Thomas "Doc" Grauzer plays Irish harp, and man is he good at it! Doc's
been playing a regular gig at Mother's vegetarian cafe in Austin
Texas for some time now. His harp adds greatly to the ambiance of the
garden where he plays.|
Recently he came to Wiccabilly Studios to record his first disk of Irish
harp music. The sessions were very relaxed, aside from the time the recording
gear was picking up a Mexican radio station thru one of the channels. Rest
assured, that particular track did not make it to the final mix.
These are Doc's own arrangements of various tradional tunes, very different
from the raucus wiccabilly sound and goofy songs we usually record.
All are instrumental pieces, so there are no pages here devoted to
individual song lyrics. We've included Doc's comments for each tune, plus
sample clips for you to hear by clicking on the
The disk contains the following cuts:
Doc has also appeared as a guest musician on
SONA's Spoonwalk CD
and on Loke E. Coyote's Pagan rock opera
Druid Four Winds.
Carolan's Welcome -
Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) was one of the last and best-known of the
harpers to the waning Irish aristocracy. He didn't name this piece; the
Chieftains gave it this name in honour of the Pope's visit to Dublin in 1979.
A lively Carolan drinking-song; the identity of the subject is unknown.
Rhywbeth/Pob-peth (Something/Everything) -
A couple of Welsh tunes I picked up from the 200-year-old "Musickal and
Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards", compiled by Edward Jones.
Sidhe Beag, Sidhe Mór (Little Fairy Hill, Big Fairy Hill) -
Another Carolan piece concerning the Sidhe people living under two adjacent
hills in Co. Roscommon; local legend tells the story of the war that
transpired between them until they had to unite to face a third Sidhe army.
Carolan's Farewell to Music -
This was the final tune Carolan composed, after he returned to the house of
Mrs. MacDermott Roe, who paid for his first harp teaching and his first
horse. He was then led upstairs to what would become his deathbed a week
later, March 25th, 1738.
Lady Gethin -
The subject is Margaret Gethin, wife of Sir Richard Gethin, High Sheriff of
Co. Sligo, in which Carolan had numerous patrons.
Early One Morning -
A traditional English tune. Dedicated to the memory of Bob Homme, the
"Friendly Giant". "Look up...look waaaay up."
For Ireland I'd Not Tell Her Name -
Loftus Jones -
Note the Baroque-era ornateness of the tune. Carolan's composition style was
a hybrid of the Irish harp tradition and the new Baroque music of Italy.
Eleanor Plunkett -
Little is known of the Plunkett family, though there are several Carolan
tunes composed for various of them. The second verse of the words
(translated from Irish) intriguingly says of Ms. Plunkett, "Though there
survives in this land/ Only you of your kindred."
An Géanna Fiáin (The Wild Geese) -
The Wild Geese were the Irish soldiers and nobility who, after the fall of
Kinsale in 1601, fled to France in the futile hope that the French would
engage in war with England, which Ireland would gladly cooperate
with. The words of the song haven't come down to us, but it
is the song the Irish women sang on the seashore as they
watched their men sail away to fight and die for France.
This is a great disk, especially if you're looking for background music
to a romantic dinner or for meditation, and is
now available for only $15 in our
Online Disk Store