Mudcat Café message #3792327 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3792327
Posted By: keberoxu
26-May-16 - 06:10 PM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
One of the more memorable "An Cruit" moments, in the television series promoted in earlier posts on this thread, was an interview with Máire Ní Chatasaigh. She pointed out the little question of body posture with the Irish harp. The stone-castle-banquet/cabaret singing harpists, whose accompaniments were simple and minimal, sat with both knees together and on one side of the harp: very demure and proper looking.

Along comes Ní Chatasaigh, resolved to participate in session music and dance tunes, which demand much advanced technique with regard to the Irish harp. To place the arms and hands at best advantage for access to the harpstrings, Ní Chatasaigh hugs the harp with one bent knee to either side of the harp. She declares that it is just too difficult to do what you want to do with the harp and be, at the same time, crouching with both knees together on one side.

She caught holy you-know-where from the judges and adjudicators for looking so unladylike, "astride a harp." As though that were going to stop her.