27 December 2015

Christmas Eve at Bethany United

Playing at the late evening service at Bethany United has become a Christmas Eve tradition. It's a very welcoming and festive event. Thanks to Shawn Whynot for having me back.

22 December 2015

Holiday Cabaret

Last night was festive at the Carleton, with a Holiday Cabaret in support of the Performing Arts Lodge! Kyle Gillis and I performed Joni Mitchell's River, and there were a ton of great local acts.

20 December 2015

Student Recital

I forgot to get a picture while things were set up, but here's the mural at Cafe Cempoal with some harps all packed up at the end. Everyone played beautifully and Chris at the cafe provided delicious coffee beverages and hospitality. Looking forward to next term!

Recording with Dusty

Dusty Keleher, Benn Ross, and I were back in the studio yesterday recording some tracks for Dusty's upcoming album of original songs.

18 December 2015

Much Ado About Nothing

A three person band zone for the Halifax Independent School's Shakespeare production!

14 December 2015

Ragged Robin House Concert

Erin and I played at a beautiful house concert in Mahone Bay yesterday, with views on all sides of beach and ocean. About 30 friends came for tunes and tea and snacks. Photos courtesy of Mike Chandler. Thanks to our lovely host and everybody who came out!

9 December 2015

Cross-strung harp!!!

A beautiful new little harp has appeared in my life! Made by my talented friend Larry Wuest, it is a three octave, chromatic cross-strung harp, with beautifully detailed carving and craftsmanship, and a rich resonant sound. It arrived yesterday, and I can't stop experimenting with it! The technique is mystifying, so I am scrutinizing youtube videos, and making it up for now, until I hopefully find a teacher someday. This harp's chromatic possibilities are very exciting, and it will be excellent for improvisation, for my beginner jazz practice, for pop music, and I'm sure for other areas I haven't thought of yet. It's also very portable, and allows lots of freedom to move while playing. Hopefully it won't be too many months/years/decades until I can play it outside the living room!

8 December 2015

Ragged Robin and the Village Sound Library

Erin and I had a fun morning today recording some tracks for Village Sound's music library. Many thanks to Luke and Jason for making the experience delightful as always!!

30 November 2015


Just arrived in Shelburne today - I'm here with Hear Here Productions and Mocean Dance for a 7-day residency at the Osprey Arts Centre. We're working on an installation and performance piece, Burnwater/Alchemy, based originally on the sound sculptures of blacksmith John Little. The piece involves interactive elements, percussion and dance performance, sound installation and other ideas and experiments that will all come together this week for a public showing on Saturday!

screenshot from an upcoming promotional video by Mark Sawatzky

29 November 2015

The Expanse at First Ideas

I'm looking forward to tonight's Kinetic Studio event "First Ideas"!

First Ideas is a first look at 5 different works-in-progress by Misha Horacek & Chris Spencer-Lowe, Megan Matheson Hamilton, Sara Coffin, Bridget Lappin, & The Expanse: an ensemble of improvising artists.

I've been part of The Expanse for a few months now, and it is an exciting new world of explorations and a great community of people.

26 November 2015

The Advent Show at the Spatz Theatre

This week I'm back with the Advent Show! This is my fifth (sixth?) year playing the show and it gets more elaborate every time. The show opens tonight and runs Thursday-Saturday evenings with an added Saturday matinee. It features local singers, musicians, and dancers in an advent-themed variety spectacle, raising money for local charities ARK Outreach, Daily Bread Outreach, and The Grace Street Mission. More information can be found here: adventshow.com

22 November 2015

The Judgment of Paris

Just back from a fantastic experience playing in Tom Allen's chamber music show "The Judgment of Paris" over these last few days. I was briefly subbing for the harpist Lori Gemmell for three Maritime shows - Fredericton, Chester, and Antigonish. The show tells the story of the lives of Debussy and Ravel, their music, and their city. It combines works by the composers and original songs by cast members. Being part of it and spending time with fellow performers Tom Allen, Kevin Fox, Patricia O'Callaghan, and Bryce Kulak was a joy from start to finish. Click here for more information about The Judgment of Paris, and Tom's other shows.

15 November 2015

Ragged Robin at the Market

Our friend Anne took this Saturday morning picture of Erin and I busking at the Seaport Farmers' Market yesterday.

4 November 2015

Village Sound

It is always fun to spend time in the studio at Village Sound! Today was a short little session for Glenn Walton, recording harp tracks for a musical about Helen Creighton: http://rooksnestproductions.ca/2014/08/22/88/

25 October 2015

"Pop Goes the Easel" at the AGNS

Catherine Little and I met some keen kids this afternoon at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. We played a small concert for children and families, which was presented as part of a joint project by the AGNS, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Long and McQuade. There was an "instrument petting zoo" in another room which was awesome. The event is called Pop Goes the Easel, and happens once a month: https://www.artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/events-programs/pop-goes-easel

Halifax Pop Explosion with Jenn Grant

Had an amazing night last night playing with Jenn Grant at the Halifax Pop Explosion!! Such a great crew of people onstage and a very lovely audience.

24 October 2015

Michelle Mulcahy at Re-jigged Festival

Re-jigged Festival brought in Michelle Mulcahy this year to teach and perform in two concerts. It's very exciting that Nova Scotia is now starting to attract more international harpists and providing more opportunities to learn from them! Seven of us came out this morning to participate in Michelle's workshop, and we learned O'Carolan's Cup. She told us she'll be back again soon for Boxwood Festival in the summer, which is great news!

11 October 2015

Celtic Harmonies Festival

Heading home now from a few days of Irish music in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Erin and I (Ragged Robin) opened for Michael Tubridy, Patrick Ourceau, and Tony McManus on Thursday evening which was a great night of tunes at the Lakeview Inn in Knowlton. On Saturday we joined our friends Karen Iny and Steve Jones (Faine) to play some of our favourite tunes and songs as an opener for Manigance and Mike Burns in Waterloo. I'm really hoping to be back to the townships soon... love the people and the music there. Many thanks to Celtic Harmonies festival for having me.

Photos: Sylvain Lair

5 October 2015

Via Rail

Back on the train to Quebec this weekend with Via Rail's onboard entertainment program!

3 October 2015

Art Zone Gallery

Warda Limaye and I played at the Art Zone Gallery (artzoneweb) last night for their latest exhibit, featuring the beautiful vibrant paintings of Andrea Pottyondy. The gallery has been open for 6 months now and is a great addition to Barrington St. Check out their member shows once a month at 1673 Barrington St, second floor!

28 September 2015

Cello Weddings!

Played weddings with two fantastic cellists this weekend - one at Stadacona chapel with Catherine Little (cellogirl.ca), and the other on the very bright and windy shores of Chocolate Lake with India Gailey. The Stadacona wedding featured an impressive Mountie Honour Guard, which I had never seen before, and Catherine and I really enjoyed playing The Swan together during the signing of the register. At Chocolate Lake, India and I managed to navigate the wind thanks to a big pile of rocks (pictured).