Hiya! It’s HARP ON WIGHT week here on the beloved Isle! Come on down – the weather is FANTASTIC!


or, if you are up north – have a look at this!

Newcastle Arts Centre Exhibtion Preview Invitation


Sarah Daglish Exhibition Preview
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Thursday 15th October
FREEIchor, in Greek mythology, is the ethereal fluid that is the god’s blood; said to hold the qualities of the immortal’s food and drink: ambrosia or nectar. Golden in colour, Ichor is considered to be lethally toxic to humans.This body of work addresses the instability of forms, liquids and materials, their volatility and potential to overspill. ‘Ichor’ adopts narratives that are rooted within mythology – using the malleability of materials to reference and reconsider these concepts. The work asks you to focus on the changing states of matter and the basic characteristics of substances: often using altered or edible materials to convey an instability and fragility within the human condition.
Following the preview the exhibition will be open
October 16th – October 31st
9am-5pm Monday – Friday
Copyright © 2015 Newcastle Arts Centre, All rights reserved.
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This preview of Sarah Daglish’s work (that popped up in my inbox this morning) is very timely because I’m going to pay Mark Hickman a visit this weekend in the sunny and very beautiful Isle of Wight village of St Helens.
He has written quite a stunning song called ‘Dragon’s Blood’, inspired by the ‘secret’ ingredients used and debated in the varnish of Stradivarius (sp?) violins. He is making a lute at present and I can’t wait to see the progress of the process first hand.

Dragons have been tip-toeing their way into my conversations in the past 2 months a lot; I know a couple of very inspirational women who were born in the year of the dragon (I’m a rabbit myself – get it? rabbit, rabbit. . .) and if Games of Thrones didn’t have too much violence in it (for me, at least), I’d be glued to the screen for any footage that showed the dragons with your blond-woman-queenie. I’m sure you know who I mean.

I have a bit of an interest in animal totems and here’s what I found about dragons :

A symbol of the emperor himself. the dragon was the master of all the elements of nature.
The sinuous dragon can take many forms and can be victorious in any circumstance.
It can be male or female.
A pregnant dragon is particularly auspicious as a symbol of future growth and expansion.

The dragon is most useful  in connection with fame, reputation and career.

When the dragon symbol is applied in feng shui, the most effective placement is in the fame area of the home or in connection with a home office.

An impressive representation of a dragon can be of tremendous benefit.

The word, ‘dragon’ is derived from 2 Greek words meaning huge serpent or snake and ‘I see clearly.’

European dragons have huge wings, allowing them to soar freely above, resulting in a perspective that encompasses a huge panorama below.

Therefore they symbolize the ability to see the ‘big picture’, as well as the ability to see far off danger or future circumstances.

They can alternately breathe fire, poison or ice.

So they are both creators and destroyers.

In the Orient they symbolize wisdom and longevity.

They usually possess some form of magic or supernatural power.

Often associated with water or seen as sea monsters.

. . .hmmm. I also love the mermaid, serpent, snake and sea monsters. I’ve held a snake and was surprised at how warm and silken their bodies are. I also love the taste of smoked eel (my Dad is a big jellied eels fan. . .ugh) and I was glued to every page in the book , ‘Waterlogged’ about the Lincolnshire Eel man. I also think they are a bit like sea gulls (although I have been corrected that there are no such thing as ‘seagulls’; there are only gulls.

Come to think of it, one of my all time favourite English ensembles is The Eel Grinders and I often dream (usually at endless sound checks or English motorway traffic jams, although not so often these days hooray) of living under the sea. Yes, I am quite addicted to David Attenborough and those old Scandinavian maps of the sea and it’s monsters. Don’t get me started on jellyfish. . . .

But back to the point – Sarah’s  exploring some fantastic ideas, many of which Ed, (from Glory Art Glass in Sandown, Isle of Wight) and I were talking about over the last 2 days.

I love processes, as you know and glass is really something that I get utterly absorbed in / by. More about our conversation in another natter but if you’re ever over on this beautiful isle, do visit Ed’s workshop / gallery / shop :


Crikey, if our careers advisers at Weavers School, Wellingborough had suggested a career in glassblowing, I’d have left school at that very moment. As it was, I was offered the options of History and French. . or French and Drama (at college) or nursing or the army.

Great school, not the best careers’ advice, I’d say.

As with a lot of education, the careers advisers came in once a year, looked at your marks, didn’t listen to you, gave you about 15 minutes and, given the catchment area (mostly council estates), assumed that’s as far as it went.

I don’t have a problem with the choices (except the army – I have a huge problem with teaching anyone how to kill another) but the lack of aspiration and the assumption that marks dictate what’s in your heart and dreams makes me eternally sad.

Anyhow, I’ve been doing a spot of volunteering at Harp on Wight – yesterday, it was a bit quiet in the trade stands hall that we decided to have a bit of a jam session. It’s in Ryde Methodist Church and has a fantastic selection of harps from all the best UK Harp makers such as Morley, Pilgrim, Teifi, The Harp Studio, The Early Music Shop and also Accusound microphone specialists!

