Celtic harpist virtuoso, Maeve Gilchrist, and Keith Murhpy, instrumentalist, composer, and singer, will grace the state of the West Whately Chapel for an intimate evening of heavenly and earthly musical delight. This will be a return performance for both artists. Maeve was last here in 2013 with Jordan Tice and soft-shoe dancer Nick Gareiss, Keith with his wonderful band Nightengale in 2007.
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting.
She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, a more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries asEsperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Solas and Darol Anger.
Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording Vignette, on Adventure Records, with Nashville legend Viktor Krauss while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument.
Maeve was the first lever harpist to join the faculty of the iconic Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for five years before switching to a visiting roots department artist this spring. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music. Also an in-demand composer and arranger; this year, Maeve premiered her first concerto for lever harp and symphony orchestra and is currently working on a number of commissions including a string quartet for Irish harp and string quartet to be premiered in Scotlandin the spring of 2018.
A native of Newfoundland, Keith’s traditional song repertoire is based in Eastern Canada and Quebec as well as his current home, Vermont. His direct and intimate style of traditional singing in English and French infuses old ballads and songs with a powerful immediacy while his rhythmic and percussive finger style of guitar playing brings new shape and color to his songs. His 2005 album, Bound for Canaan showcased his refined sense of balance between innovation and tradition while his most recent CD, Suffer No Loss (2014) is a beautifully spare recording in the style of early classic recordings of the traditional English and Celtic music revival.
Keith was a founding member of Nightingale, a trio which broke new ground in its sophisticated approach to traditional music. He is a mainstay of the Boston fiddle extravaganza, Childsplay and has also worked extensively with Tony Barrand on the song repertoire from the early twentieth century of the Atwood family from Dover, Vermont. He also appears frequently with his wife, fiddler Becky Tracy as well as part of the Hanneke Cassel Trio.
Keith is an accomplished composer and arranger in the realm of traditional music and has also composed for theater and film. He is a featured performer on well over a dozen recordings and a guest musician on numerous others. His versions of traditional songs have inspired recordings by other groups including Solas, Uncle Earl and Great Big Sea. Several of his compositions have been featured on the recent Ken Burns’ documentary on the Roosevelts.
Keith is a faculty member of the Brattleboro Music Center (BMC) and the artistic director of the BMC’s Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival in Brattleboro Vermont which he founded in 2008. He was a featured performer in the Boston Revels 2016 Christmas show and he is the music director for the WGBH Boston public radio’s annual Celtic Sojourn St Partick’s Day concerts held at Sander’s Theater and elsewhere in New England.