Bringing It Home by Harper Tasche
Once again, Pacific Northwest recording artist Harper Tasche has assembled a collection of original, traditional and composed songs which clearly displays the acoustic virtues of the folk harp. Using both diatonic and cross-strung harps, he has created music in which the innate lightness and warmth of the harp rises effortlessly, sometimes entwined with the simplest complement of bowed psaltery and recorder. The sound is magical, as refreshing and transparent as rain.
Of special note is an arrangement of Sir Ralph Vaughn Williams' sacred invocation "The Call" with text by 15th century transcendentalist poet George Herbert. Also, "Frieda's Waltz" is a beautifully woven fabric of song in honor of his mother which shows off the chromaticism of the cross-strung harp with a delightful humor. Finally, "Spinning Star" moves hypnotically across his strings like a perpetual motion machine, describing arc after arc of hidden circles of life and starlight.
Throughout Harper Tasche's music there are echoes of a Scandinavian folk tradition ... Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish ... which gives his music a recognizably distinct, old world flavor even when performing original compositions. In the liner notes, he describes the French folk song "Mazurka Michel" as one of his favorites because of its "melodic,graceful spirit." But this phrase could just as easily sum up both him and his new recording for me.
Bringing It Home was one of my favorite CDs of the past winter. I listened to it every day for weeks. I recommend it to anyone who loves the harp and the folk tradition which seems to be alive and well in "melodic, graceful spirits" like Harper Tasche. - © 1996-1997 Adam Victor Christensen
originally published in the
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