Laura Welker | Aura of the Celtic Harp

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World: Celtic Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Aura of the Celtic Harp

by Laura Welker

A delightful solo lever harp recording features 15 traditional Celtic tunes, from lively jigs and reels to plaintive ballads and aires, arranged and performed by Laura Welker.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Ballad of the Foxhunter
3:12 $0.89
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2. She Moved Through the Faire
4:19 $0.89
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3. Autumn Child
3:40 $0.89
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4. Planxty Mary O'Neill / Lillibulero
4:17 $0.89
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5. Star of the County Down
3:06 $0.89
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6. Spancil Hill
3:37 $0.89
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7. O'Neill's Castle
2:55 $0.89
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8. Langstrom's Pony
3:45 $0.89
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9. The Aran Boat
4:14 $0.89
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10. Scarborough Faire
2:39 $0.89
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11. Fisher's Hornpipe / Pachabel's Frolics
4:47 $0.89
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12. Dunmore Lasses
3:20 $0.89
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13. The Road to Lisdoonvarna / Morrison's Jig / The Swallowtail Jig
4:13 $0.89
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14. The Ash Grove / All Through the Night
4:09 $0.89
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15. Shamrock Shore
5:14 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
REVIEWS: "This is a truly delightful recording. The tone and texture of the recordings is by turns playful, ethereal, somber, expansive. For only one instrument, it is an awfully "big" album: the arrangements play out across an awfully large landscape (if you know what I mean). The total effect is relaxing and nourishing. I'm really glad I have this recording - you won't be sorry you bought one." - Eric O.

LINER NOTES:
1. The Ballad of the Foxhunter: The hunting horn merrily calls to a dying foxhunter in the 1889 ballad by Irish poet William Butler Yeats that accompanies this traditional tune.
2. She Moved Through the Faire: This exquisite Donegal aire came to light in the late 19th century and has been loved since.
3. Autumn Child: From Lunasa’s Otherworld recording, “Autumn Child” has a lovely traditional feel.
4. Planxty Mary O’Neill/Lillibulero: The first tune was by Ireland’s famous blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, who lived from 1670-1738. “Lillibulero” came out of the Irish-English Jacobite conflicts in the 1680s.
5. Star of the County Down: This lively reel about the brown-haired beauty of County Down has been slowed to a gentle aire more akin to the hymns that have been set to it.
6. Spancil Hill: Composed by dying California gold rush immigrant Michael Considine to express his longing for his Irish home left behind.
7. O’Neill’s Castle: In this plaintive ballad, a lady laments that her love has left her and gone to the ancestral home of the O’Neills.
8. Langstrom’s Pony: This tune always brings to my mind a grey Connemara pony leaping hedges and cantering across Ireland’s stormy shores.
9. The Aran Boat: The Aran Islands just west of Ireland are known for their unique coracle boats and preservation of authentic Celtic culture.
10. Scarborough Faire: A personal favorite, and one of the first tunes I ever played on a harp.
11. Fisher’s Hornpipe / Pachelbe’s Frolics: “Fisher’s Hornpipe” is from the Appalachian region, but it was possibly Irish in origin. “Pachelbel’s Frolics” is a fun Celtic take on the ever-popular “Canon in D.”
12. Dunmore Lasses: Darkly beautiful and fun to play.
13. The Road to Lisdoonvarna / Morrison’s Jig / The Swallowtail Jig: This set was a favorite of my college all-ladies Celtic band, Lothlorien.
14. The Ash Grove / All Through the Night: These sweet tunes from Wales form a perfect lullaby that I dedicate to my pixie niece, Adelyn Bartol.
15. Shamrock Shore: This arrangement, based on Chris Thile and Mike Marshall’s stunning mandolin duet, highlights the exquisite sound of the Celtic harp, one note at a time. (The bell-like sounds are harmonics made by careful plucking.)

All songs are traditional Celtic tunes except for “Autumn Child” by Brendan O’Regan (Mulligan Music, admin. Commotion Troll Music/ ASCAP); used with permission. All arrangements are by Laura Welker except for portions of “Shamrock Shore” arranged by Mike Marshall & Chris Thile [Rotagilla Music (BMI) admin. Bug]; used with permission. My deepest appreciation to my parents for their limitless support over the years; to the members of the Helena Session Group and Lothlorien for introducing me to many of these tunes; to Dave Proven for getting me addicted to the Celtic harp in the first place!; to Bruce Rawling for making my first recording experience both professional and enjoyable; to the many friends who have encouraged me to make this recording; and to Jesus Christ for giving me the incredible chance to play the harp this side of heaven.

Recorded and mixed by Bruce Rawling at Mountain Valley Studios on location at Bruce Rawling Studios in Taber, Alberta. Mastered by Dwayne Harder. Produced by Laura Welker. Photography by Laura Welker and Jacee Phelps. Graphic design by Laura Welker. © 2011 Kitharode Music. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of this recording, including digital sharing, is prohibited by law.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Laura Welker was blessed to grow up on a wheat farm in north-central Montana. She has a masters degree in the New Testament and plays eleven instruments (including the piano, guitar, mandolin, pennywhistle, recorder, bodhran, and djembe), but never dreamed she would ever play the harp! At a friend’s home in 2001, Laura came across a sweet, handmade 22-string lap harp, and after one pluck she was sold for life. Laura has since played for numerous weddings, receptions, concerts, wine tastings, resorts, and friends using her 30-string lever harp, lovingly custom-made by Dave Proven, a craftsman in Manitoba who had constructed the original 22-string harp. She has passed on the joy and accessibility of the lever harp to a number of students, who are now sharing the delight themselves. You never know what God has in store!

The tunes of this recording are also transcribed in a book of the same title for lever harps in the keys of C and G. You can purchase this book, discover new arrangements and recordings, and give your comments and feedback by contacting Laura at celticharp@laurawelker.com. She would love to hear from you!

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