Current Programs available for touring:
House of Strings: A Harper's Journey Through Scotland
House of Strings: A Harper's Journey Through Scotland. James Ruff presents a collage of early music for harp and voice from Gaelic Scotland, recreating the 17th-century world of the historic harper-bards. Rarely heard intimate chamber pieces from a Hebridean harp manuscript, stately formal laments commemorating great clan chieftains, poetic and musical invocations of the famed Keppoch murders, and more. The evocative sound of the early Gaelic wire harp coupled brilliantly with the ancient beauty of Gaelic poetry…
The Gaels' Honour
The Gaels’ Honour: Music for voice and harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland. Pipe marches to stir the soul, noble laments that bring a tear to the eye, love songs to warm the heart, and stormy politics of 17th and 18th century Scotland and Ireland – James Ruff lends his voice to rare early Celtic music of the Gaelic world, sung in Scottish Gaelic and Irish, and accompanying himself on the wire-strung Clàrsach, whose bell-like tones rang through the great halls of the Gaelic clan chieftans. Music of the great harpers: O’Carolan, the Connellans’, Ruaraidh Dall, Denis Hempson, Hugh Higgins, and drawn from the Bunting, Neal, Forde and Straloch manuscripts.
Of Love and Lamentation
Of Love and Lamentation: Echoes of Gaelic Scotland and Ireland. Love and loss through the eyes of the great clan poets: Sìleas na Ceapaich, Mary MacLeod and more. Sung in Scottish Gaelic and Irish, these rarely heard elegies and love songs naturally blend with the melting sound of the early Gaelic wire-harp. Selected tunes of the great harper-bards (Ruaraidh Dall, Thomas Connellan, Turlough O’Carolan) evoke the haunting poeticism of the Gaelic world.
The Guiding Star of Bridget
The Guiding Star of Bridget: Celtic Saints and Heroes in Song. James Ruff leads you with voice and harp on a journey through rare medieval inspirational repertoire evoking both the early saints of Ireland and Scotland, and the great Gaelic heroes: Fionn MacCumhaill, the mythical hunter-warrior of Irish Mythology, and his band of warriors, the Fianna. This program will include chants from the Irish Offices of Bridget and Patrick as recorded in the 15th century MS 78 - Trinity College Dublin, as well as rare chants to Columba from the 14th century Scottish Inchcolm Antiphoner – some of the few remaining examples of Celtic medieval chant - all accompanied by the melting sound of the Clarsach. He will treat you to traditional Scottish Gaelic lays recounting the fantastic exploits of the Fianna – Fionn MacCumhaill, Oisín, Oscar, Diarmaid, Coailte, Fraoch, as well as sea monsters, Vikings and more - colorful examples of the Gaelic legends once so popular throughout the Gaelic-speaking world.