Meet Our Reviewers

Harper Tasche | Mark Feil | Pamela Bruner | Jo Morrison | Sean Patrick Mahoney

| Barra Jacob-McDowell | Adam Victor Christensen


About Harper Tasche ...
Harper Tasche (sounds like "mackintosh") began his professional music career at age 13 in Alaska, composing and recording a soundtrack for the U.S. Forest Service. Since being captivated by the folk harp ten years ago he has become an internationally-recognized composer and performer, combining folk, historical/classical, and jazz idioms from Scandinavia, the Celtic nations, continential Europe, and the Americas into a distinct and unique musical style. His recordings and performances have been consistently judged "superb", "magical, refreshing and transparent", "mystical", and "marvelous."

Harper's credits include prizewinning performances at both the 1997 Mòd Vancouver Scottish Gaelic Music Festival and the 1997 International Pop & Jazz HarpFest in Monterey (becoming the only person in history to place at both, let alone in the same season); a guest appearance by invitation at the 1997 O'Carolan International Harp Festival in Keadue, Ireland; a pair of harp ensemble concerts sponsored by the Seattle Early Music Guild; and an internationally televised on-screen performance for the PBS documentary "The Soul of the Pacific Coast Highway" in 1996. Harper performs regularly throughout the Northwest and has also concertized in the upper Midwest, California, Montana, and Alaska; upcoming bookings include a solo showcase at the 1998 International Folk Harp Conference in Galveston, Texas, and a planned trip to the 1998 Scottish National Mòd on the Isle of Skye.

His three critically-acclaimed solo recordings feature rare cross-strung and wire-strung harps as well as "regular" folk harp; he is also known as a leading interpreter of the haunting and beautiful bowed psaltery, and additionally delights listeners with lively solos for sopranino recorder. Harper's studies include a music performance degree, graduate work in religion, folklore, and counseling psychology, and certification as a Reiki Master; his performances reflect a warm, open, and inviting personality which weaves together music, story, and education into a magical experience for all ages.

 

Contact: Harper Tasche * PO Box 171 * Freeland WA 98249

htasche@whidbey.com | http://www.isfhc.org/tasche/tasche.html

Photo of the artist at top © 1997 by Marita/Benham Studio Gallery


About Mark Feil ...

Mark Feil began playing harp in college when, walking past the open door to the university's harp studio, he found his feet stuck to the floor. A curious faculty member approached, asked him why he was standing that way, and then asked if he wanted to take lessons. By the time graduation came Mark was playing weddings, museums, pit orchestras, and symphonies with the university orchestra. Graduation, however, brought a time of sadness because Mark had to leave the harp behind to go to grad school where they didn't have harps.

A few years later, Mark spied a small folk harp at a crafts fair, the first of its kind he'd ever seen. Up until now Mark's only exposure with harps had been pedal harps. He was enchanted and thrilled, but dubious about affording it. His wife Tammy juggled their meager grad school finances and found a way for them to finance it. He later traded it in on a larger wire-strung model after they moved to Delaware.

Since then he has acquired not only a Triplett Eclipse, thanks to a local music store's rent-to-buy policy, but has obtained the pedal harp he originally learned with upon the retirement of his old harp teacher (the harp program was dead ).

Mark now lives in Delaware and is president and co-founder of the Blue Hen Pluckers and Indulgent Culinary Society, a chapter of the ISFHC. He is an accomplished professional harper and storyteller and originally began combining the two disciplines because, "I didn't have a full show's worth of either. This way I could do an hour long show and give them something none of the local harpers or storytellers could." Since then, he has developed significantly more material and his first recording effort (a collection of ghost stories with accompaniment) is due out in March of 1998. A Christmas harp recording, produced in conjunction with another local harper, is planned for late summer 1998.

Mark has pursued writing, another hobby, for years. He's sold pieces to Reader's Digest , Modern Maturity , American Health Magazine ,Rodale's Scuba Diving, Gannett News Service and many others. His poetry has appeared on a number of greeting cards from Blue Mountain Arts.

 

Contact: Mark Feil * 2900 Crossfork Dr. #2B * Wilmington DE 19808

markntam@dol.net


About Pamela Bruner ...

Pamela Bruner performs and teaches harp in the Greater Kansas City area. She is a favorite at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, where she received the "Best Solo Performer" award in 1997. Pamela also took the "Harper of the Day" award at the 1997 Kansas City Scottish Highland Games. Her specialty is the interplay of harp and voice, demonstrated on her debut solo CD available in April 1998. She is currently writing a book on harp accompaniment for voice, and will be a featured performer and workshop presenter at the International Folk Harp Conference in Galveston, Texas, in June 1998.

 

Contact: Pamela Bruner * 1531 W. 27th St * Lawrence KS 66046

PamelaB@ukans.edu


About Jo Morrison ...

Jo Morrison is a part-time musician and part-time writer in Maryland. As a pianist, she has performed solo and as an accompanist for various choruses for almost 25 years. She also plays Celtic harp and clarinet, and has directed a rapidly-growing handbell choir for the past three years. Although she has only played Celtic harp for a few years, she has appeared on local radio and television shows, and PBS. Predominantly a fiction writer, she also writes music reviews for "Mostly Folk," "The Folk Harp Journal," "Folk Tales," and is currently writing for a folk music directory called the "Music Hound Guide to Folk Music."

Contact: Jo Morrison * 2537 Marston Rd * New Windsor MD 21776

mimid@erols.com


About Barra Jacob-McDowell ...

"Originally from northwestern New Jersey, I now live in Pittsburgh,PA. For almost ten years, I've been performing as Barra the Bard, a Celtic storyteller, poet and harper. Harper comes last because I'm only a middle beginner, but I'm getting there! I play a Dusty Strings FH26 named Dreamsinger, and in addition to being president of the Harp Grove of Western Pennsylvania (ISHFC chapter), am currently also president of StorySwap,one of two storytelling workshops in the Pittburgh area. I've told in several states, specializing in Scottish and Welsh tales, and collect silkie tales and (of course!) harp tales."

 

Contact: Barra Jacob-McDowell "Barra the Bard" * 363 S. Highland #503 * Pittsburgh PA 15206

bj00+@andrew.cmu.edu | http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~bj00/bj00.html

 


About Sean Patrick Mahoney ...

Sean Patrick Mahoney

Irish Tenor

"very Irish and very tenor ..."

somewhere in Arizona

 

 


About Adam Victor Christensen ...

Adam Victor Christensen

500-C North Civic Drive

Walnut Creek CA 94596

Tel (510) 933-1749

Fax (510) 943-6428

Index: "Prose, Praise & Appreciation"

harpwire@ifn.net | http://www.eldalamberon.com

 


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If you have a new release you'd like us to know about, please email all of us by clicking on the bluejay and broadcasting your message. Or you can contact each of the reviewers individually with the contact information listed above. We'd enjoy hearing from you ...

 


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