Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy – Elan

Written by on May 19, 2023

This is the second album from this renowed duo – Élan released on 18th May 2023.

Liz caught up with Rachel and was in conversation with her about this stunning new album – all while Ron was on a flight to Barbados Celtic Festival!

Take the oldest Scottish instrument, the clarsach (harp), and the newest addition to the traditional music arsenal, the guitar, and throw them in the musical blender of Glasgow and out comes Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy. Superb instrumentalists with a shared passion for traditional tunes, they perform as if sharing one mind. Both from fishing villages rich in musical tradition, they sought to expand their understanding and studied music in Glasgow, training formally during the day and attending the famed night-time sessions of the city.

Don’t expect to get a nap in during a Rachel and Ron performance. While they might lull you for the start of a set into thinking you will hear spa-ready harp music, don’t be fooled. The first clue is when you notice that Rachel stands while playing. Her hands dance on the strings while her body dances with the harp as she blasts pre-conceptions and breaks out of the box while joyfully exploring the versatility of this beautiful instrument. Passionate about sharing the history of the harp and the culture of Scotland, the duo charms audiences wherever they go. From crisp strathspeys and heartfelt airs, to virtuosic reels and driving jigs, Rachel and Ron have combined their influences to embrace the rich cultural tradition in Scotland.

Ron, originally and still a fiddle player, grew up in Findochty and was a finalist in several of the UK’s most prestigious fiddle invitational competitions – the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship and the Highlands and Islands fiddle Masters. He started playing guitar while studying music in Glasgow and has toured with Skerryvore, Scott Wood Band, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, and the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musicians of the Year, Hannah Rarity and Clare Hastings.

Rachel received first class honors when she left Ullapool and went to study in Glasgow, and received a BA in Applied Music. Regularly invited to teach and perform at harp festivals around the world Rachel is regarded as a specialist in Celtic harp, no easy task for someone so young. Rachel has released 5 CDs and 4 books of harp arrangements and original compositions.

1.The Transatlantic Proposal (The Transatlantic Proposal – The Maiden’s
2.Daybrak (Dinan Dawn – Daybrak By Tom Anderson).
3.Tom Toi’s Polka (Tom Toi’s Polka – Battle of Aughrim (Trad)- Harper’s Frolics(Trad)
4.McLeods of Waipu
5.Inverness Bridge (Mrs John MacColl By John MacColl- Inverness Bridge(Trad) – The Ferryman by PM Donald MacLeod)
6.Irene’s (The Erigmore Waltz -By Graham Mackenzie – Irene’s Waltz)
7.John Macdonald’s (Trad) by
8.Cape Breton Jigs (Professor Delbert’s Birthday by Paul Cranford- The New York Jig by Alex Joe MacEachern -J.P Cormier’s Jig by Jerry Holland)
9.Ceò na Cailliche (Bhannarach Dhonn a’ Chruidh (Trad)- Na Maraichean (Trad)- Ceò na Cailliche
10.To the Rock (Inneen Kilkenny (Trad Manx) – Jerrey yn Theihll (Trad Manx)- The Answerer (Tomas Callister)
All other tunes above written by Rachel Hair

Upcoming tour of Japan and Australia
27-28 – Mori, Michi, Ichiba Festival
30 Time Blue (Click for Japanese)
31 Kyoto (click for Japanese)
2 Haremame (click for Japanese)
3 Resono Sound (click for Japanese)
4 Tamagawa (click for Japanese)

9 -12 National Celtic Festival Australia
18 House Concert, Adelaide
(more gigs to be announced )



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