Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Celtic Connections

On Sunday evening, after a late afternoon walk round the big field with Tilly, my daughter and I drove to Glasgow for a concert.
NOTE : no snow ....
We were going to listen to Catrin Finch, a young harpist of prodigious talent, and Seckou Keita, a kora player from southern Senegal.  They came together a couple of years, or so, ago to combine the sound of their two beautiful stringed instruments.  When I first heard their music playing on Radio 3, it blew my socks off.  When I saw that they were performing as part of the Celtic Connections music festival, I booked a couple of seats without further ado.  

The concert was held at The Mitchell.  It's an impressive red sandstone building in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow.  I enjoy a trip to Glasgow, although they are few and fleeting.  But when I am there, in the older parts of the city, I imagine my father, as a young Glaswegian undergraduate, passing this way.  I lost my father forty years ago, and to be there, on his old stamping ground, is rather comforting.
If you haven't come across Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, or their wonderful CD, Clychau Dibon, you can discover them here :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlDgG3AKrMc
They worked their way through the music on their CD, plus a couple of other pieces.  He sits at his kora, smiling a warm, joyful smile.  She has a quiet, understated expression of happiness as her fingers race across and pluck the strings of her harp.  The interaction between them was such a pleasure to see, and when they went 'off piste' with the pieces they were playing, having a good old jam with harp and kora, it was just brilliant!  Great fun, and highly original!

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