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Early Gaelic Harp Emporium

CDs by Alison Kinnaird

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The Silver String

Alison Kinnaird
The Silver String
Temple Records CD2096, 2004
Alison's long-awaited third solo album is an intruiging and well-produced fusion of her Scottish harp playing and glass engraving. It is (to my knowledge) the first record on which she plays her Lamont replica by Bob Evans, strung with brass and gold, as well as her 1930s Briggs gut-strung harp. Guest musicians include Ann and Charlie Heymann on one track. The accompanying DVD contains three short films based on her music and artwork; another nice touch on the DVD are sample tracks from most of her previous recordings. Overall this is a delightful art object to own and enjoy.
£13 +

The Harpers Land

Ann Heymann & Alison Kinnaird
The Harper's Land
Temple Records 1983
Solos and duets; Ann plays Gaelic harp (a replica Castle Otway) while Alison plays lever harp (a 1930s Briggs). Although the notes imply that these represent the Irish and Scottish traditions, it would perhaps be better to think of the historical and traditional approaches. The tunes include new compositions as well as traditional music and old Gaelic harp repertory from Scotland and Ireland. CD reissue with extra tracks.
£13 +

LPs by Alison Kinnaird

Alison Kinnaird

Alison Kinnaird
The Harper's Gallery
Temple Records TP003, 1980
Secondhand LP record, good condition, £20
enquire for availability and postage costs
This LP was Alison's second, released a few years after her first, "The Harp Key" (which is still available on CD). It was never to my knowledge re-released on cassette or CD and is not listed on the Temple Records web site. The LP is very interesting and pleasant and contains some important Gaelic harp repertory. Although it is all played on a 20th century gut-strung lever harp instead of a historical Gaelic harp, the music is interesting and Alison deserves respect and recognition for having discovered and performed this music. On this record Alison is joined by Lucy Carolan (harpsichord), Brian MacNeill (fiddle) and other musicians. As well as tunes that are now standards in the Gaelic harp scene, such as Lude's Supper, Cumh Peathair Ruaidhri, and Carrill's Lament, there are some excellent songs performed by Alison with her own clarsach accompaniment - a very evocative version of the ballad of Thomas the Rymer, and a beautiful and moving performance of the well known Gaelic song Cumha do Uilleam Siosal (Lament for William Chisholm): O Young Charles Stuart, it is your cause that has ruined me. You took everything from me in the war in your cause. I am not lamenting for my cattle or my sheep, but for my husband. Since the day you left me alone, with nothing in the world but my shirt. O my young bright love.