us in the audience were nearly brought to tears by the harp and vocals of Jennifer White.
When she opened with the harp, we were in awe of the beauty of the celtic music, and of her virtuosity, but when she began to sing, her vocals and original, celtic-based songs were even more astonishing. From the murmurings of the crowd, and the huge smiles, it was obvious the rest of the audience was just as affected as I was. She and her partner, percussionist Robert McMaster, received a
So I was very happy when she and Mr. McMaster agreed to play for our next, Jan. 3rd (Thursday) London Open Mic Poetry Night event.
Most of Ms White’s pieces are original compositions, both melody and lyrics. They were inspired by Celtic music, myth and story. Her songs and her storytelling (which we may hear at another time) are “woven together with old tales”.
Influences? She “likes hanging out with wyrd people”. A more likely early direction came from her father, jazz cornetist Eddie White, whom she quotes as saying: “I'm just here to play!"
In her own words: “I've been an independent musical artist since 1998, mostly since I never fit nicely into corporate 9 to 5, so I had to figure out a creative way to pay the bills and keep the wolves from the door. I hooked up with an ecclectic percussionist, Robert McMaster, around the same time, who's kept life interesting around my little corner of the world. One of these days I'll get those novels out of my head and onto the page. In the meantime, I'm having fun with my music. I get to meet people I would not normally have met, and venture off to places I wouldn't otherwise have had opportunity to visit.”
Those of us who attended the Poets for Change event remember Robert McMaster as the white-bearded, beret-wearing gentleman behind the huge assortment of drums, cymbals and some kind of plate from which dangled a
multitude of spoons, one of many instruments he puts in the category of ‘Found Sound’ (which, by coincidence, is very suitable for our Jan 3rd event which he will be playing at, because its featured poet, John Tyndall, focusses to some degree on ‘found poetry’). Mr. McMaster is not only a full-time musician (percussion, 'Lacota flute, guitar), but is also an activist, having “seen more and more changes around me that are not good for the Earth or it's Peoples." In the past, he has been a photographer and body/enery worker (Kripalu massage).
A favourite quote: "Think outside of the box... but try not to fall off of the shelf." (I said that - Robert McMaster).
White and McMaster perform original music in concerts, music festivals, corporate events etc. They have one CD out ‘Jennifer White - Clarsach the Celtic harp’. A second CD is in production. A vocal track of a traditional song and three of Ms White’s original instrumentals have been featured on a number of world release compilation CDs.
Jennifer White’s website: www.Knockgrafton.com Samples of White/McMaster music here: http://www.knockgrafton.com/contents.html