”
“The piece is performed wonderfully...the evening crackles.”
Contra Costa Times, Contra Costa County, CA
A Fond Farewell / Salute to Celtic Harpist Tugs At Heartstrings
“An engaging tale...beautifully realized...soothing, thrilling and haunting...Ball has a warm stage presence, and his storytelling skills are strong...But when Ball sits behind his brass-stringed harp and plays O’Carolan’s music, that’s when this show becomes something special...one glorious tune after another.”
Oakland Tribune, California
“Patrick Ball, expert at the magic of music and words...is a world class harper and a fine actor, with a storyteller’s sharply honed timing and delight in a good joke. Lively, witty and touching...O’Carolan’s Farewell is tightly woven like fine Irish tweed, where the warp is a human relationship and the weft is music, interlaced with threads of history and colorings of humor...If any part of your heart and/or ancestry connects with the shamrock shore, this play is a must-see.”
Pacific Sun, Marin County, CA
“Riverdance, step aside. Frank McCourt, enough of you already, and your brother, too. It’s time to make room for Patrick Ball. O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music plucks a note as simple and candid as the fireside bond of oral tradition -- and that’s exactly the magic...the solo performance weaves an irresistible Gaelic narrative, filled with laughter and mischief, politics and conflict...a rare performance...an inspired production...the music is spiritual and effortless.”
Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA
A Gem of a Show About the Emerald Isle
“Between his music and his storytelling, Ball’s performance is a tour de force. O’Carolan’s music is played with wonderful flourish...he brings O’Carolan’s...songs to full and sophisticated life....The script is part history lesson and part outright hoot. The result is an evening that’s informative, inspiring, amusing and, above all, entertaining. It’s so well presented and so well paced that you’re likely to be reluctant to bid farewell to “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music.”
Daily Local News, Westchester, PA
“Patrick Ball’s solo performance summons up multiple characters and the spirit of an era, but it’s in his brilliant playing of the rare wire-strung Celtic harp that the evening springs to life. The script...richly contextualizes the music...inspired.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian, California
“Musically, the show is impeccable. Ball plays with a passion for the music that is only matched by his skill...Ball is also a gifted storyteller...As MacCabe, Ball tells the story with warmth and humor. And then he sits at the harp, and O’Carolan speaks for himself.”
Arcade Suburban Publications, PA, NJ
Children's Concerts Reviews
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Los Angeles Music Center Performances “It was such a joy and a delight to have you perform at Ber...Los Angeles Music Center Performances
“It was such a joy and a delight to have you perform at Berkeley Hall School. You were an absolute smash with everyone, from the head of the Board of Trustees, to the teachers, headmaster and best of all, the students...Your music was beautiful, your tales were enchanting, and your command of the audience impressive. I can’t tell you how grateful we were to have you. My colleagues on the Cultural Arts Committee join me in saying “Bravo! Many thanks for a beautiful and enriching afternoon.”
“Outstanding! My students were enthralled!”
Young Audiences of the Bay Area Performances
“The entire performance was wonderful! The students absolutely adored him and stayed after to ask questions and were not concerned about recess at all!!”
“Fabulous to work with, talented, warm, approachable and intelligent. He gives each group more than their money’s worth. I learned so much. What a unique program!”
Salt Lake-Moanalua Pubic Library, Oahu, Hawaii
“Thank you so very much for sharing your artistry with our families...your artistry in music and story may have been that one life-changing experience for a child who, having heard you, will begin a life-long love affair with words beautifully and artful spoken and music skillfully and hauntingly performed.”
University of Hawaii, Manoa Outreach College Performances
“I loved his humor, his rapport with the audience, his ability to adapt the presentation to the age of his audience, and his absolute professionalism.”
“Patrick Ball is excellent and a professional in every way. I am honored to have had the opportunity to witness the artist in action!”
“Everything went as smoothly as Patrick Ball’s serene artistry on the harp.”
Mesa Public Schools, Arizona
“Great storyteller! Very unique and a wonderful introduction to the students and exposure to the harp. His musical talents are great.”
“Wow! This was a wonderful assembly -- the children were so interested and very well- behaved.”
