Posts Tagged ‘Appalachian music’

It’s all about Heart

March 16, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the musicians who had come from Ireland to play in my home and my friends who had come from every which way to join them. The thing is, if any of us had been using our heads last evening wouldn’t have happened. John and Claire wouldn’t have headed up this mountain in the big vehicle that carries the harp, or have come from Ireland to play for whatever they get in the hat for that matter. My friends wouldn’t have come out in fog and snow and mud and the possibility of worse conditions on the way home if they hadn’t been thinking completely with their hearts rather than their heads. Having heard John and Claire last year when they were here the first time, a heart connection was made. They braved the conditions following their hearts. I have felt deeply touched and moved all day as I felt the after effects. This is the way to move in the world. It is all about heart.

Mountain Magic

March 16, 2010

I feel privileged beyond description tonight. Last year I was fortunate to host musicians from Ireland that my sister had met while traveling there. Claire Roche, a harpist, vocalist and songwriter and her husband John Wilmott fly over here once a year and travel across the US bringing their Irish music, stories and fun into people’s living rooms. They are at the beginning of this year’s  five-week tour and were in my home tonight. A neighbor who heard Claire last year calls her the “surround sound lady.” Her voice fills the air like an angel choir. And the songs she sings are out of her own heart, she has been writing them all of her life. She also sings songs from long Irish traditions. John tells myths and stories with  joy, humor and wisdom.

Their intention is to keep the tradition alive of sharing music in intimate gatherings in peoples’ homes, the way it has long been done in Ireland and Scotland for centuries. When my sister met them in Ireland and heard about their tour, she told them, “You have to go visit my sister in North Carolina! They do music like this all of the time in each other’s homes.” So last year they came for the first time and played for us. After their sets the local musicians sat down and played their Appalachian music for them. John and Claire were deeply affected. Claire said, “I thought they only did this in the films!”

Tonight was a wintery night in Appalachia – the kind of night that no one generally leaves their own hearths and braves the roads. But John and Claire were coming, and so my friends came out from every which way to warmly welcome them. I was very moved by this. We enjoyed the heavenly sound of Claire’s harp and song, and John’s stories were delightful. When they finished, my friends played for them. There is no magic like this magic. People’s hearts and voices came together in a way that feels like combustion. I picture a big rosy glow, maybe with some green from the St. Patrick’s day time, going up from here and filling the sky like the Northern Lights. To me this night was as good as it gets.