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About Simon Chadwick

Simon Chadwick began studying the early clarsach in 1998. From the outset, Simon studied the historical Gaelic traditions, following Ann Heymann in using the distinguishing features of early Gaelic performance practice, notably the fingernail techniques, left shoulder playing orientation and the use of unison na comhluighe stringing. Simon runs the extensive information website, earlygaelicharp.info, and has also published a tutor book outlining the historical tradition, Progressive Lessons for Early Gaelic Harp, a book on playing technique, Gestures, and an article in the scholarly journal Early Music.

As a child, Simon learned trumpet and trombone, piano and bells. Simon studied both physics and archaeology at university and applies this training to the early Gaelic harp, hence his expertise about the physical instrument, and his interest in its design, ergonomics and stringing.

He was key to the Historical Harp Society of Ireland commissioning its series of student harps from David Kortier, and designed the string regime for each one, based on years of experiments with brass, silver and gold strings. Simon often gives advice on wire stringing to individual harp players.

He is also regularly consulted by early Gaelic harp makers from various countries seeking advice and technical information on both modern reconstructions and the extant historical instruments.