Cover Story - Lisa Lynne
To read full feature story with photos http://www.lisalynne.com/press/harpcolumn.html
Healing Power of Music
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Local harpist visits patients By Else Kleeman / Staff Writer Duarte - a few times a month, Pas...Local harpist visits patients
By Else Kleeman / Staff Writer
Duarte - a few times a month, Pasadena resident Lisa Lynne packs her van full of harps and drives to the City of Hope.
There, a group of patients, their family and friends gather in the hospital lobby while she or another harpist plays. Then Lynne distributes her harps among the small crowd, teaching them simple, familiar melodies.
"To see someone with an IV pole, all their medications, chemotherapy medications going on.. to have them just engrossed in playing "Farmer in the Dell" is a wonderful thing," said Shirley Otis-Green, a nursing research specialist at City of Hope. "People would leave with a smile on their face."
Music is slowly finding a place in hospitals around the country - and not necessarily simply to ease emotional strain. A growing body of research suggests it can help relieve patients' physical suffering as well.
"What we found is than in terms of their reporting of symptoms of things like nausea, pain and anxiety, that this was very much decreased after a session with the music therapist," said Olle Sahler, an oncologist at the University of Rochester in New York who works with bone marrow transplant patients.
Preliminary research with a small number of her patients even suggested that music therapy allowed them to accept their transplants an average of two days faster - an important difference when every day is another chance to contract a life-threatening infection.
Traditional music therapy differs fro what patients experience at City of Hope - t is an intense therapy session that uses music as an aid to expression.
Therein lies one of the problems of this research field - because music can be used in so many ways, it is difficult to compare its benefits.
For some people, music is extremely effective at relieving pain. David Bradshaw, an anesthesiologist at the University of Utah administer shocks to volunteers while they focus on music, and monitors their reactions - sweating, pupil dilation and the strength of the brain signal traveling to the brain.
"If you're anxious about the signal, if your concerned about it, it. If you're involved in listening to the music, then its not possible to mount a defensive response," Bradshaw said.
"It's the process of being engaged that actually defeats the pain response."
Toward that end, he is studying how to increase what he calls "music engagement" by varying how complicated or familiar it is, and is also looking into video imagery.
"Music has a lot of benefit besides what I'm talking about, the engagement portion of it. It also modulates your mood," Bradshaw said.
Indeed, when the harps come out at City of Hope, "it's such a feel-good love feast," harpist Lynne, the hospital's resident musician, said.
As well as twice monthly night concerts, harpists also play in the hallways and at the nurses station.
"The harp is the perfect instrument, because its the perfect sound and perfect volume. We keep it simple on purpose so that it has the most calming effect," she said. "People just lighten up and brighten up."
Artist finds Market by Expanding Outlook
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Case Study by Paulette Thomas THE PROBLEM: How to turn a love for an obscure musical instrument ...Case Study
by Paulette Thomas
THE PROBLEM: How to turn a love for an obscure musical instrument into a living.
Growing up in Southern California, Lisa Lynne bought her first guitar in second grade. She played bass in all-girl rock bands, performing at biker bars, military bases, and other out-of-the-way places.
At a Renaissance fair, she discovered the Celtic harp, and was smitten. "It was love at first sound," she says. She taught herself by playing along to old Pink Floyd records, and made it her unlikely goal to make her living on the instrument. She played at weddings, funerals, shopping malls. She became a regular at fairs and festivals, wheeling in her 25-pound instrument on a dolly. She secured an endorsement from a harpmaker who provided her with instruments. In hopes of a record deal, she mailed tapes of her harp compositions to music labels. Most came back unopened.
THE SOLUTION: Every single day she did at least one thing -- no matter how small -- toward her goal. "My key word was 'today,' " she says. "What can I do today to move this forward?"
As her record-label rejections piled up, she looked for new avenues."It's such a huge world, why think about just this country?" She mailed off a new round of tapes to foreign labels, working from addresses she copied in record stores. This time, a German producer called.
Soon she was boarding a plane for Germany, where she recorded three albums in three years. But she found the artistic side of the engagement unappealing. On the album covers, "I was shellacked with giant hair and cleavage," she says. "They put saxophones and disco beats behind me."
Back home, she was determined to stay true to herself. Even as she pursued record deals, she spent time at hospitals, and established a well-regarded program at City of Hope National Medical Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Duarte, where she performs and encourages patients to experiment on her harps.
