Irish Harpist

Simon Chadwick

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About Simon

Irish Harpist
Armagh
Public liability insurance of £1 million
Traditional and historical Scottish and Irish harp music

I was born and grew up on the edge of the New Forest, and I loved being up on the heath, or at the beach. My mother taught me change-ringing on tower bells when I was just a boy. I went away to University and studied physics for one year before switching to archaeology. I spent many years drifting, travelling, making things, and reading, before turning to music. I became interested in the old Gaelic harp traditions based on the earlier work of Ann Heymann. I started gathering information about the extant historical harps preserved in museums, and this led to commisisoning replicas or copies of them. I did a lot of work researching and experimenting with historical stringing and setup. I also started collating and studying the sources for old Irish and Scottish harp music, aiming to restore the old music to the reconstructed instruments. I lived in Oxford for 8 years, and then in St Andrews for 12 years, before moving to Armagh in 2018.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
Musicianship
Genres:
Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Baroque, Early music, Medieval music, Renaissance, Scottish music
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Instruments:
Irish harp, Clarsach, medieval harp, jouhikko, lyre
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Event types:
Private event, Wedding, Funeral / Memorial service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Concert, Recording session, Burns night
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Song list

Medieval secular music
Kaniad y Gwyn Bibydd, (song of the white piper), 13 variations from Robert ap Huw’s manuscript of medieval Welsh harp music, copied c. 1620.
Gosteg yr Halen, (a fanfare for the salt). This ceremonial pieece from Robert ap Huw’s book was said to have been played as the salt cellar was ceremoniously brought to the Round Table for King Arthur and his knights. Video
Lamento di Tristano, a lament for Tristan of Cornwall, from an Italian manuscript of c. 1400. Video
Hei tuti teti, reputedly the battle march of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots (ruled 1306-1329).
Lament for Isobel Countess of Buchan, my own composition on the medieval measure Alban Hyfaidd
Drømde mig en drøm, from the Codex Runicus (c.1300, Southern Sweden / Northern Denmark). video
Branle l’Officiel, a dance tune published in France in 1589.
Estampie real, two Royal dances from a French manuscript c.1300
Graysteil A medieval ballad tune, preserved in the Straloch lute book, c.1629
Ex Te Lux Oritur, composed in 1281 to celebrate the wedding of Princess Margaret of Scotland and King Eric II of Norway. this is on my CD
The Battle of Strathcarron, fought in Strathclyde in 642, from Llyfr Aneirin (Y Gododdin manuscript) video
The Battle of Harlaw was fought in Aberdeenshire in 1411 - maybe the tune is that old... this is on my CD. More on the Harlaw 600th anniversary
Cath nan Eun, the battle of the birds, another tune with connections to the battle of Harlaw in 1411. video
Piobaireachd Dhomhnuill Dhuibh, Black Donald Balloch's March to the Battle of Inverlochy, 1427. In the piping tradition this is not considered particularly old but I am listening to the Gaelic singers for my version, and I wonder if it also has medieval roots... video
Cogadh no Sith, war or peace, a grand formal pibroch with traditional associations back to the medieval Lords of the Isles, reverse-engineered with a set of medieval harp variations. video
Burns March, composed in the 13th century for the Burns, or Byrnes, near Newry, as collected from some of the last of the old Irish harpers in the 1790s. this is on my CD
...plus a variety of medieval bardic poetry accompaniment! video
Medieval sacred music
Vir Perfecte, a two-part polyphonic responsory for the feast of St Andrew, adapted from the 13th century St Andrews Cathedral Music Book this is on my CD
Vir Iste, another St Andrews responsory this is on my CD
Kyrie Virginitatus Amator, a polyphonic chant from the St Andrews Music Book. this is on my CD
In Rama Sonat Gemitus, a satirical political chant from the St Andrews Music Book.
Salve Splendor chant in praise of St Columba, from the Inchcolm Antiphoner, c. 1340. this is on my CD
Pater Columba also from Inchcolm Priory, on an island in the Firth of Forth. this is on my CD
Virgo Sancta Brigida, 15th century chant for St Bride.
Ibunt Sancti, an early medieval plainchant tune with Irish connections. video
