Bio

About Claire Roche – by John of Celtic Ways & Bards In The Woods

Not only is Claire’s music unique, but it is emotionally moving especially when we are present in her live performance.

We think of a harp and what it sounds like and usually relate to the harp as playing tunes. Then we think of singers and what they sound like. We try to think of singers and harps together, but we still cannot match the uniqueness, passion and intimacy that is present during a performance by Claire.

Claire has a passion for words and the spirit and expression or words. Rather than just play tunes, Claire has chosen the harp to be her accompaniment, her choir, her veil to the “otherworld”.  Her words, music and passion gently warms the hearts of those present and fires their spirits into passion, courage, tears, love and laughter.

The Call To Study

After earning a degree in English and Literature at University College, Dublin and a diploma in Anglo Irish Literature from Trinity College, Dublin Claire advanced her intimate studies into literature through to a Master of Arts Degree.

Already a piano player and writer of passionate, intimate and poetic songs Claire experienced a calling to study playing the harp that she soon used as her accompaniment for sharing her songs.

Claire studied Irish harp with Mairin Ferritear at Sion Hill Convent, Dublin,
Concert harp with Catriona Yeats at the College of Music, Dublin, and Denise Kelly of the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin who continues to be her mentor.

The Blossom and Fruits from Claire’s Studies and Inspiration

With permission from the family of W.B. Yeats, Claire combined her wonder of literature and harmony of harp to create an outstanding work of Yeats poems set to music. This is now recorded as a collection aptly titled “Dancing In The Wind”.

On the RTE Radio 2 series “Sounds Promising”, during 1982 Claire aired a live performance of her interpretation of the Yeats poem “To A Child Dancing In The Wind” along with her passionate song, loved more than ever today, called “Fields In Fasseroe”.

In 1986 Claire earned second place in the “Song With Harp” competition at the Keadue Harp Festival through performing “Fields of Fasseroe” and her magical arrangement of the the epic Yeats poem “Stolen Child”.

Introducing The Harp to Weddings

It was 1988 when Claire turned professional due to her idea of offering harp music and songs for wedding ceremonies. This is a service that did not appear to be offered at the time. Today, hardly a wedding service, especially in Ireland, is performed without the presence of harp music.

Also in 1988 Claire was included in various broadcasts such as her musical performance of “He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven” on RTE Radio 2’s series “Cursai” along with her musical arrangement of Austin Clarke’s “The Planter’s Daughter”, Claire’s expansion into musical interpretation of work by Anglo Irish writers.

And Then The World

Claire has now evolved from performing at Irish Weddings to performing intimate concert performances. For several years she regularly toured Australia, New Zealand, USA, and UK as well as served some performances in Ireland. Claire performs either solo, or with poets, or with a selection of other intimate musician composers.

I know that Claire is extremely thankful to William Ramouter, her support in the USA, and Rosemary Moore in Australia who has tirelessly arranged most of Claire’s Australia touring and venues.

During March 2008 Claire shared a USA tour with me, John of Celtic Ways trying out a “show” that included sharing some Celtic mythology stories through the traditions of folk drama.

Future?

Also Claire has recorded some wonderful original songs accompanied by piano. Some of those have been released through the Journey With Claire Roche CD, though there are a lot more of these to come.

Soon to be released is a double CD of songs, tunes, stories and poems called Ogma's Tale of The Trees, a joint with with myself, John Willmott, that is themed around mythology of the trees of Ireland.

To Invite Claire To Perform For You

Claire enjoys serving both intimate concert performances, wedding music and interactive sessions where Claire’s songs and tunes are shared with the music, stories, and poetry as an, “Introduction to the harp” workshops

You may also book Claire and John together for a show of songs, stories, poems, mythology, and harp music

Click here to inquire and invite Claire to you place, space or event .