But her German experience gave her credibility, and she recorded for Celestial Winds and new-age giant Windham Hill. Her most recent label, New Earth, pushed her work into the listening kiosks at Barnes & Noble and Borders stores, which propelled her latest CD into the New Age Top10. She finds it significant that this work, "Hopes and Dreams," is a heartfelt compilation of lullabies she wrote for ailing patients at City of Hope.
She's now sold a half million CDs, some of them from her own Web site, LisaLynne.com. She teaches a class at a local program to artists looking to develop their business skills.
THE LESSON: "So many fine artists only get rejection, but they are just going down the same tired, beaten paths," says Ms. Lynne. "They have to find new paths."
Chords for The Soul
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by Joan Osterwalker As the ethereal music floated through the air, eyes turned dreamy and faint s...by Joan Osterwalker
As the ethereal music floated through the air, eyes turned dreamy and faint smiles formed on the softened faces.
The soothing sounds emanating from a Celtic harp, played by Lisa Lynne, transported listeners to a calmer place at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.
Lynne has seen the powerful effects of harps on people. The Los Angeles resident told her audience that she has enthralled bikers and heavy-metal fans with the timbre of her instrument. "Then I know for sure I was on to something," Lynne said between songs.
Hailed as an ancient method of healing, the harp is poised to play a greater role in the recovery of patients at Eisenhower. This week, the hospital launched the Healing Harps program, which aims to get patients involved in playing the harp.
"I really believe in the value of music therapy," said Jeanette Debonne, departmental director of Eisenhower's Arts in Healthcare, which oversees Healing Harps. "The results we've seen from patients are just astonishing." The harp's unique timbre relaxes patients and relieves their anxiety, pain, nausea, depression and other symptoms, and allow the body to heal itslef more rapidly, Debonne said.
Lynne, the first musician in residence at City of Hope, a national cancer center in Duarte, began the program with her performance.
Visitors stopped in their tracks and curios patients looked over the railings on two floors above. After playing a few songs, Lynne showed some hospital employees how to strum a harp. Rhiannon Howell, director of volunteer services, gingerly plunked the red and blue strings - notes C and F - and practiced a glissando, sling her hands across all the strings. She soon put down her "lap" harp and grabbed a 5-foot Celtic harp, which has more space between the strings. "Wrong note," said Howell, as she contorted her face. But it's impossible to make a bad sound on the harp.
Nurse Jane Weems sat next to Howell, laughing as she tried to follow Lynne's quick instructions. "This is totally different from the piano," Weems, 54, said balancing a small harp on her lap. "It's very fun." She said she has witnessed how patients respond to harp music. "They're less agitated, there's less pain medication expended," Weems said.
Eisenhower introduced harp therapy three years ago. Four harpists, including Debonne, rotate throughout he hospital, playing at patients' bedsides and before and after they have surgery.
On evaluation forms, serenaded patients made such comments as "It was almost worth the surgery to have been soothed by this beautiful music," according to Debonne.
Hospital staff also reported a more fluid and productive workday when harp music filed the air.
Patterned after the acclaimed Hands-on-Harps program at City of Hope, Healing Harps will allow patients to check out harps in the same way as a library book.
Professional harpists on staff will offer basic lessons to patients with a musical background or interest in playing in a more structured environment.
The harps appears to be a quick study. Lynne's charges learned "Frere Jacques" and "Greensleeves" in their first session.
Jean Hopkins, a cancer survivor and part-time hospital worker, said she doesn't read music but feels it. She put down her lap harp and listened to the others. "It just makes me turn my mind off," she said.
Reach Joan Osterwalker at (760) 837-4466 or Josterwalder@pe.com
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Women at Work on the Business of Art
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A profile of Women Across the Continent Who Make Art Work for Them by Judith Luther Wilder Award...A profile of Women Across the Continent Who Make Art Work for Them
by Judith Luther Wilder
Award-winning musicians Lisa Lynne & Eleanor Academia both live in the San Fernando Valley, a region of Southern California. The antithesis of Valley Girls, Lynne and Academia are veteran composers and musicians. They manage their own careers, teach business practices to artists, and have rich lives that incorporate mentoring and mentors, and share a strong entrepreneurial streak.
