The Pleasures of Hope:

a CD for dulcimer and harp by Gillian Alcock & Andy Rigby

"This is an elegantly simple recording... effortlessly transcending genres ... with a cohesiveness ... a delight to listen to ..." (Canberra Times)

The Pleasures of HopeTwo of Australias best known instrument-makers - playing their own instruments harp and hammered dulcimer on this delicious new CD released in August 1997. Gillian Alcock plays her hammered dulcimer with Andy Rigby featuring on his new harp. They are joined by friends Andrew Purdam, Jackie Luke and Margaret Legge-Wilkinson. Tunes come from the folk tradition, early classical times and the late 20th century. New compositions by Judith Clingan and Gillian herself are complemented by some spiffy arrangements by Andy, Gillian and Andrew Purdam.

Contents include:

Coniston Water (G. Alcock) This glacial lake pictured on the cover, is in the Lake District in England. It can be glassily smooth when there is no wind, and stunningly beautiful in the sunshine, but being where it is, it can also rain. Listen to the water trickling down the streams feeding the lake after rain. This most peaceful place feeds the spirit.
Constantine Maguire / O Carolan's Draught (T. O Carolan) Two tunes from the legendary Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan
The Downfall of Paris (Trad Arr A. Purdam) A wonderful stately tune which I first heard played on the uillean pipes by Dan Dowd in Ireland. It's been a favorite of mine ever since. Allegedly the title refers to the downfall of the god Paris, not the city.
La Folia in OZ (G. Alcock) Many composers over the centuries have written sets of variations, suited to different instruments, based on the popular old Iberian folk tune, La Folia. As far as I know this is the first set written for the dulcimer as it is tuned and played today. La Folia even has its own Web Page if you want to know more about this famous tune. Here's a taste of the theme in MP3 format.
SOL (J. Clingan) I asked Judy Clingan to write a piece for Jackie Luke and me to play at festivals in Europe in 1995. The ACT Cultural Council kindly assisted this commission and Judy chose the theme of the Australian sun at three times of day: Sunrise, Noon and Sunset for the work. The sun first appears at the cool light of dawn, then rises in the heat of noon when insects fly lazily around, cicadas chatter and even a cockatoo screeches. At the end of the day the sun finally slips behind the hills, suddenly at the last.
Dollard's / The Harlequin (Trad) Two mighty hornpipes learned again from a piper, this time Liam O'Flynn.
La Partida (Trad) When Andy turned up to a dulcimer festival to learn some dulcimer tunes, he foolishly brought his harp too. He never did get to play a note on his dulcimer, but we dulcimer players learned this great tune instead!
The Pleasures of Hope / The Hof Hornpipe (Trad /G. Alcock) A hornpipe, the title of which appeals to my philosophy ... Faced with life's challenges, one is stronger if you have hope. The Hof Hornpipe is written for friends in Munich, Germany who have opened my eyes to many things, including hope.
Sonata in G (M. Chiesa) This is one of the surviving sonatas which were originally written for salterio, the Italian cousin of the dulcimer in the 18th century. Originally for salterio and harpsichord, it adapts to dulcimer and harp perfectly. Chiesa was writing for talented amateurs, so the music is approachable, attractive and not too difficult.
ConnorDon's (Trad Arr. A.Rigby /G.Alcock ) I learned this tune from a friend who learned it from the Lewis family in Clare. The arrangement further disguises its origins.
Dan Mack's Polkas (Trad ) Featuring Andrew Purdam on traditional Irish darabuka, you've gotta laugh.
Kate Kelly's Waltz / Charlie Abdullah's / Starry Night for a Ramble (Trad)Another view of Australia in three spirited waltzes.
The Bantry Girl's Lament / Morgan Magan (Trad/ T O Carolan) Two tunes to tug at the heartstrings.
O'Keeffe's Polkas A set of tunes named after the many O'Keeffes living in Kerry.

Gillian Alcock has been a pioneer and leader of the hammered dulcimer movement in Australia for 20 years. Well known as a builder, teacher, writer, performer and researcher devoted to the dulcimer, she has performed at festivals in Australia and in Europe.
In 1997 she played and taught again in England and at the 4th World Dulcimer Congress in Belarus.
Her instruments are sought after by musicians in Australia as well as in Germany and the USA.

Andy Rigby is an able ambassador of the harp. A highly sought after performer around Australia, he is a member of the wonderful trio Moving Harps. He manages to fit in recording CD's alongside his busy harpmaking business in Victoria.

Recorded at Ian Blake's Blue Bear Studios.

To order your copy now online you can use the convenient and secure online order form. VISA, Mastercard and Bankcard accepted. CD costs $25Aus plus postage and packing.

To return to my main page.