Alan Carr on Aberdeen Harp Project

The Aberdeen Harp Project is an initiative to commission new contemporary music for lever harp. The project came about following discussions around the limited availability of such music for lever harp players of intermediate standard. There is a rich heritage of traditional music either written for, or arranged for lever harp, and much of the music written today for lever harp is in traditional style.

We decided quite simply to commission new pieces from established composers that would in some way stretch players and introduce them to working with new techniques and in new contexts.

Our intention is to commission two or three new pieces each year.

The first pieces to be commissioned were:

Dulax for lever harp and digital soundtrack by Pete Stollery (commissioned by Alan Carr); A Rose Garden, a suite of four short pieces by Turkish harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu and composer Bora Uymaz (commissioned by NE Branch of the Clarsach Society); and Croick by Ruth Wall, one of the UK’s leading harpists (commissioned by Ed and Una McFadden).

Dulax was premiered by Alan Carr at Glenbuchat Hall in 2014, as part of a sound festival concert by Şirin Pancaroğlu and Bora Uymaz which included the premiere of A Rose Garden.

Croick is to receive its premiere in an Aberdeen Harp Project concert at Migvie Church on 17 April 2016, alongside performances of Dulax, a new three part arrangement of A Rose Garden, two new works written for harp and cello, and a first performance on harps of Hymni by Icelandic composer Snorri Sigfús Birgisson. Three world premieres and two first performances of harp arrangements in one concert!

Through this concert we hope to inspire others to become involved in commissioning new music. All proceeds from this concert will be used to commission a work for lever harp. So by attending you will have contributed to bringing a new piece of music into the world! sound-Scotland has, through its soundbytes scheme commissioned a piece from leading Scottish composer Sally Beamish, and a further commission is planned for this year.

We want to make the Aberdeen Harp Project as accessible as possible to all harpists and so we will be making the pieces available for download as the project moves on. They can be accessed at sound website.

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