To say the least, Lisa Lynne is more ethereal in appearance. She produces original music on the Celtic harp, and is the first musician-in-residence at the City of Hope Cancer treatment Center, where she developed a "hands-on-harps" therapy program for cancer patients.
An inspiring performer, Lynne hopes one day to take the City of Hope medical staff and patients to Chicago to serenade Oprah. It is probably no accident that her records have names like "Celestial Winds" and "Love & Peace" or that her record labels have names like New Earth and Lavender Sky.
As a self-taught musician who started playing rock and roll in local bars, Lynne moved from guitar, electric bass and mandolin to Celtic harp. Ultimately, she developed her Web site and mail order business and by the time she had sold a half-million albums, she had a Windham Hill contract and a back catalog of recording that is still valuable.
With management tools such a poster size calendars that allow her to track her work patterns over five-year periods, Lynne bases her career decisions on the stories her calendars tell her. With one glance, she gets a clear picture of what worked and didn't work in 1999 or 2001. Focused on results, she say "Every single day, I do at least one thing, no matter how small, that takes me to my goals."
"My key word is 'today," she says. "What can I do today to move my business forward?"
Her home-based business employs her mother and sister, an office assistant, a contract booking agents, a live show assistant and from time-to-time, photographers, manufacturers and designers.
Since her audience is primarily female, she tends to work with and listen to women to serve as almost an in-house focus group. She estimates that 90 percent of the material on her CDs is originals work, although she occasionally produces a traditional Celtic or Renaissance piece. Her most recent recording "Hopes & Dreams" reached #6 on the Billboard New Age Music charts and was #4 overall on the retail chart for hip and trendy Central New York.
Lynne realized she has the best of both worlds. She has a major label that promotes her work and ensures radio play, as well has her own small label, Lavender Sky Music.
Marketed on her Web site and at live concerts, Lavender Sky Music benefits from the notoriety she receives from work positioned on the charts between Metallica and rapper 50 cent. By blending 70-s rock with Celtic and Renaissance influences, Lynne manages to touch a lot of age groups and satisfy tastes major labels seldom target. She finds it significant that her new work, "Hopes & Dreams" is a compilation of lullabies she wrote for patients at the City of Hope.
"So many fine artists only get rejection, but they are just going down the same tired, beaten paths," Lynne says. "They have to find new paths."
These amazing women are living life on their own terms, living where they want to live, and managing time better than most well-known gurus of time management. These women have found a way to generate income through businesses no Harvard MBA would ever consider feasible. Coco Chanel said, "There is time for work. Ther is time for love. There is no other time." Had she known these ladies she might have added, "There is always time or art for women workers and lovers who have it in them to be splendid."
Judith Luther Wilder is president of the Center for Cultural Innovation in Culver City, CA.
She can be contact at Judith ALW@aol.com
Harpist Found Fans Amoung Bikers
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by Rick de Yampert, Entertainment Writer Deland - When Lisa Lynne was a bass player in a rock ban...by Rick de Yampert, Entertainment Writer
Deland - When Lisa Lynne was a bass player in a rock band that had a standing gig at a "notorious" biker bar in California, she would sneak out to her van at breaks. There the beefy bikers would gather and seh'd enthrall them with... a flaming skull tattoo on her thigh? A double secret Hell's Angeles amulet? Popping wheelies on her Harley hog?
"I would pull out my harp," Lynne says by phone from her native Los Angeles. "And it would just blow their minds." IN fact, she would cajole the leather-clad road warriors into joining her for a duet on her harp. The instrument, she says, is quite easy for a beginner to play simply.
"I do that with everybody, but it was particularly fun, and funny, to see these big burly bikers with the beards just totally mesmerized by their playing of the harp," Lynne says.
Seems William Congreve, the 18th-century English dramatist, was right. Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.
Lynne and her partner, flute player George Tortorelli, will bring their soothing music to the Deland Fall Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday in downtown DeLand. They will be one of the more than 20 musical acts performing as part of the festival.
As a youngster, Lisa taught herself guitar, bass and mandolin, and, in her teenage years, she joined heavy metal garage bands because "thats what was happening in Southern California at the time. Just to be cool and one of the group, and I was into that music."
