A pervasive and long-standing mystique surrounds the metal-strung Gaelic
harp, an instrument whose 1,000 years of oral tradition came to an end
in the 18th century. Known in Irish as cláirseach ("klar-shuk"), the
brilliant yet sustained tones of its brass-wire strings were defined and
deftly molded by skilled harpers.
Today's leading performer and exponent is Ann Heymann, whose
uncompromising approach to historical performance practice has led to
her recreation of specialized fingernail and damping techniques. Ann's
exploration of ceol mor variations, inspired by links between the
Gaelic harping and piping traditions, has blended perfectly with husband
Charlie's study of ancient Gaelic oral poetry, and together they present
the first authentic interpretations of archived material from the oral
Gaelic literary and musical traditions.
Ann has led master classes and workshops at numerous institutions and
organizations, including Northwestern University, Boston College,
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the University of Pennsylvania, the
American Harp Society, Cairde na Cruite, Comunn na Clarsaich and
the School of Scottish Studies. She has served on the faculty of the
Historical Harp Conference & Workshop, and the World Harp Festival.
Recently Ann and Charlie have performed at the Music in Medieval Ireland
Symposium, Scotland's Edinburgh Festival, the Lorient Celtic Festival in
France, and the Queenscliff International Music Festival and National
Folk Festival in Australia.
Their recordings include Let Erin Remember (Cláirseach Records, 1979),
Ann's Harp (Cláirseach Records, 1981), The Harper's Land (Temple
Records, 1983), Queen of Harps (Temple Records, 1994) and Heman Dubh
(Cláirseach Records, 1997).
Listen to Ann play Neil Roy from Héman Dubh.
( You will need Realplayer to listen to this clip. )
Ms. Heymann can be reached at:
506 N. Carver St.
Winthrop, MN 55396
Voice: (507) 647-3333
Fax: (507) 647-4277