PAUL DOOLEY: MUSIC FROM THE ROBERT AP HUW MANUSCRIPT
Paul Dooley: wire-strung harp
Paul Dooley is one of the few contemporary harp players to perform on the wire-strung harp, the instrument once common throughout Britain and Ireland, an example of which survives as the so-called Brian Boru Harp in Trinity College. Dooley is a most skilled player, as some may have heard on his previous CD "Rip the Calico." Here, he applies his considerable talents to the interpretation of a mysterious repertoire dating from as far back as the 14th century and preserved in a Welsh manuscript in a form of tablature which has taken years to decipher. Although bearing little relation to Irish traditional music as we know it, the music performed may have been similar to that of the Irish bardic tradition. In any event, this is fascinating music, with unexpected yet somehow familiar harmonies. It makes for a magical listening experience, and gives the listener an insight on what may have been meant by the categories of harp music known as "suantrai," " geantrai," and "goltrai.".