But Lynne also loved the Renaissance era, and one day she took her mandolin and sneaked into a Renaissance fair. As a 21-year-old, she new songs only by Iron Maiden and other heavy metal and hard rock bands, but she had adapted those for her mandolin. "It worked!" she says. She had a grand time being a metal mandolin troubadour. Then she saw harps for sale at a booth.
"I jumped on one, and it was like I had been playing forever," Lynne says. "I was playing music, and people assumed I was a professional already. I just couldn't believe it. It just rocked my world." Heavy metal was out, heavenly harp was in. Lynne went on to release several albums of her harp music on her own label, then signed with the renowned Windham Hill label, where she released two albums and participated in four "Winter Solstice" tours. Her latest album, "Hopes & Dreams," is on the New Earth Records label. It reached the No. 6 position on Billboard's New Age albums chart last summer.
Still, Lynne credits her rock'n'roll youth with some of the diverse appeal of her harp.
"The harp is the purest music of all," she says. "I think why my music works, why it speaks to all groups, why my listeners are of every age, is that I'm drawing from the kind of chord progressions that we might have heard Led Zeppelin choose, or Yes or Genesis. All those groups I love are somehow coming through my Renaissance, kind of Celtic music. It's not too classical, its not too strict Renaissance, - its like a culmination of all the music I love."
Lynne is "not a hard-core traditionalist. In fact, I'm probably frowned on by some because I take it to the edges of folk music," She and Tortorelli use electronic gadgetry to "loop" and layer their sound during performances, and "Hopes & Dreams" also includes keyboards, guitars and cello in its instrumental palate.
Neither does Lynne consider her music "New Age." "I think I'm coming from an older time than that really," she says. "I fancy myself more like a modern troubadour of the old times. The New Age term is kind of limiting."
After performing for a survivor of the Columbine shootings, Lynne realized the healing power of harp music. After helping the survivor, a girl paralyzed from the waist down, to play the harp, Lynne realized the healing power of perorming on the instrument. As a result, Lynne because musician in residence at the City of Hope National Cancer Center near Los Angeles. She not only performs there but also guides it patients to their own impromptu harp playing.
Whether biker or grandmother, rocker or patient on the mend, the harp "appeals to people," Lynne says. "They love it and it soothes people - that's the bottom line,"
Lynne and Tortorelli will be playing throughout the Deland Fall Festival of the Arts, but don't look for the duo on one of the two stages. "We'll walk the festival and find a magical spot," Lynne says. "We just create a scene where anyone can sit around us all day long."
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ï¿½ Lavender Sky Music - website by gonewest
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Lisa Lynne detoured from rock to 'Harps for Hearts,' and started brightening lives By Marcia Mann...Lisa Lynne detoured from rock to 'Harps for Hearts,' and started brightening lives
By Marcia Manna
With cascading curls framing her face and graceful fingers that caress the strings of her Celtic harp, Lisa Lynne is the image of a New Age fairy princess. It's quite a makeover from the days when she played electric bass in 1980s rock bands, earning her living in the rough and tumble club scene.
A jam session at a Renaissance fair lured Lynne into experimenting with the harp and her musical direction changed.
"I had always loved acoustic music and used mandolin in my rock bands, but the harp just blew me away," said Lynne, who will perform tomorrow at Seaside Church in Encinitas. "It was an epiphany. I fell in love with it and immediately made it a big part of my life."
For the past 10 years, Lynne has recorded and toured from coast to coast, playing her original compositions at outdoor festivals, theaters and concert halls. At heart, she considers herself a street performer and likes to say she plays "in places where life is really lived."
But listeners can also find her in places where life is a struggle to survive. Like many musicians, Lynne pondered the ways that she might connect with a larger audience.
As Lynne looked over her dozen harps, lined up "like sailing ships," she came upon a solution that started an interesting ripple effect.
"I took all of them to my grandmother's convalescent program in my van," she said. "First, I set them up in a circle and did a little concert. Then I moved the harps toward anyone who wanted to play."
Some of the senior citizens were shy, others were curious. Aged hands reached out to pluck the strings and as the room resounded with music, spirits brightened.
"It was so incredible, I knew I was on to something," said Lynne. "The harp is unique in that it is a forgiving instrument. Even a child, or someone without skill, can make a pleasing sound, simply by pulling on the strings, one at a time. People are amazed at the pretty music they can play."
