Harp piece premier forms a centerpiece for US St David’s Day celebrations

Claire and Chris (4343089)

Claire and Chris (4343089)

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Local harpist Claire Jones performed a special new piece to mark St Davids Day in New York last week.

‘Dylan’ a new work was commissioned by the British Council as part of their DT100 Starless and Bible Black International Programme.

Composed by Cardiff born composer Chris Marshall, the piece premiered at The British Residence in New York last week, performed by renowned Welsh harpist Claire Jones, from Crymych.

Chris said: “The idea for the piece was born on our last visit to New York, during a concert tour that Claire was doing in the States. The City is full of places that are connected with the poet, and I started to read more about him, and more of his work. His writing is very lyrical and I could hear the music just beneath the words. I wanted to connect different parts of his story across both sides of the Atlantic musically.

I’m very grateful to the British Council for helping to turn the idea into a reality. It’s wonderful to be returning to New York with a full four movement piece for harp, strings and narrator.

The piece has four movements and takes the form of a journey through Dylan’ life.

This is not the first collaboration for husband and wife Claire and Chris. Chris arranged most of the music for Claire’s classical chart topping album ‘The Girl with the Golden Harp’ released in 2012 on the Classic FM Label. They also perform together regularly as C2, an unusual but enthralling partnership between Harp and Percussion.

Claire said: “Over the past few years, Chris has developed a deep understanding of the harp’s capabilities, and he’s also very used to writing for my performance style, so ‘Dylan’ is a joy to perform. It stretches me as a harpist, which I like very much. Of course working creatively and being married has its challenges, but we’re pretty used to it. Chris has been arranging and composing for many years, so he brings lots of different influences into the work we do together, so it’s always a bit of an adventure when we work together musically."

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