Life with the accordion.
I think I am coming down with a cold. We’ve been having some nasty weather lately….
Music is my sanctuary. I am sure it is the same with you. With all the negativity in the world, I am glad that there is this place I can go and feel at home. Music has sustained me through the years. I think my ‘relationship’ with my favorite musicians lasted longer than with few actual people. Music heals. Sometimes when we are mad we forget who we are. But music restores that purity. It tells you ” I am here and I will never leave you or hurt you.”
I want to share with you this amazing accordion player. Her name is Harriet Bartlett and she’s from the UK. You should hear her own version of Music For a Found Harmonium originally done by Patrick Street. She adds her twist to it! Her album Eyes Wide Open has been out for years. She does both instruments and vocals. She has a terrific voice. I find it strange that an artist of her caliber doesn’t have a follow-up album yet.
They say don’t judge the book by its cover but I can tell that looking at her album art and listening to the tracks you really get what you see-pure talent and awe-inspiring energy. Right now I don’t have news for you about her current projects. But if someone out there can step forward, that would really be awesome!
Harriet has been playing accordion for 13 years and performing at festivals, folk clubs and theatres for the past 8 years. Her repertoire consists of Celtic music on the piano accordion at lightening speed, heart rendering slow airs and beautiful songs. She has already composed many of her own tunes with a traditional style that belies her years.
To date she has played at many venues at home and abroad to include Celtic Connections, Sidmouth International, Venner Folk Frühling, Fylde, Bromyard and Warwick Festival, to name but a few.
In 2003 Harriet was a winner of a coveted Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award – the competition was held throughout the festival with no less than eighty entrants. Harriet was then approached by Greentrax Recordings to record her debut CD Eyes Wide Open produced by Dr Phil Cunningham MBE. Harriet was joined by some fantastic musicians – Ed Boyd (Flook) on guitar, Mark Maguire (Deaf Shepherd) on bodhran and Phil Cunningham on piano cittern and whistles. The CD was launched at Celtic Connections January 2004, and has received excellent reviews.
“Hugely talented. Eyes Wide Open is one of my favourite CDs of the year.” — ANDY KERSHAW, BBC RADIO 3
“Harriet has assembled here a fine collection of tunes, some contemporary with a maturity far beyond her years and if this is her first outing on CD… I can’t wait to hear the next. Go get em Harriet.” ..— Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham.
In July 2004 she was nominated for the West Midlands Folk Federation “2004 Award for an outstanding contribution to West Midlands folk / traditional arts.”
She was the winner of the In the Tradition Awards 2001 at the Assembly Rooms, in Derby. Organised by Mick Peat of PR Promotions and Folkwaves on BBC in the East Midlands. There were 6 finalists; amongst the judges were Jo Freya and Lester Simpson. She has been invited to play on stage with Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on numerous occasions, always to be enjoyed. “Phil Cunningham is a marvellous accordionist and I’ve admired him for years, so to actually join him and Aly on stage and play some tunes was fantastic!”
Living Tradition, Taplas, Celtic Heritage and Shropshire magazines have all run articles on Harriet. To view, go to the reviews section at www.harrietbartlett.com