The reaction inspired Lynne to establish a not-for-profit program called "Harps for Hearts." She distributed letters to hospitals and care centers, describing the positive effects of playing and listening to the harp.
Two years ago, the City of Hope National Cancer Center in Duarte invited her to become its first musician-in-residence. Based on Lynne's program, the center launched a workshop and concert series called "Hands On Harps."
There, patients can learn to play and listen to harp music in a way that many believe promotes healing. Both employees and patients embraced the idea.
"It's probably the only place in the world that has so many harpists on staff," said Lynne. "Pretty neat."
During her time at City of Hope, Lynne composed the songs featured on her new album, "Hopes and Dreams." To her surprise, the CD ranked No. 6 on the Billboard New Age Instrumental chart.
"This record was so intimate and personal to me," said Lynne. "I didn't think it would be considered a commercial release at all. It was a love song to the patients and I didn't think it would get any airplay."
Another perspective was gained by Lynne's involvement in the "Hands On Harps" program. One that enriched her life.
"I've developed friendships with people who are involved in a long-term battle (for life)," she said. "I'm an easy crier. But when I'm at City of Hope, even playing for a baby who is very sick, I feel more love than sadness."
Marcia Manna: (760) 476-8223
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Gainesville, Florida, by Dave Schlenker When weaving through the art tucked under Micanopy's gr...Gainesville, Florida,
by Dave Schlenker
When weaving through the art tucked under Micanopy's grand oaks this weekend, you will hear the delicate melodies that trumped Jim Brickman on Billboard's New Age chart.
But harpist Lisa Lynne and collaborator George Tortorelli won't perform their soothing sounds on a stage at the Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival.
Nope. This duo will be one with the festival, one with the spirit of Micanopy, one with the thousands of humans celebrating the town's biggest bash. Fact is, they'll take a shady oak tree over a grand concert hall any day.
"Quite often, a festival will ask us to go on the stage, and we try to avoid it. There's that whole separation with people, so we prefer to stay rooted in one beautiful area the whole time," Lynne says. "We've done really nice, very fancy concert tours, and we don't get as close to the people."
Lynne is no stranger to Alachua County's people. She is a staple and local art and garden festivals who contends she knows more people here than in her native Los Angeles. But this will be her fist venture into Micanopy, the antique-laden town south of Gainesville that time has ignored. This festival -- the town's 29th -- should prove a perfect fit for the duo's organic approach, Lynne says.
"When we get there, we look around first to find the exact, perfect magical spot. We always look for a magical tree and some space where people can sit around us. We love to create a scene where people can come all go all day."
"They just sort of walk up on this vibe, " add Tortorelli, the bamboo flute player and Gainesville bamboo grower who used to sell his hand-crafted wares at the festival.
"Its so ironic because in 1980, Micanopy was the first festival I ever did," he says. "I was selling -- and it worked. And I was like, "Whoa! Maybe I can make something out of this." Boy, 23 years later, it's unbelievable."
Now he tours with Lynne much of the year, and the only things he hopes to sell in Micanopy are CDs.
That's not such a hard thing to do these days, especially since Lynne's most recent release, "Hopes & Dreams," hit No. 6 on Billboard's New Age chart in July, five notches above "Love Songs and Lullabies" from the wildly popular romantic pianist Jim Brickman.
The disc lingered in the Top 10 for the best part of a month. "There is hierarchy at the top that's unbustable - Enya and Yanni and John Tesh. So we've never gotten up there" Lynne says. "So it was quite a surprise this year that we actually got in the club."
In between gigs, Lynne brings her music and efforts to the City of Hope Cancer Center near Los Angeles. There, she donates harps, performs, conducts workshops and simply watches the patients interact with the instruments.
"In the daytime, [patients) can even take harps into their rooms and actually just play them. Its just a sweet way to pass the time and get empowered. When you feel excited and love for something, that has to be good for your body."
With her work there and frequent touring, she burns quite a few air miles. Last weekend, she performed at the Fine Arts For Ocala festival. This weekend, its Micanopy, and two weeks later, it's Ginesville's Downtown Festival and Art Show.
She loves the festival scene, which, of course, leaves one last question: Does she eat funnel cakes?
"Oh, boy, if I did, that would be bad," she says laughing. I'm able to resist that but not the kettle corn."
