Hear the Harp Consort again!
The Harp Consort have enjoyed their time in Canberra very much so far, using their rest day to go to Black Mountain to see Australian wildlife. Musica Viva’s tour manager was momentarily concerned as Michael disappeared down the wrong path but they were soon reunited and any concerns about a percussion-free concert were dispelled.
Refreshed from their day off, the group gave a powerful and engaging performance last night with a real sense of communication between ensemble and audience. Dancing guitarist Steve Player performed wearing an eye patch (kindly sourced at short notice by Musica Viva’s ACT Concerts Manager) due to an earlier coordination problem as Steve attempted to put on his sunglasses. This added a certain mystique to Steve’s stage persona but luckily did not affect his dancing and on-stage antics! Ian’s wind instruments sounded especially good in Llewellyn Hall and the many children in the audience enjoyed Michael’s diverse percussion instruments, including his bird whistle.
A large part of the audience stayed after the concert for the Artist Q&A which included questions about how Irish harps are made (without glue – the tension of the strings holds the wood together) and how the medieval fiddle is played. A number of people throughout the tour have asked why Andrew has included medieval fiddle rather than baroque fiddle. Andrew agreed that while Carolan would have encountered baroque violins, his research has indicated that many Irish homes would have still had medieval fiddles at this time.
Tonight members of the Harp Consort perform at the Canberra International Music Festival before heading back to Melbourne for a second concert tomorrow.
ABC Classic FM’s broadcast of the Harp Consort’s Melbourne performance on Tuesday 11 May is available for web streaming for a limited time only. Click here to listen to the concert again, or tell your friends who couldn’t make it. Andrew Lawrence-King will also be interviewed by Mairi Nicolson on the ABC’s Music Makers program on Sunday 16 May.