My YouTube videos playing the harpolyre continue to get a lot of attention, and I wanted to share with you a little of the backstory of this amazing three-necked harp guitar.
In an effort to bring history to the harp guitar I discovered ten works for the harpolyre written by Fernando Sor, known as the Father of the Classical Guitar. The amazing thing about these compositions is not only are they extremely tender and lyric pieces, but they had never been played since 1830 and perhaps have never actually been heard in public until my recording “The Lost Music of Fernando Sor” along with my live performances and YouTube videos. I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering this forgotten music for a forgotten instrument.
I ordered the microfilm of this music in 1977 from the La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and with this extremely rare and beautiful music in my hands, I could only dream of finding one of a handful of existing harpolyres upon which to really recreate these beautiful musical pieces. After thirty years of the hunt, I was blessed to find a circa 1830 harpolyre that had been restored to near pristine condition.
John played “Hark the Herald Angles Sing” on the crankorgan, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain” featured on his CD Wrapped In White and Victorian Christmas DVD. He also showcased zithers, banjos, guitars, and other ancient stringed instruments.
After a concert in Wels, Austria, John Doan was interviewed about his Celtic Pilgrimage Concert. In this interview titled, “Sharing a Moment in Time Through Music,” John explains why he focused on Celtic ancient times and music. The background music is from his concert in Wels.
As part of Art Fiber Fest 2009, my wife, Deirdra Doan, an artist and doll maker, created this video, “Prince Bug Dude.” She used the song “Skellig Michael” from my Wayfarer album. Notice the resemblance to me and my harp guitar?
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your family this year. My wife, Deirdra, and I wrote this new Christmas song, and she created this special video gift just for you. We hope you pause during this holiday to reflect upon the reason for the season and share a moment of love with those special to you.
Filmed entirely on location in Ireland, this is a preview of the upcoming documentary on John Doan’s “A Celtic Pilgrimage.” It showcases the journey he took repeatedly to explore the Celtic history and spiritual places he calls the “thin places” where spirit and earth meet.