Lisa Lynne's Harps for Hearts
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Harp playing serves as therapy for City of Hope cancer patients by Shiara M. Davila Staff Writer ...Harp playing serves as therapy for City of Hope cancer patients
by Shiara M. Davila Staff Writer - April 13, 2003
Two-and-a-half months ago, 58-year-old Akira Curtiss had never picked up an instrument.
Then, Curtiss-an outpatient at City of Hope in Duarte was introduced to the Harps for Hearts music therapy program, which offers concerts and music workshops for patients, families and caretakers.
Now, just 10 weeks after picking up a harp for the first time, the Duarte resident can identify different notes, play basic pieces from memory and he's learning how to read music. Curtiss said his initial visit to City of Hope was four years and four months ago, at which time he was combating cancer and diabetes.
"I have seen the healing effect of music in general and specifically the harp," said Curtiss, a former US Marines drill sergeant and Vietnam veteran. "With all the problems I have had, all the help I can get in improving the quality of my health is of great importance to me."
On April 8, Curtiss and about 15 others enjoyed a 40-minute concert followed by a harp-playing workshop at City of Hope. Ten harps, four of them owned by the City of Hope, were on hand for participants to practice with.
Karen Johnson, 49, practiced on a Celtic lap harp. Johnson, who has been at City of Hope since February, was turned on to the concerts and workshops after a nurse overheard her listening to a harp-music CD sent to her by a friend.
She said she opted to participate in Harps for hearts to fulfill a childhood dream. Johnson, a single mother of five from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is presently fighting acute myelogenous leukemia. She had a bone marrow transplant in 1996 and anticipates that she may soon have another.
"I wanted to play harp so bad," she said. "I'd pretend (to play) but I never learned... (Now), I finally got to play harp. I'm 49 years old and now I'm having my dream come true. This is gonna be part of my healing. It's just very comforting, very healing."
Johnson practices regularly on her own. When she's better, she said, she hopes to play songs of praise and worship and, when she goes home, she hopes to be able to take a harp with her.
City Of Hope patient Karen Johnson prepares for her harp lesson as part of the Harps for Hearts program. - photo by Roy LaBomme
Johnson's enthusiasm for the harp's soothing sounds has proven strong even when she's been too ill to hold up the instrument.
"Last week I couldn't practice because I was very, very ill," she said. "But I would just take it out and strum it.. I play my emotions."
The American Music Therapy Association, a Silver Spring, Md.-based organization that works to advance the public's awareness of music therapy, reports that such therapy is a form of sensory stimulation that consists of using music to address physical, psychological, cognitive and social problems.
Music therapy can help relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety, resulting in physiological changes that include improved respiration, lowered blood pressure, relaxed muscle tension and a reduced heart rate, according to the AMTA Web site.
Harps for Hearts, part of City of Hope's Art for the Heart Transitions Program, began almost two years ago when musician Lisa Lynne approached several hospitals in the Los Angeles area with the idea of developing a monthly volunteer-based music therapy program.
While her idea was to visit different facilities every month, City of Hope officials liked the suggestion so much they offered her the opportunity to be the hospital's first musician in residence. The program became a reality - complete with a harp library where patients can check out books, CDs and instruments - thanks to a grant from the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.
Lynne, a 39-year-old Los Angeles-bases artist, said she realized the power of harp music after taking her harps to her grandmother's rest home, at which time the residents "just lit up."
Up until then, some 10 harps had been gathering dust at home because she regularly receives updated models from Triplett harps, the harp's she has played since she first began. Since discovering the harp's healing power, Lynne said it has been her "personal mission" to show others how easy it is to make music with the instrument which she believes prompts a "spiritual journey."
"Harps sound beautiful at the touch of a child," she said. "It's a very forgiving instrument. It's the only instrument easy to the beginner."
Lynne said the purpose of Harps for Hearts is to "grow a garden of harpists" at City of Hope, who can play regularly. In addition, she said, playing the harps helps left patients' spirits because then they have something to look forward to when they get better.
Harps range in price from $500.00 to $4,000, so Lynne said her long-term goal is to encourage the donation of harps or funds for harps to keep the program indefinitely. She said her work with City of Hope inspired her latest CD, titled "Hopes & Dream," which was released in March.
