Alison Vardy   Solo Celtic Harpist  
  Image: Victoria BC Canada  

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"vibrant, evocative solo harp music
celebrating Canada’s West Coast"

 


Alison's Music
CD Island Suite


Alison Vardy is inspired by the rhythmic and melodic diversity of music from many cultures to create original compositions and arrangements that showcase her beloved instruments. Island Suite is a colourful tapestry of sound and mood that is both exciting and relaxing.

This solo CD features two harps - Alison's Sandpiper Celtic harp and her self-built Paraguayan harp. The tunes include a mixture of Canadian, Quebecois, Celtic, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), and World Ethnic music plus eight of Alison's own original compositions. With only nine seconds of blank space left on this CD the listener can journey deeply into Alison's world of rhythm and musical intrigue in a single listening. Enjoy!




Island Suite - Alison Vardy's Celtic Harp CD

 


This is music that captures
my heart and will captivate
you! Most of the solo harp
arrangements and many of
the compositions are mine,
with their roots strong in
tradition. Waltzes, marches,
dances and airs from the Celtic, Sephardic, Balkan, French
and African cultures. Enjoy!

Alison Vardy





About the music...
Island Suite - A Solo Harp Odyssey
CD Compact Disk/MP3 Album

 

1) E & N Boogie
       Alison Vardy (3:27) P   
All aboard! The E&N Railway was once the transportation and freight lifeline of Vancouver Island, BC, and had almost gone the way of the dodo at the time
I wrote this tribute. Supported by avid communities up and down its length, it now has a bright future for scenic recreational and commuter travel.

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2) Island Suite  
       Alison Vardy (4:04) C
The four musical themes in this composition visit the four southern Gulf Islands of Mayne, Pender, Saturna and Galiano off Canada’s West Coast.

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3) Avre tu Puerta Serada /
                                           Adio Querida  

       Trad. Ladino (4:15) C
Open your closed door and Farewell Beloved, two beautiful love songs
written in Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews (Judeo-Spanish).


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4) Pula
       Alison Vardy (3:29) P
Means Money or Rain in Setswana, one of the official languages of Botswana. Thanks to one of my Vancouver         Island audience members for naming
this piece for me.


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5) Cape Breton Set
       Trad. Cape Breton (4:56) C
I learned this set of lively tunes from
the recordings of Nova Scotia born traditional flute player, Chris Norman. Transcribed for harp with addition of soundboard percussion! I Won’t Do the Work / 100 Pipers / Road to Skye


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 6) From the Shadows  
        Alison Vardy (6:47) C
The four themes of this composition move through the emotions of sombre
to celebratory, as the key moves from
C minor to C major.


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7) Peter’s Peerie Boat / Willafjord
     
Tom Anderson /
           Trad. Shetland Islands (4:01) P

Tom Anderson is a renowned fiddler
from the Shetland Islands but I learned these tunes from a couple of New Zealanders, both of them avid members of the Gaelic Society in Dunedin.

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8) Bonnie at Morn /
             The Trees They do Grow High  

     
Trad. England (3:17) C
Two contemplative broadside ballads from early England.

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9) Sto mi e Milo / Kalimera  
     Trad. Macedonia/ Greece (4:55) C
A traditional village song followed by
Go
od Morning! in Greece. Both of these pieces are in 7/8 rhythm.

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10) Hornby Hornpipe /
                                     Off to California

        A Vardy / Trad. Ireland (3:05) P
I love alliteration and Hornby Island in the Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia Mainland is a favourite place of mine. Off to California is an Irish hornpipe and a popular choice at Celtic sessions and gatherings.

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11) Si La Mar
          Trad. Ladino (3:59) C
All about fishermen, young love and betrayal and delivered to you in 5/8 rhythm with lots of modulations!          Arranged for solo harp from an adaptation by Moshe Denburg.

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12) O’Carolan Set
          Trad. Ireland (3:30) P
A medley of three tunes from 17th Century Ireland’s greatest bard,
Turlough O’Carolan: George Brabazon
/ Bridget Cruise (#2) / Carolan’s Cap

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13) Mildred’s Habanera
          M. Plant , Arr. A Vardy (4:09) C
Mildred is a student of mine with a passion for Latin rhythms and a good
ear for a melody.


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14) Quebecois Set
         Trad. Quebec (5:16) C
The Isles de Madeleine lie in the Gulf
of St. Lawrence and are part of the province of Quebec. The two         marches that follow are originally associated with the playing of
legendary Quebecois accordionist, Alfred Montmarquette (1871 – 1944).
Isle de Madeleine / Marche des Ouvriers / Marche Cecilia


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15) Kay’s Waltz / Malaika
         A Vardy / Trad. W Africa (4:06) P
 A waltz for my mother followed by a Swahili love song about a young man who yearns for his bride, Malaika.
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16) Mazurka Limousin / Bouree
          Trad. France (3:05) C
 These two pieces come from the
central Auvergne and Bourbonnais regions of France where there is a
rich tradition of bagpipe and
hurdy-gurdy music.
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17) Changing Tides
          Alison Vardy (4:32) C
Using the full range of the harp this
piece ebbs and flows with mood and intensity.

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18) Breezy Day
          Alison Vardy (2:46) C
We get a lot of breezy days on this coast …. hold onto your hat!


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(18 tracks - 74 minutes playing time - Creative Commons License)

 

 

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Rambles Music Reviews

 

A Review from Rambles Online

With deft and magical fingers, Vancouver Island, Canada, native Alison Vardy conjures the sounds of Canada's Western Shores and more in Island Suite. This well-paced compilation of 18 well-positioned harp songs features original compositions by Vardy, as well as arrangements of traditional pieces and rhythmic adaptations.

During this whimsical musical journey, Vardy visits and pays tribute to Vancouver's resurrected E&N Railway; the four southern gulf islands of Mayne, Pender, Saturna and Galiano; Horby Island; and Cape Breton with light, tender melodies. Then it's onward and eastward where Vardy captures multi-cultural essences from Africa, England, France, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and other exotic locales in flavourful listening feasts.

Alison Vardy's masterful strokes on Celtic and Paraguayan harps provide the listener with more than 70 minutes of spirited relaxation and refreshment -- music by which you can rejuvenate, soak in the tub or lull yourself to sleep. It's a wonderful alternative (or accompaniment) to massage therapy! Vardy performs live at concerts and conducts workshops in British Columbia, but for those who are not Canadian nationals, you don't have to go that far to hear these soothing sounds -- just pick them up on any of her three therapeutic disks, also including Harping On and Apasionada.

Rambles Online
written by Lynne Remick



 

 

Goto Island Suite - Alison Vardy's Celtic Harp CD
|Island Suite
Goto Apasionada - Alison Vardy's Celtic Harp CD
|Apasionada
Goto Harping On - Alison Vardy's Celtic & Paraguayan Harp CD
|Harping On
 
 
 
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