1. Original file reuploaded in mp4 in 2010. It's still worth a look to see what the XHA1 can do in low light.

    The full title of this piece is "Squire Wood's Lamentation on the Refusal of his Halfpence" and it's what attracted me it. In the early 1700s, Ireland ran out of copper coinage and people were even being given "IOU" notes in lieu of their pay. In 1722 William Woods was given a commission to produce copper coinage for Ireland, but his coins were boycotted by the Irish, hence the title of the piece.

    I decided on a very simple visual setting for this piece and recorded it in one take with additional cutaways afterwards.


    Camera: Canon XHA1 in HD mode recording straight to PC
    Sound: Stereo pair of Neuman KM100 mics
    Editing: Sony Vegas with Magic Bullet plugin, Adobe Audition for audio noise reduction

    # vimeo.com/731083 Uploaded 1,460 Plays 6 Comments
  2. This piece is inspired by the Irish legend of two mountains, small and large ( Sí Bheag and Sí Mhór). According to the legend, two tribes who lived there fought a battle to the death. The spirits who lived in the place continue to fight the battle.

    I was inspired to play this in a local wood full of bluebells, which for two weeks of the year carpet the forest floor in a magical haze of blue. Close-up, the bell-like flowers also inspired the bell sounds in my arrangement. I like the way the bluebells are only temporary - just like hearing a piece of music.

    I thought it was a great place to record this tune and I hope you like it. My favourite shot is the very last one, with the harp standing in the middle distance amongst all the different colours of the woods. It really was like that!

    This was recorded in SD (but don't let that put you off watching it!) as a way of getting used to the camera before recording a DVD project for Gloucestershire on sharing best practice encouraging children to be musical. Before the shoot we created a preset for the Canon which we liked, and then shot this as a way of checking out all the location shooting issues before using it in a preschool environment. I love this camera and it works really well - thinking of getting a 35mm adaptor for it having seen Philip Bloom's inspiring work with various adaptors.

    As a musician and (in another life) sound recordist with the BBC for many, many years, I would say audio is fantastically important - both the acquisition and editing of it. Like everything it has to be so good as to be unnoticeable, or noticeable for the right reasons. While I'm not at that stage with the pictures, I do love the way it's possible to make my harp playing available to a wider audience, and that's made some amazing musical connections for me.

    Technical notes:

    Harp: Pilgrim gut-string harp
    Camera: Canon XHA1 (recorded in SD PAL WS)
    Sound: 2 x Neumann KM184
    Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition
    Plugins: Magic Bullet Look Suite

    I discovered Sony Vegas after editing this - and wish I'd used it as Sony Vegas has better multicamera editing facilities than Premiere Pro, which limits you to four cameras at once. Sony Vegas allows you a much higher number (we had 11 complete or partial takes to choose from and you can sync them all up to get a rough-cut and then go back and adjust the edits afterwards).

    # vimeo.com/730771 Uploaded 4,292 Plays 7 Comments

Celtic Harp

Mark Harmer Plus

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