Harp Music from the Celtic Northwest - concert with slideshow: Northern Isles Soundscapes
"I open the door, a cool wind blows in my face, and the sea smells better than ever. The sky is still grey, but the first rays of the sun are scattering on the horizon. I look forward to the new day..."
Islands in the North Atlantic, like Tory Island - the Irish island of legend and myth, the Hebridean Island of Staffa or the wild archipelago of the Faroe Islands situated between the Shetlands and Iceland - these are the places where harpist and photographer Thomas Loefke spends a considerable amount of time every year to compose music. Dramatic coastal landscapes, the wide open space of the Atlantic ocean and the ever changing sky reflect in the pieces of music written there.
The tunes are accompanied by photographs Thomas took during his travels to the islands and in his solo programme these “Northern Isles pictures” are part of the show.
Thomas learnt his trade in Dublin from Ireland's leading harp players - Máire Ní Cháthasaigh, Helen Davies and Áine Ní Dhúill. Since 1984 he has been playing professionally and has won several international prizes, including first prize at the O'Carolan Harp Festival in Keadue. He regularily tours with his band Norland Wind featuring Clannad’s Noel Duggan, with Riverdance violinist Máire Breatnach, with Colorado based cello/guitar duo Acoustic Eidolon, with Faroese fiddle player Angelika Nielsen as duo Norðan and as soloist.
"People are listening to quiet haunting music again," says Thomas. "It's amazing how the sound of the harp takes the speed out of everyday life and brings you back to a sort of tingling slowness."