Harp 46,
featuring April Stace
Harp 46
(self-produced, 2003)

Harp 46 is a trio composed of April Stace on Celtic harp, Posido Vega on bass and Nucleo Vega on percussion (mostly African hand drums) -- a strange combination, but an excellent one.

April plays in a sweet style, with haunting melodies. The Celtic harp tends to have a more ascetic sound than classical models, since it is smaller and does not have pedals. This gives room for Posida to play complementary melodies and Nucleo to provide a number of interweaving rhythms.

The tunes, mostly written by the group, have a primarily Celtic flavor, and the CD is meditative and relaxing. The bass and percussion are somewhat reserved so that they are no louder than Stace's harp, but all of the players are both accomplished and energetic. There is a new-age type of sound, but it never falls into the blandness or repetition that affects much of the genre.

The best cuts are those like "Chase" and "Tell Me," which have a jazzier feel and more improvisation. Hopefully, this first Harp 46 release (Stace also has a solo CD) will lead to others that will feature more excursions into musical territory not normally explored by harp players.

- Rambles
written by Dave Howell
published 7 February 2004

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