Celtic Harpist

Chris Knowles

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About Chris

Celtic Harpist
Talybont
Public liability insurance of £10 million
Verified profile
Professional Celtic harpist for many years, a specialist in traditional Celtic music, but also plays popular music.

Chris has worked as a full-time freelance professional musician for 31 years, with the Celtic harp as his principal instrument, but also playing a variety of other instruments. He has performed at a large number of Arts Centres, Arts Festivals and Folk festivals all over the UK, and on numerous TV & radio programmes, both solo and in various duos and bands. He has also played at many public events for the Welsh government organisation CADW at various castles and historic sites throughout Wales, and was their official harpist playing at Caernarfon castle for 9 years. Chris has also played at a huge number of private events such as weddings and corporate events. Chris specialises particularly in traditional Irish, Scottish, Welsh and other Celtic music, but he also has a large repertoire of popular music on the harp, which he often plays for weddings and corporate functions etc. He also has a repertoire of mediaeval/renaissance music, plus a small number of light classical pieces, and can offer some original improvised solo harp music too. He has recorded 22 albums as a principal artist, mostly with harp and Irish bouzouki as his main instruments. Chris currently plays solo, and also with multi-instrumentalist Ben Walker (duo), Singer Catrin O'Neill (duo), Fiddler Mike Lease (duo), and north Wales-based Mooncoin Ceilidh band (4-piece).

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Musicianship
Genres:
Traditional Irish folk, Christmas, Medieval music, Early music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music, Folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Traditional English folk, Ceillidh, Originals, Pop, Acoustic, Scottish music, Vintage, Welsh folk, Ambient pop, Renaissance
See all genres
Instruments:
See all instruments
Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party
See all event types
Other skills:
Fluent improviser, Arranger, Composer
See all skills

