After a few days of trivia and news about tours and album reviews, it is time to relax and listen to an artist. This is one of the things about my writing that I take delicately. Knowing an artist can sometimes be an illusive thing because you might just be talking about a certain point in an artist’s development. There are times when the challenge of getting the right material is ever present.
Harpist Corrina Hewat is an artist that tells you right away to expect the unexpected. Just hearing the first few bars of the percussive Suntrap and Ratman told me that I have to take aside my long-established notion that all harpists sound in a certain way. Well, her sound has that distinctive Celtic flavour but there are also elements of jazz , classical and world music. This is an artist who listens to Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, Ella Fitzgerald, Nirvana, Earth Wind and Fire and Debussy among others. Vocally, her impressive range shines like satin sheets. It gives you that relaxed feeling. Like night flowers, wine and the cool breeze. Things that intoxicate the senses with promise.
Expect jazzed up traditional tunes played through her crystalline harp sound.
The ‘official’ Biography:
Within a few minutes of hearing her, the energy and the timing, the depth and the colour of her music will touch you. One of the leading Scottish Harp players in the world today (nominated Instrumentalist of the Year 2004 at the STMA) Corrina has toured through Europe, the Far East and Canada taking the Small Harp to a new level of excellence, combining traditional style music with contemporary attitude. She is also blessed with a stunningly earthly voice, which resonates with years of soaking up Scotland’s musical tradition, while exploring contemporary elements and jazz. She is in demand as a player, composer, arranger and teacher, and her appeal grows larger as more and more people hear and meet her. She has an astonishing ability to create and collaborate with others and this has led her to recording over 30 albums in the last twelve years. She plays a Camac Aziliz Harp (she calls it ‘Little Yellow’) and the “Big Blue” electroharp.
Corrina Hewat is co-founder & co-musical director of the extravagantic 22-piece Unusual Suspects – the folk big band dubbed The Scottish National Folk Orchestra “one of the most exciting bands I’ve ever seen” quote Mike Harding Radio 3. She is also a skilled and innovative composer and arranger, having written many large scale commissions, while also musically directing shows such as ‘Voices of the World’ 2008, ‘Songs of Conscience’ 2007, ‘Scottish Men’ 2006 and the TMSA Young Trad Tour since 2005. Corrina is a founder member of distinct bands such as Bachue, Chantan and Shine and has been involved in awarding winning and pioneering shows such as My Ain Countrie and Scottish Women.
Recent projects include a duo with Kathryn Tickell, exploring the Scottish and Northumbrian Borders traditions and vocal trio Grace, Hewat, Polwart with Karine Polwart & Annie Grace. “The world needs to hear this!”
Corrina is also developing her own one woman show for tour, incorporating a range of original and traditional music, songs and stories from her background growing up in the Scottish Highlands through to her surroundings now in the Scottish Borders. She is a stunningly versatile singer “She blends a jazz singer’s flexibility, a blues singer’s economy and a folk singer’s heart into a style that’s both natural and her very own” with an incredible range and velvety tone while also possessing a creative and powerful technique on the harp, both on the Scottish small harp and electric harp. “A range of expression and depth of technical assurance… dazzlingly nimble finger work and liberal deployment of the instrument’s big bass end”.
Corrina’s teachers in college were Sanchia Pielou and Maire Ni Chathasaigh whose tuition and style she still refers to today. She is a core tutor on the Traditional Music Degree courses at Newcastle University and the RSAMD, as well as teaching workshops and courses on harmony singing, arranging and vocal techniques.
Her recently published music book, with accompanying CD, ‘Scottish Harp’ has received critical acclaim from teachers and pupils alike. It comprises of traditional-style pieces and compositions for solo harp (Taigh Na Teud music publishers http://www.scotlandsmusic.com). Her second book is due out in 2008.
She also has six 30 minute videos available for download on for intermediate players. www.ayepod.net
Born in Edinburgh 21st December 1970
Brought up on the Black Isle, Ross and Cromarty, Highlands of Scotland