“Maeve Gilchrist is a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity” (Dirty Linen)
Maeve Gilchrist was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. Daughter to an Irish mother and Scottish father she grew up immersed in traditional folk music. At an early age Maeve was accepted into the City of Edinburgh Music School where she spent seven years studying classical piano, clarsach (Celtic harp) and vocals. From her early teens, Maeve was an in-demand member on the traditional music scene in Scotland where she performed at events such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the Celtic Connections Festival and the International Edinburgh Harp Festival. At seventeen Maeve received a full scholarship from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA where she studied jazz and world music, alongside a colorful career as a professional musician and teacher.
Recent performance highlights include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the World Harp Congress, Celtic Connections Festival, the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and the ICONS Irish Festival. She has collaborated with some of the most celebrated contemporary musicians on the scene today such as Darol Anger, Vardan Ovsepian, Kathy Mattea, Tony Trischka and Esperanza Spalding. Maeve released her album ‘Song of Delight’ on the Adventure Music Label in 2010 and is preparing for labels second release of ’20 Chandler st’ this coming April. Last January she self-released her debut solo harp album called ‘The Ostinato Project’. Written as a celebration and exploration of the harp, this series of compositions focuses on utilizing both hands as separate instruments.
Maeve is based in Brooklyn NY. She tours internationally as a soloist and with various collaborations including a duo project with the percussive dancer Nic Gareiss in which Maeve and Nic explore the soundscape possibilities of fingers, feet, electronics and sand. Maeve also plays with the legendary fiddler Darol Anger’s new All-Star Band, the furies and has a solo project called ‘THE OSTINATO PROJECT’, a constantly evolving exploration of the harp incorporating voice and electronics to various degrees.
She is the first lever harpist to be employed as an instructor by the Berklee College of Music’s string department and has written a folk harp method book, published by Hal Leonard Music.
Maeve Gilchrist and Nic Gareiss blurb
Michigan born percussive-dancer, Nic Gareiss and Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist met while both teaching at the Shasta Fiddle Camp in Northern California. They continued their musical relationship with spontaneous collaborations at festivals and chance meetings and later toured together as part of Darol Anger’s band, ‘The Furies’.
Sharing a deep respect for traditional music and culture while drawing on contemporary elements of music, dance, rhythm and improvisation, Nic and Maeve have emerged from the vibrant new acoustic scene as innovators in their fields. The percussion and drive of Nic’s footwork combined with Maeve’s melodic and improvisational sensibilities make for an explosive duet that delights both the ears and the eyes.