Song list

Hundreds of Irish traditional airs, jigs, reels, hornpipes, Carolan tunes etc.
Approx. 120 Scottish traditional airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys, Ports etc.
Approx. 130 Welsh traditional airs, jigs, reels, hornpipes etc.
Approx. 60 early/medieval/renaissance tunes.
(See Celtic tunes examples list after Popular tunes list)
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LARGE REPERTOIRE OF POPULAR TUNES including:
Theme from Zeffirelli film ’Romeo & Juliet’
Theme from ’Braveheart’ (A Gift of a Thistle)
Theme from ’Titanic’ (My Heart will go on)
Wagner's Wedding March ('Here comes the bride')
Cavatina (Theme from ’The Deer Hunter’)
Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Flower Duet(Delibes)
Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Gluck)
Schubert's Ave Maria
Bach's Prelude in C (abridged)
Birds Flew Over the Spire (Gary Ryan)
Women of Ireland
Have I told you lately that I love you (Van Morrison)
Wonderful Tonight
All of Me (John Legend)
Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
When a Man loves a Woman
Moon River
Nights in White Satin
Your Song (Elton John)
Sacrifice (Elton John)
Can you feel the Love Tonight (Elton John)
Unchained Melody
You Raise me up
Annie's Song (John Denver)
Autumn Leaves
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I Can’t Help falling in love with you
Groovy Kind of Love
When I Fall in Love
And I Love Her (Beatles)
Here, There and Everywhere (Beatles)
Norwegian Wood (Beatles)
Jealous Guy (John Lennon)
Scarborough Fair
Fields of Gold (Sting)
Shape of my Heart (Sting)
Fragile (Sting)
Stairway to Heaven
Time after time (Cyndi Lauper)
True Colours ( Cyndi Lauper)
Come away with me (Nora Jones)
Nightingale (Nora Jones)
May it Be (Enya)
Only Time (Enya)
Athair ar Neamh(Father in Heaven) (Enya)
Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
Moondance (Van Morrison)
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
The Rose
Halo
Hallelujah
Someone Like You
Plaisir d’Amour
Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac) (slower, like Carrie Mac version)
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John)
Let Me Wrap you in my Warm &Tender Love (Percy Sledge)
Songbird (Fleetwood Mac)
Sail Away (David Gray)
Babylon (David Gray)
This Year's Love (David Gray)
Love theme from 'The Godfather'
How Long will I Love you (Ellie Goulding)
Perfect (Ed Sheeran)
Yours (Ella Henderson)
I'm Yours (Jason Mraz)
Clocks (Coldplay)
The First Time ever I saw your face
Killing me Softly
Young & in Love (Lana Del Rey)
Young and Beautiful (Lana Del Rey)
Someone Like You (Van Morrison)
Wings (Birdy)
Angel (Sara Maclachlan)
Rains of Castamere (from 'Game of Thrones')
Let her Go (Passenger)
At Last (Etta James)
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
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TRADITIONAL IRISH-SCOTTISH-WELSH:
ROSCOMMON REEL
MILLINER'S DAUGHTER
MAN OF THE HOUSE
MUSICAL PRIEST
OTTER'S HOLT
PINCH OF SNUFF
BOYS OF MALIN
DUNMORE LASSES
MOUNTAIN ROAD
CURRAGH RACES
CUP OF TEA
VIRGINIA REEL
JACKIE COLEMAN'S
MAUDABAWN CHAPEL
DROWSY MAGGIE
CHATTERING MAGPIE
TOSS THE FEATHERS
BOYNE HUNT
ROLLING IN THE RYEGRASS
DRUNKEN LANDLADY
MUSIC IN THE GLEN
TAM LIN (GLASGOW REEL)?
JACKIE COLEMAN'S
MAID BEHIND THE BAR
MORNING STAR
MORRISON'S
O'FARRELL'S WELCOME
LARK IN THE MORNING
UP IN THE AIR
CREEL OF TURF
BANISH MISFORTUNE
MONAGHAN'S
GANDER IN THE PRATIE HOLE
QUEEN OF THE RUSHES
DONNYBROOK FAIR
KESH JIG
SPORT OF THE CHASE
NEWPORT LASS
RAMBLING PITCHFORK
SPORTING PITCHFORK
ROLLING WAVE
OUT ON THE OCEAN
THE BUTTERFLY
KID ON THE MOUNTAIN
HARDIMAN THE FIDDLER
WILLIE COLEMAN'S
PAY THE RECKONING
LILTING BANSHEE (Eastern Harper)
Carolan's Welcome
Carolan's Receipt
Carolan's Dream
Carolan's Draught
Carolan's Concerto
Carolan's Farewell to music
Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady
Carolan no. 174
Lament for Charles McCabe
The Elevation
The Dark, Plaintive youth
Ode to Whiskey
Planxtys: Elizabeth McDermott-Roe
Donal O'Brien
Irwin
Fanny Power
Charles O'Conor
Eleanor Plunkett
Lady Dillon
James Betagh
Kathleen O'More
Squire Woods lamentation
Mrs. Maxwell
Lord Inchiquin
Blind Mary
Dr. John Hart, Bishop of Achonry
Bridget Cruise (set)
Father Brian McDermott Roe
Mabel Kelly
Loftus Jones
Gerge Brabazon 1
George Brabazon 2
Hewlett
Browne
Morgan Magan
Johnston
John Jones
Miss McDermott
Maurice O'Conor
Hugh O'Donnell
Mary O'Neill
Frank Palmer
James Plunkett
Captain Sudley
SCOTCH CAP
SCOTLAND
LADY CASSILI’S LILT
I’LL MAK YE FAIN TA FOLLOW ME
WEEL HODDLED LUCKY
LOCHMABEN HARPER
JENNY NETTLES/ MULLIN DDU
BROOM OF COWDEKNOWES
FAREWELL TO WHISKY
WELCOME WHISKY BACK AGAIN
BRAES OF TULLIEMET
PORT BALLANGOWNE
KILT THY COAT MAGGIE
LOCH LOMOND
LOCH LEVEN
THE DARK ISLAND
GAELIC WALTZ (Stivell)
SKYE BOAT SONG
PORT PATRICK
GLENLIVET
FAIRY DANCE
ARCHIBALD McDONALD OF KEPPOCH
ATHOLL HIGHLANDERS
HUNTINGTONE CASTLE
TRAIGH GRUINART
DEVIL IN THE KITCHEN
GALA WATER
ERISKAY LOVE LILT
BATTLE OF SHERRIFMUIR
LUDE’S SUPPER
HILLS OF GLENORCHY
CRO CINN T-SAILE (Cattlefold of Kintail)
PINCH OF SNUFF
GO TO BERWICK, JOHNNY
CA’ THE YOWES
AE FOND KISS
LOVELY MARY MORRISON
CONTEMPT FOR FIDDLERS
CARILL’S LAMENT
MELLISH HORS
LEADER HAUGHS & YARROW
BALQUHIDDER
RORY DALL’S PORT
LOVELY HANNAH
ALEMANES
CAMERON HIGHLANDERS
DONALD WILLIE & HIS DOG
PORT ATHOLL
RORY DALL - JIG
HIGH ROAD TO LINTON
PETRONELLA
SOOR PLUMS
FEAR A BATHA
LOVE LIE NEAR ME
MINGULAY BOAT SONG
ROSLIN CASTLE
CASTLE DRUMMOND
BRAIGH LOCH IALL
CATRIONA'S LAMENT
McDONALD OF THE ISLES' SALUTATION
LEADER HAUGHS & YARROW
ETTRICK BANKS
MY LADY BALCLUGHE'S AYRE
OSTEND
BWLCH LLANBERIS
MEILLIONEN
DWR Y FFYNNON
TRAETH Y BERMO
GLANDYFI
MACHYNLLETH
Y DERYN PUR
MEN OF HARLECH
FARWEL I ABERYSTWYTH
WELSH MORRIS
WELSH GROUND
MERCH MEGAN
WYRES MEGAN
LLWYN ONN
Y LILI
TRA BO DAU
CADER IDRIS
DAFYDD Y GARREG WEN
PANT CORLAN YR WYN
CAINC IFAN DDALL
LLETY'R BUGAIL
MERCH O BLWYF PENDERRYN
BUGEILIO'R GWENITH GWYN
GWENYNEN GWENT
MORFA RHUDDLAN
Y DELYN NEWYDD
DWR GLAN
RHISIART ANNWYL
AR LAN Y MOR
NYTH Y GOG
BLODAU'R GWINWYDD
BETTY OF LLANSANFFRAID
GLAN MEDD-DOD MWYN
MWYNEN MON
SUO GAN (Hun y Blentyn)
LLIW LILI YNYSG DRAIN
CONSET Y GRUFFYDD ROWLANT Y CRWTHOR
CONSET Y SIRI
MALLTRAETH
BLODAU'R DRAIN
BWTHYN FY NAIN
CASTELL CAERNARFON
AP IFAN'S FANCY
CAINC Y ARADWR
LLONGAU CAERNARFON
AR HYD Y NOS
CAINC DAFYDD BROFFWYD
DELIGHT OF THE SPINNING WHEEL
CANIAD SANT SILIN
MORFA FRENHINES
HADEN Y FRAN DDU
PWT AR Y BYS
HYFRYDWCH Y BRENIN SIOR
FARWEL PHILIP YSTYTH
GENTLE MAID OF CORWEN
BUGAIL ABERDYFI
HYD Y FRWYNEN
GLAN CAMLAD
GRUFFYDD AP CYNAN'S DELIGHT
LISA LAN
LISA DAL-Y-SARN
MON
FFANIGLEN (The Fennel)
TY COCH CAERDYDD
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try to be flexible regarding timing changes, and can usually accommodate small timing changes of 30-40 minutes or so- but please let me know as soon as possible if there is any greater change to the planned timing for the event, as with longer distance travel I may need to alter my travel & accommodation plans accordingly.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