Caniad San Silin, 12 variations of this ‘song to Saint Silin’ from the Robert ap Huw manuscript of medieval Welsh harp music. video
Kaingk Dafydd Broffwyd Song for David the Prophet, a medieval Welsh harp tune, written in tablature in the manuscript of Robert ap Huw, c. 1623. video
Bone Iesu Dulcis Cunctis, a 15th century French funeral responsory, now better known as an advent hymn. video
Nobilis Hominis Hymn for St Magnus of Orkney, from a 13th century Upsala manuscript. this is on my CD
Rennaisance Gaelic instrumental music
Caoineadh Rioghail, ‘The Royal Lament’ composed by Iain Garbh Cholla (The 7th MacLean chief, c.1600-1680) on the execution of Charles I in 1649. this is on my 2nd CD
Port Rorie Dall, from a Glasgow printed book of c.1800
Cumh Peathar Ruari, Rory’s sister’s lament, attributed to Ruaidhri Dall Ó Catháin. video. this is on my 2nd CD
’s Eagal Leam a mBas: ‘Terror of Death’ by Rory Dall. this is on my 2nd CD
Lude’s Supper, composed for the Robertsons of Lude, Perthshire, by Ruaidhri Dall Ó Catháin. this is on my CD
Irish Port, an enigmatic tune from from the Wemyss lute book, c.1640.
Cumh Ioarla Wigton (Lament for the Earl of Wigtown), a grand 17th century Scottish lament with formal and complex ceol mor style variations.
Port Preist, a late 16th or early 17th century clàrsach tune from central Scotland, elsewhere attributed to Ruaidhri Dall Ó Catháin. video
Port Ballangowne also called Port Rorie Dall, and presumably attributed to Rory Dall O’Kane or Ó Cathain. From early 17th century lute settings
Port Jean Lindsay, another port from the Straloch manuscript
Féachain Gléis (tuning test), a formal introductory piece, which is a companion to...
Cumh Caoine an Albannaich, ‘Scott’s Lamentation’, or lament for the Baron of Loughmore, composed by John Scott in 1599, as collected by Edward Bunting from the playing of Denis O’Hampsey in the 1790s. this is on my 2nd CD
Da Mihi Manum (Tabhair Dom Do Lámh - Give me your hand) by Rúaidhrí Dall Ó Catháin (c. 1570 - 1650). Composed for Lady Eglinton in South-West Scotland. I play the oldest extant setting, from the Wemyss lute book, c.1640 this is on my CD
Cath Eachroma The Battle of Aughrim, 1691. A frenetic set of martial variations.
Easbuig Earra-ghàidheal ‘The Bishop of Argyll’ from Angus Fraser’s fiddle manuscript, mid 19th century, and another version of the same tune, Cumh Easbig Earraghaal ‘Bishop of Argyle’s Lament’, from Daniel Dow, ‘A Collection of Ancient Scots Music’ 1776. A formal ceol mor variation set. this is on my 2nd CD
Cumh Easpuic Earraghaoidheal Lament for the Bishop of Argyll, from the MacFarlane Young fiddle ms, c. 1740. Similar to, but different from the above. this is on my CD
Untitled pìobaireachd (Chehotrao hodro) from the Campbell Canntaireachd manuscript, c. 1814, learned from the playing of Barnaby Brown.
Port Lennox, from the repertory of John Robertson of Lude, as played by him on the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. this is on my CD
Port Athol, from the repertory of John Robertson of Lude, as played by him on the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. this is on my CD
Port Gordon, from the repertory of John Robertson of Lude, as played by him on the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. this is on my CD
Ye Clarges Lamentation From the oldest Irish music book, printed by Neale in Dublin in 1724. this is on my 2nd CD
King James March to Ireland, supposedly originating as a tune by Myles O’Reilly from Cavan (b.1636), brought to Scotland by Thomas Connellan in the 1690s. The tune commemorates the Jacobite/Williamite wars in Ireland. Allan Ramsay later used the tune for his song Lochaber no More. Also Lochaber & The Wild Geese, or Ireland’s Lamentation as collected in the 1790s by Edward Bunting from Patrick Quin, taken from Bunting’s field notebooks. video. this is on my 2nd CD
Baroque Irish
The Lady of the Desert composed by Cornelius Lyons (c. 1680 - c. 1750), with elaborate baroque variations, based on the old Irish love-song The Coolin or An Chúilfhionn
The Fairy Queen by Turlough Carolan (1670 - 1738)
Loftus Jones by Carolan. video
Planxty Connor by Carolan, as played by Thady Eliott during Christmas Day Mass at Navan.
Captain Sudley a song composed by Carolan for his daughter Siobhán’s wedding.
Síle Bheag Ní Chonalláin A song by Thomas Connellan (c. 1640 - post 1717)
Killiekrankie by Connellan, from the Pádraig Ó Néill manuscripts.
Táim i mo Chodladh, I am asleep and don’t waken me, from the repertory of Denis O’Hampsey.
Aileen Aroon, an old Irish song air popular in 18th century Scotland. video