"I put out a CD every year, but I was way behind because I got so involved here," she said. "So, I started writing music here, in the halls. My heart is so big from the people I see and meet that that's where I believe the music came from."
Shiara M. Davila can be reached at (626) 962-8811 Ext. 2801 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Celtic Harpist Finds Inspiration at City of Hope
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By Eugene Park Correspondent For Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne, life is one huge celebration. "Th...By Eugene Park
For Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne, life is one huge celebration.
"There are so many festivals I go to that my life is like one big festival," said the Los Angeles-born harpist.
Born Lisa Lynne Franco, the modest harpist has sold more than 500,000 albums produced straight from her home studio. She's now promoting "Hopes & Dreams," her solo release inspired by the workshops and concerts she holds for patients at City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center in Duarte.
"It was interesting for this album because I was behind schedule," Lynne said. "I turn in one record a year to the company, and suddenly I was under the gun because I was so involved with City of Hope." Lynne said that she ended up writing the album in the halls of City of Hope. "I just sat there with my little note pad, took it home and eventually put together as an album." Lynne said. "I see kids, I see people who just got out of chemotherapy, come out of their rooms and listen. The interaction with them inspired this new music."
Between the annual albums she puts out, she is constantly touring the country. " I cross the country back and forth every week like it's nothing," she said, "and I've been touring this way for the last nine years."
Before the endless gigs a fairs and festivals, Lynne had to sneak her way into Renaissance fairs to play improvised tunes on the mandolin. It was there she first saw and played the harp. "I just saw the harp and I was stunned," Lynne said. I sat down and played and felt like I was doing it my whole life. It just came together naturally, so I had to have one. Of course, I was broke so it took me a year to get one."
Lynne's background as a hard rock bass player, and listening to lots of Pink Floyd, was an influence on her melodies. She applies the power and bottom of the bass to her harp playing. "Even though I'm into a gentler sound now, I have a way of putting together chords that is almost the way a rock song is put together," Lynne said. "Except instead of using distorted guitar sound, I'm using beautiful instruments."
Lynne said that her hard rock connection is probably why her music impacts young people. "I use similar chords to rock songs, and those chords resonate with younger people and they'll be using my music as their own chill out music," she said.
Lynne has decided to use her music for healing purposes, starting her Harps for Hearts organization, which brings harps and harp players to hospitals and health centers. "It started with the tragedy in Columbine," Lynne said. "I ended up hooking up with one of the families of the injured, and we got her a harp and she started to play."
Lynne then visited her grandmother's rest home to perform and she said they all "lit up" as she performed and taught the harp to her audience. "Even a person with no musical background can make something pretty right away," Lynne said. "I just realized how empowering it is to put a harp in people's hands, and it was born from the Columbine tradgedy."
Lynne said that there are too many fond memories to recall with her experience at City of Hope. "There's never a day that's not poignant there, " Lynne said. "Its just so large, it puts everything in perspective. Everything I struggle with in the regular music industry totally disappears."
Lynne said that there are politics of dealing with record labels that frustrate her, particularly her distaste with being classifies as New Age music. But she finds solace in her fans, making herself accessible with her e-mail address displayed on her official Web site and in her albums. "I always write back even if it takes a month for me to do so." said Lynne, who usually responds to e-mails on her laptop during her travels. "I love my guestbook online too. Whenever I get frustrated with technical things in the record business, I just peek into my guestbook and I have a good day again.
Legends of the Celtic Harp
Patrick Ball - Celtic Harp / Spoken Word
Lisa Lynne - Celtic harp, Irish Bouzouki and Mandolin
Aryeh Frankfurter - Nyckelharpa, Cittern, Celtic Harp
The first half of the program weaves myths, memoirs and musical vignettes about the Celtic harp
with works by anonymous composers and pieces by Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), the blind harpist who was known as the "last of the Irish bards." Stories are underscored with music, and several solo and instrumental pieces are included.
Intermission 15 minutes
The second half of the program features Patrick Ball telling Ursula K. LeGuin's story "Gwilan's Harp" with instrumental accompaniment presenting both Traditional music
and original pieces by Lisa Lynne.
PDF RiderStage plot - Legends of the Celtic Harp
There are no upcoming dates at this time.