I do not supply a DJ/Ipod service with my solo act.

How much time do you need to set up?

I normally require approximately 30 minutes to set up and tune the harp.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

For popular music, feel free to pick your favourites from my repertoire list. For traditional Celtic music, my repertoire list is too long to include on here, but I'm happy to discuss if there are some particular pieces you'd like me to play, and make an effort to make a selection of suitable material for your requirements.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

I bring my instrument and small but high quality 100 Watt amplification for the harp. The only equipment I need to be provided with is an armless chair and a mains power point close to where you wish me to set up.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

For Weddings, I am willing to arrange and learn 3 or 4 special requests specially for you, if I don't already play them, at no extra charge- as long as they are suitable for the instrument.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

I have often been complimented on the expression and artistry in my playing, the musicality of my improvisations, and also the rhythm and intricacy of ornamentation in my playing of traditional jigs and reels.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Glastonbury Festival Cambridge Folk Festival Pontardawe Folk Festival Rhinns Celtic Festival, Islay Edinburgh Folk Festival Wimborne Folk Festival Aberfeldy Folk Fest. Crawley Folk Fest. Garden Festival Wales Chester Arts Festival Tower Bridge,London St. David's Hall, Cardiff Nat. Museum of Wales, Cardiff Caernarfon castle De Coste Centre, Pictou, Canada

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Alan Stivell Alison Kinnaird Maire Ni Chathasaigh Wendy Stewart Robin Williamson

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

Performance for H.M. The Queen at her first visit to Conwy Castle.

Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£210
Up to 2 hours£210
Up to 3 hours£225
Packages
Personalised Music Message
Book me to create a unique music video for you to send to a friend as a gift. This could be a birthday message, first dance song for a wedding anniversary, or just your friend's favourite song to cheer them up.
£15

Reviews

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6 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

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Prudence G, 8 months ago

Everyone has said how wonderful Chris played . A fitting tribute to our father who was the most wonderful kind man

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Denise S, 10 months ago

Chris performed beautifully in a very confined space ...everyone was super impressed and it was a wonderful surprise for the newlyweds ....would highly recommend him.

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Joanne S, 1 year ago

Chris, played at our recent wedding in October, all our guest complimented on his style and expertise and how lovely the harp sounded on the day and how it Set the scene of our wedding. Communication from Chris was very prompt. And he was happy to travel to our location and even stay near by the night before. Chris came across that nothing was too much trouble. Chris also took the time to learn additional songs to play which I wanted at my wedding. He has a extensive Play list which are perfect for weddings. If anyone needs a harpist I would highly recommend Chris. He was a perfect addition to the day :)

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Stephanie T, 1 year ago

Chris played beautifully and I would recommend to everyone I know. He made this part Of my Wedding day very special.

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From other customers:

E.Preston, 4 years ago

Thankyou for the beautiful music at our wedding on Friday, we didn't get chance to thank you as we quickly went outside for photos before it started to rain, but wanted to say that the music sounded brilliant!!

A.Jones, 4 years ago

I just wanted to let you know that you were a huge success at Bethan and Josh's wedding on Saturday !! You were brilliant and I have received so many compliments about your performance and how lovely it was to hear a Celtic Harp. I will definitely be recommending you to others and of course would love to have you back if and when our other daughter gets married.

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