(L-R Marije Vijselaar / Peter Ellis / Angelina Grimshaw)
Anyhow, I’m due there again soon today so here’s a selection of photos from the first few concerts – all sold out so far and exquisite music and such broad and varied programming!

(Marije Vijselaar playing at the opening dinner at Michelangelo’s Restaurant, Ryde)

(Clara Garde at the opening concert at Ryde School)

(Zita Silva at the same concert)

(Seckou Keita Photos by Katia Grancara; concert at Ryde Methodist Church)

Yesterday, I just had to go for a plodge on Sandown Beach! It is probably my favourite beach in the world. . .

And I also went over, this week to Brading Horticultural Show. More about that in the next natter – this was one of the showpieces. How brilliant!

Have a smashing Saturday – we’ll be having a harpy jam in the Earl Mountbatten Charity Shop in Ryde at around 1pm today. See you there.





Tues 6th – Sun 11th October : KT at HARP ON WIGHT

Tues 13th October : KT teaching in Droitwich.

Wed 14th October : KT teaching at Birmingham CCE.

Thurs 15th October : KT teaching in Droitwich.

Mon 19th October (& every 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month) : KT teaching at the Temperance Hall, LONGFORD, IRELAND

6.30 – 7.30pm : SongWeavers Community Choir (no experience necessary / no auditions) 2€
7.30 – 8.30pm : Ceili and Folk Dancing for the Terrified (but curious) 5€

Monday 2nd November (& every 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month) : KT teaching at the Temperance Hall, LONGFORD, IRELAND
6.30 – 7.30pm : SongWeavers Community Choir (no experience necessary / no auditions) 2€
7.30 – 8.30pm : Ceili and Folk Dancing for the Terrified (but curious)5€

Fri 13th November : KT and Friends: CEILI AVENING, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Venue : Avening Memorial Hall, Avening (near Nailsworth), Gloucestershire
Time : 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Tickets : £16 (in advance) / Children £8 (includes supper)
Info : Piers Hansen 01453 836207 piers.hansen@btinternet.com

Monday 16th November (& every 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month) : KT teaching at the Temperance Hall, LONGFORD, IRELAND
6.30 – 7.30pm : SongWeavers Community Choir (no experience necessary / no auditions) 2€
7.30 – 8.30pm : Ceili and Folk Dancing for the Terrified (but curious)5€

Wed 18th November : KT teaching in Droitwich.
(Eve) KT teaching at Birmingham CCE.

Thurs 19th November : KT teaching in Droitwich.

Thurs 26th November : May Monday (KT & Timo Alakotila) in concert at SUTTON COLDFIELD
Venue : Wylde Green United Reformed Church, Britwell Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 5SW
Time : 7.30pm
Tickets : Entry is free but there will be a retiring collection, split between the church and May Monday.
Info : Rev Sue McCoan 0121 246 0880 / suemccoan@virginmedia.com


Fri 27th November : May Monday (& special guest) in concert as part of Trip To Birmingham Tradfest , BIRMINGHAM

Venue : Ulster Suite, Irish Centre Birmingham
Tickets : £10 / Children U14 £5
Info : http://www.birminghamtradfest.co.uk/


Trip To Birmingham Tradfest , BIRMINGHAM

This recording is available on download only; available from www.karentweed.com from 28th November and Karen and Adrian will be playing their live versions of the tracks which were recorded on a ghetto blaster 30 years ago in 1985. The recording was then copied onto several cassettes which bootlegged their way around the UK and Ireland for the subsequent 10 -15 years.
NB This download has been edited and mastered by Andy Bell but remains, warts and all, in it’s original recorded form – the quality isn’t as pristine as current CD releases but, as a field recording, remains a valuable archive.

Venue : Irish Centre Birmingham
Info : http://www.birminghamtradfest.co.uk/

Sat 28th November : May Monday (KT & Timo Alakotila) in concert at MALVERN
Venue : Elmslie House, 8 Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AG
Time : 7.30pm
Tickets : £15
Info : 07789 470780

Mon 30th November : May Monday (KT & Timo Alakotila) in concert at THROPTON, NORTHUMBERLAND
Venue : The Old Church, Coquetdale Music Trust, Thropton, Northumberland NE65 7LR
Time : 7.30pm
Tickets : £7
Info : www.karentweed.com

Thurs 10th Dec : KT performing on Johnny Coppin’s Christmas Show, Cheltenham.

Wed 16th Dec : KT teaching in Droitwich. Staying at Chrissy’s.
(Eve) KT teaching at Birmingham CCE.

Thurs 17th Dec : KT teaching in Droitwich. (daytime)

Sat 19th Dec : KT performing on Johnny Coppin’s Christmas Show, Stroud Subscription Rooms, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Fri 29th January : KT & Timo at Dublin Trad Fest Lunchtime recital


Round and about. . .
1. Feile Strokestown 9-11th October



Karen Tweed is represented worldwide by  :
Lorraine Carpenter at Different Strings Agency


+44 117 904 1870 / +44 7929 135744