Cruit go nÓr • Harp of Gold

Ann Heymann

AnnWith no modern precedent, Ann's visionary use of gold strings has restored the medieval cláirseach's original voice. She first gained international recognition for winning Ireland's prestigious Bun-Fhleadh harp competition in both 1981 and 1982. With a background in pipe organ and self-taught on tin whistle, Ann became intrigued by historical accounts of the early Irish harp. In 1973 she obtained a replica by Jay Witcher, and the cláirseach became her teacher, directing technique and style through its sound. Though Ann performs as a soloist and has appeared with such notable groups as the Chieftains, Altan and The Rose Ensemble, she more usually performs with her husband Charlie as Clairseach in venues ranging from concert halls and festivals to medieval conferences. Ann's investigations into historical performance practice led to a number of recordings, including the acclaimed "Queen of Harps" (Temple 1995). Author of the instrument's first tutorial, 'Secrets of the Gaelic Harp' (1989), Ann has served on the faculty of the Historical Harp Conference, the Scottish Arts School, Hent Telenn Breizh and Scoil na gCláirseach.