The harp in translation: Online concert and discussion

The harp in translation: Online concert and discussion
25 September 2020, 7.00pm - 8.30pm
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Music is often said to be a ‘universal language’ – you don’t have to have any familiarity with a particular musical culture to appreciate the pathos of an elegy, or to want to get up and dance to a jig or relentless drum rhythm. But what happens when you want to ‘translate’ music from one musical tradition into another?

In this second installation of her investigations into the links between music and languages, harpist Tamsin Dearnley explores what makes a piece more or less 'comprehensible', and how this impacts the way in which she might approach learning or arranging a piece from a different musical tradition. Why do some pieces transfer more readily onto the harp than others? Why are some pieces easier to learn than others? And why has a particular Japanese piece from the 17th century caused her so many problems when at first listen it seems fairly straightforward...?

Join Tamsin for another lively evening of music and discussion, exploring the multi-faceted repertoire of the lever harp as she takes you on a musical journey from elegant English lute ballads to 70s classic rock while looking at how her interest in languages and music feed into each other.

Tamsin Dearnley is a harpist, composer and sound designer with a focus on bringing the lever harp to a wider audience. She regularly leads workshops on ‘non-standard’ music for the clarsach (such as jazz) to demonstrate that the instrument is still as relevant today as it ever has been. Her composing work is immensely varied, ranging from contemporary harp music to synth-based game soundtracks. She works closely with Teifi Harps and frequently demonstrates for them at festivals.

This free event will be livestreamed on Friday 25 September at 7pm BST. Booking is not necessary, but by doing so you will be sent a reminder containing the livestream link.

Organised by the Institute of Modern Languages Research. It is part of the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand.


Elizabeth Dearnley