Celtic Concerto: Solstice

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    Dara P

    I came across a harp concerto the other day written by a famous Welsh harpist, Catrin Finch. It’s called Celtic Concerto, and the third part of it is titled “Solstice”.

    It’s a beautiful piece of music, and to me it does capture some elements of a solstice day — the feeling of anticipation you might have waiting for the first rays of the sun and what they symbolize, and the sense of triumph when the light its strongest point during the year (at least for the summer solstice).

    I think this piece reminds me more of the summer solstice than the winter one actually 🙂

    If the video doesn’t play because you’re in North America, here it is on Soundcloud:



    Dara, this is interesting. Just a few days ago, I came across this exact artist and started listening to her harp pieces. I really like her way of playing, seems very effortless and yet crystal clear and perfect. I was listening to her Clair de Lune, but didn’t came across this Solstice piece – how beautiful!

    The Youtube version you shared does not work for me here in Europe, but here is a Youtube version that does:

    On another note, I like how you brought up the actual sound of music, not just lyrics. I was thinking about it lately, that the “solar qualities” must be somehow contained in the music itself too, not just in lyrics. I was thinking about so many great classical pieces, and how to find out their “solar connection” so to speak, because for sure there must be some, even if they don’t have lyrics that would specifically speak about it, or the name that points to it.

    I thought maybe also some scales are more solar than others, some mellodies, etc. Maybe would be worth to look into that…



    There must be a reason why angels are so often depicted playing harps, Lucia! Maybe instruments also have solar qualities too!



    I agree about harp Ella, its sound definitely seems to invoke spiritual feelings or associations. I have read that harp, or its predecessor lyre, had been used for healing a lot in the past, especially healing of the “troubled mind” or casting away evil spirits. There is even a recording of harp being used for this purpose in Bible.

    I also came across an interesting article on spiritual connections of musical instruments, especially harp. And while I am not sure about all the statements in that article as it gets somewhat complicated towards its end, some really caught my attention, like for example about a possibility of spiritual beings being connected to some instruments, about special importance of materials or shapes used, etc.

    Here are some quotes:

    “Throughout Asia the musicians bow before their instruments in silent reverence before letting them vibrate. The god within must be worshipped before being awakened from his cosmic silence; and Asiatics see still “Devas” — gods — ensouling the instruments.”

    “The shape of the instruments in many instances had, and still has, a great occult significance, and the evolution of such shapes throughout the ages reveals very much of the inner history of man.”

    “…there are very definite affinities between racial types and instrumental families. French musicians excel at the woodwinds. Germans are proud of their brass players. Russian Jews manifest themselves often as excellent violinists. Poland and Hungary have given the greatest pianists. Hungarians loved the czymbalon before Liszt appeared, transfiguring the piano, incarnating for a time its very soul. All these facts are indications of a very occult relationship existing between human types and instruments. They might yield many absorbing truths to the student of this special branch of musical occultism, but we will not go into a search which would lead us so far.”

    “The harp, as all other instruments and perhaps even more than most of them, has its occult significance. It is one of the oldest instruments and can be found in various shapes in all temple decorations of all ages. The Irish mythology is especially rich in legends and symbols attached to the harp. The harp, with its 7 strings, represented matter in its sevenfold stages, the atom, with its 7 spirals. And when the universe was to be formed, the Creator plucked one by one the strings of the cosmic harp which was encompassing all the vastness of primeval space, and the vibrations that thus radiated, precipitated the worlds. Then the Creator uttered the Great Name and all Its letters became gods that took possession of the 7 spheres of matter.”



    I quite like it and I hear what you’re saying that it could well describe those moments of anticipation, sunrise etc.. It also to me seems to evoke certain pleasant open landscapes in my mind’s eye. The harp is a beautiful instrument.

    @lucia. Interesting quotes about a deeper side to music. There’s probably so much to sound and music that we don’t know. Or maybe we can hear it with our heart, although not fully understanding how much is behind it.


    Anne Linn

    Thank you for sharing this lovely music. It does have a Solstice feeling to it. Somehow it reminds me of the winter air at that time, and the quality of light, pale and cold, but beautiful. And glittering snow.

    I’ve always been drawn to the harp. It’s one of my favorite instruments to listen to. It does feel very healing and calming somehow. It’s so interesting how different instruments touch us in different ways. Thank you for sharing that Lucia!



    Beautiful ! no matter what’s the title 🙂
    Thank you Dara!


    Dara P

    Funny that you were just listening to some of her music, Lucia. She is pretty amazing. I agree about solar qualities being imbued in actual music, and not just in the lyrics (if there are any). I think when you get music that is uplifting to the psyche and has lyrics that encourage or inspire spiritual growth, then that is kind of the icing on the cake. I guess for me whatever is happening with the underlying music makes the biggest difference, since it conveys its own message that affects us at a deep vibrational level.

    Anne Linn, that’s interesting it reminds you of winter 🙂 I can totally see the glittering snow now that you bring it up.


    Anne Linn

    When I first heard this piece I forgot about the summer solstice, all I could hear was winter, maybe because winter is approaching here. But listening to it again I still hear winter. The wind blowing, birds singing. That blue light of that time of year…the snow. At the same time there is a lot of joy and brightness in the music, so maybe that’s more like summer 🙂 Thanks again for sharing this piece, it’s so so lovely and has been added to my playlist.



    It felt like winter to me too, Anne. It has a somewhat “carol” feel to me, and the beginning reminds me of the snowflakes falling thickly. 🙂 And then the orchestra comes in, and the music becomes more joyful, announcing the miraculous birth. And then for a bit at the end, the “snow flakes” come again, as if reminding the listener its still winter, but the ending melody then is again joyful, because after all, the savior has been born, no matter what. Anyway, its my “transcription”. 😀


    Jordan Resnick

    Thanks for posting that Dara, very nice, especially at the beginning. We’ve just added it to the “Traditional and Folk Music” resources page.

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