Ailie Robertson - First Things First

Ailie Robertson - First Things First

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(July 2008) 11 tracks: The Exploding Bow / The Lisnagun / Swerving for Bunnies * Micho Russell’s / Na Goisidich (The Gossips) * Ho ro mo Bhobag an Dram (The Favourite Dram) * Donald, Willie and his Dog * Spirits * President Garfield’s / Marry Me Now * The Humours of Scariff / Good Spirits * The Futterat with the Grey Tail / North Highland Dance / Ray and Kevin’s Reel * The Sands of Hosta * Angus Nicholson's Trip to Barra / Port Sean Seosamh (John Joe’s) / Would the Minister Not Dance? * The Angel’s Share / Taureen Derby Polka / O'Connor's Polka.

Ailie Robertson (harp) with Paul Jennings (cajon, percussion), Duncan Lyall (bass), Ewan Robertson (guitar) and James Ross (piano, harmonium). Produced by Mary Ann Kennedy.

Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age. Through her piano and clarsach lessons she developed a love for both classical and traditional music, and in 2005 gained a 1st-class MA in Irish Music Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

A 4-time National Mod Gold Medalist, she was also 1st prizewinner at the inaugural London Harp Competition, and best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival. She has represented Commun na Clarsach for Scotland at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland, and in 2005 she was awarded a scholarship from the ESU in recognition of her 'virtuosic clarsach playing', and was a winner of the St Albans New Roots award. She played in the Scottish Harp Orchestra, Na Clarsairean for many years, performing with them at two World Harp Congresses - in Seattle and Prague.

She works as a soloist for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! Programme, and has given recitals at events all over Scotland, including performing for HRH the Queen, and being invited to give a private concert to the Lord High Commissioner and his distinguished guests.

She has played alongside many great Irish and Scottish musicians and has supported BBC award winner Karine Polwart. Notable festival appearances include Sidmouth, Cornwall, Whitby, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival, St Albans and many others.

When she is not in the studio or on the road, Ailie is a much sought after teacher around the UK and Ireland. She has taught at various festivals, was co-founder and director of the highly successful Borders Harp Weekend and tutors regularly for Feisean nan Gaidheal, as well as teaching privately and in several schools.

"Her synthesis of Irish, Scottish and contemporary harping technique into an individual style represents the realization of otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic harp" (Niall Keegan)


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