Friday, 28 October 2011

Rounding up the year

Well, it has been a busy year for us concert-wise and our final appearance was for the North Wales Festival on 28 September. Angharad inparticular was very pleased with this location as it was just down the road for her - a bit more of a drive for the rest of us but we will get our own back in 2012 with a series of concerts around the South and Middle of the UK! The concert went extremely well and we enjoyed feeling like celebrities due to the return of TV channel Wedi 7 to record and interview the group during our rehearsals.

Eleanor and Harriet are now busy arranging new music for the 2012 season and we are looking forward to the first performance of Harriet's new quartet piece 'Elemental' in June.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Another star review from the Lichfield Gazette!

“4 Girls 4 Harps” was what it said on the poster, and four girls with four harps was exactly what we saw on stage at the Lichfield Garrick. That was it: no gimmicks, no stunts, no fancy costumes beyond elegant evening wear – just engaging chat and rather lovely music.

In fact, these performers - Keziah Thomas, Angharad Wyn Jones, Harriet Adie and Eleanor Turner – are quiet revolutionaries. You don’t often see four harpists performing together, and with good reason: composers don’t tend to write music for harp quartet! Yet as Adie explained, 4 Girls 4 Harps has single- (or should that be octuple-) handedly set about changing that situation. With the exception of Paul Patterson’s whimsical “Avian Arabesques”, most of the music we heard tonight was actually arranged or composed by members of the group.

That included arrangements of Handel, Mozart and Khachaturian as well as a brilliantly effective original composition by Turner and – most impressive of all – Adie’s transcription of three movements from Ravel’s “Mother Goose”. With its whispered tremolandi, jewel-like harmonics, and deep, clangourous gong effects, this was superbly transcribed and equally superbly played. It made the more familiar piano version seem positively drab by comparison.

Richard Bratby

Many hundreds of miles driven

Well, we have come to the end of our run of summer concerts, finishing with a fabulous concert for Chester Summer Music Festival. We played in the beautiful setting of St Mary's Centre with wonderfully atmospheric lighting effects and a packed hall - so packed in fact that the organisers had to turn people away at the doors!

It has been a busy six weeks fitting in concerts for the Beaumaris Festival, Greshams School, the Bledington Music Festival, the Bramley and Little London Music Festival, the Lichfield Garrick Theatre and finally, Chester at the beginning of July. Every concert has been enthusiastically received and several sold out with waiting lists!

We will now be taking a break for the rest of the summer but will be back on 28 September with a performance for the North Wales International Music Festival.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Another triumph for 4G4H!!

Some wonderful words of praise from the organisers following our concert for the Bramley and Little London music festival on 17 June this year....
'They were among the most accomplished of guest
performers, and utterly charming to work with, and
their visit will long be remembered and discussed.
Indeed, I can think of no aspect that could have been
improved -- and how rarely can one say that!
This festival was undoubtedly the best yet, and for the
first time sold-out on every night. Clearly, the musical
mix was just right.
Harriet, Eleanor, Keziah and Angharad surely know
that they were a huge success.
We are in no doubt that they added lustre to the
reputation of our festival, and for that we are
immensely grateful.'

Friday, 25 March 2011

An 8 harp extravanganza!

Well, our final concert of the month took place last night at The Lights Theatre in Andover where we were performing the final concert of the season for Andover Music Club. To make this concert extra special, the club asked us to bring not only our four concert harps but also our pearlescent white electric harps! This was the first time we have combined both types of harp in one concert, and although we had some concerns beforehand about the practicalities of stage moving between the eight harps, the concert went fantastically well and with enough space on the stage for all the harps to fit with no reorganising needed.

We did encounter an unexpected problem in rehearsals on the electric harps though.... Ellie's harp kept making a lot of 'interference' type noise and we couldn't work out what the problem was. It turned out that her rubber soled shoes were creating lots of static electricity which was being picked up by the harp. Shoes off = problem solved!

We were pleased to have composer Paul Patterson in attendence again. Paul was very pleased with our performance of his piece Avian Arabesques and said that our ensemble playing in the very tricky last movement of the piece was extremely tight which pleased us immensely!

A month's break now before we come back for the next round of concerts in May, June and July.

All 8 harps on stage awaiting our arrival!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Some picture from our concert at Rottingdean Spring Festival

We really enjoyed our concert last Sunday (6 March) for Rottingdean Spring Festival. We were in a beautiful village and performing in a very atmospheric church to a packed and very enthusiastic audience. We thought you might like to see a few pictures from the day:

Wheeling in the harps

Having a tea break during rehearsals

Awaiting for our arrival on stage

Hard at work

Audience checking out our harps

Enjoying the applause

Thursday, 24 February 2011

New Year = New Music!

Well,  we are really looking forward to the run of concerts we have got coming up next month (March). We are trying out a new programme for the first time on 6 March at Rottingdean Music Festival. The music includes new arrangements of works by Mozart and Khachaturian plus a performance of Paul Patterson's Avian Arabesques and a freestyle jazz medley! Other concerts later in the month include the Broxbourne Arts Forum on 16 March and Andover Music Club on 24 March where we will also be performing on our electric harps!