The New Strung Harp

Máire Ní Chathasaigh



July 2023

Máire Ní Chathasaigh is 'the great innovator of modern Irish harping, a player of outstanding technique and imagination" (THE ROUGH GUIDE TO IRISH MUSIC) and "the doyenne of Irish harp players" (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY).A mltiple All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic winner, she developed, while still a teenager in the 1970s, techniques for stylistically authentic harp performance of traditional Irish musicthat quickly became the norm among both here contemporaries and the younger generation of Irish players. Her groundbreaking album, The New Strung Harp, released by Temple Records in 1985, brought her work to a wider international audience. In 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Gradam Ceoil TG4 (Ceoltóir na Bliana / Musician of the Year) - "for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp and the positive influence she has had on the younger generation of harpers" - in recognition of her work.

Some reviews the album received after its original release in 1985:

"Exhilarating harp virtuosity...From here deep knowledge and love for her music, Máire has developed a unique approach to the harp and to ornamentation which makes this album an undoubted classic." THE IRISH PRESS

"Intensely passionate and intelligent...a milestone in Irish harp music." CORK EVENING ECHO

"Unquestionably deserves to be hailed as a classic exercise in music-making."THE SCOTSMAN

"A labour of love and a joy to the listener'" IN DUBLIN

“So intricate are her techniques, so subtle her use of tonal lights and shades, so inventive her arrange- ments, that your attention is not so much caught as captivated. She has a style all of her own but which
is ideally suited to the Irish harp. Her method of ornamentation by the nimble repetition of notes adds an exhilarating skip and vigour to the dance music... Her control and timing (on slow tunes) is spellbinding... A truly beautiful album.” FOLK ROOTS

“One of the loveliest albums for many a year... if you have tears to shed, prepare to shed them... The Celtic harp is not generally associated with the dancing rhythms of the reel and hornpipe... but in Ms Ní Chatha- saigh’s nimble fingers the already rapid fountain of notes is further embellished by an astonishing display of decorative ‘grace notes’... The whole album is practically faultless... a glorious record.” FOLK ON TAP

“I must congratulate everyone connected with the making of this marvellous album... a work of art. This is the harp album I’ve been waiting for: it has everything, from lively jigs and reels to slow airs and some of the best Gaelic singing you are ever likely to hear... I really can’t write any more about this lovely album. In the words of a friend of mine, ‘What can you say about it? It’s perfect!’” TAPLAS

scroll down for tracklist & catalogue details

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Tracklist Charles O'Connor / Father Hanly
Ó ho Nighean, É ho Nighean
Madam Maxwell
The Pullet / The Volunteer
An Spéic Seoigheach
The Humours of Ballyloughlin
Hinderó Hóró
The Bantry Girl's Lament
The Gander in the Pratie Hole / The Queen of the Rushes
Carolan's Farewell to Music
The Fisherman's Hornpipe / The Cuckoo's Nest
The Boys of Malin / The Old Oak Tree
Planxty Sudley
Musicians Máire Ní Chathasaigh - Irish harp, keyboards, vocals
Nollaig Casey - fiddles, backing vocals
Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh - whistle, backing vocals
Greg Casey - backing vocals
Catalogue details Old Bridge Music OBMCD25, 2023
Barcode number 5023405002528
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Old Bridge Music
PO Box 7,
Tel: +44 (0)1943 602203