A Chailini, an bhfaca sibh Seoirse or Conchubhar Mhac Coiréibhe, (Girls have you seen George, or Conor Macareavey), a traditional air with variations by Cornelius Lyons. video
Mrs Power, by Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). More commonly known as Carolan’s Concerto. video
Seabhac na hÉirne, a song by Carolan in praise of Katherine O’More, also known as "The Hawk of Ballyshannon". The tune that Carolan used was not composed by him, but is "Port Atholl" by Ruaidhrí Dall Ó Catháin (c. 1570 - 1650)
Elevation by Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), bass and treble from the 18th century printed collection.
Carolan's Farewell to Music, atmospheric and grand, I can't decide if this is a genuine composition in old Gaelic harp style, or a 19th century confection.
Miss Hamilton, a sweet little tune credited to Cornelius Lyons (c. 1680 - c. 1750). Also the extra variation and jig from the 18th century Scottish source where it is called "The blossom of the raspberry".
A Stáraí a ghoid mo chlú-sa uaim (you rogue who stole my heart away), also called the Golden Star, or The Jointure, by Thomas Connellan (c. 1640 - post 1717). this is on my 2nd CD. video
Traditional and curious
The Lament for the Union, composed after the union between England and Scotland in 1707. this is on my CD-single.
Why should I be so sad on my wedding day? A strange little Scots song air, half happy and half sad. this is on my CD-single.
The Highland Battle from James Oswald’s "Caledonian Pocket Companion", a description in music of a battle, with spoken subtitles.
Da Day Dawis a Shetland fiddle tune. video
Cro Chinn t-Sàile, A Gaelic song about returning home to Kintail.
Rory Dalls Port, attributed to one of the two Rory Dalls, but may actually have been composed by James Oswald. The tune was later used by Robert Burns for "Ae Fond Kiss". this is on my CD
The Battle of Sheriff Moor, an 18th century Gaelic song of defeat in battle, from the repertory of John Robertson of Lude, as played by him on the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. this is on my CD
Oran do Iain Breac MacLeod, a Song to Iain MacLeod of Dunvegan by Ruaidhri Dall Mac Mhuirich aka Rory Dall Morrison (c.1656 - c.1714). video. this is on my 2nd CD
A’ Ghlas Mheur or the Finger lock, a piobaireachd attributed to Raghnall MacAilein Òig aka Ronald MacDonald of Morar (1662 - 1741) this is on my 2nd CD also this is on my 3rd CD ‘Tarbh’
An Tarbh Breac Dearg or the red speckled bull, a piobaireachd attributed to Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig aka Ranald MacDonald of Morar (1662 - 1741) this is on my 3rd CD ‘Tarbh’ Video
Maol Donn or MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart, a piobaireachd attributed to Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig aka Ranald MacDonald of Morar (1662 - 1741) this is on my 3rd CD ‘Tarbh’ Video
A’ Bhòilich or the vaunting, a piobaireachd attributed to Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig aka Ranald MacDonald of Morar (1662 - 1741) this is on my 3rd CD ‘Tarbh’
Beinn Eadarrainn or the headless ghost, a piece of ceol mor of my own composition, based on song airs associated with Raghnall Mac Ailein Òig aka Ranald MacDonald of Morar (1662 - 1741) this is on my 3rd CD ‘Tarbh’
Cumha Raonuill Mhic Ailein Òig the lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar. Video.
Spaidsearachd Bharraigh, MacNeil of Barra’s March - I played this very strident and martial pibroch in Kisimul Castle for the chief of the MacNeils.
Grant of Sheuglie’s contest betwixt his Violin, Pipe and Harp A traditional song air, which was aparrently used for this lost song by Alexander Grant of Shewglie (c. 1675 - 1746). Video
Brian Boru’s March
Harrow’s March, a pìobaireachd tune from the Campbell Canntaireachd manuscript.
The Irish Cry, & Jigg to the Irish Cry An example of keening or funeral music, incongurously set with a jigg variation in Burk Thumoth’s “12 Scotch and 12 Irish Airs” of c.1742
Sir Patrick Spens a traditional Scots ballad
Fenian lays and related music
three Airs by Fingal, instrumental compositions on a heroic theme, from the repertory of John Robertson of Lude, as played by him on the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. this is on my CD
Carrill’s Lament, from the CPC - Fionn’s son, or a Fife fishing village?
Laoidh Chaoilte, a Fenian lay, after Kate MacDonald. Video

Reviews

From customers:

Garry S, 6 years ago

Simon Chadwick combines the art of performance with the skill of the raconteur, and thus his hour-long performance was made easy for anyone not familiar with this style of music

Alex J, 6 years ago

His performances do full justice to both his regal instrument and his majestic material

Read all 4 reviews