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MP3 Jo Morrison - Flights of Fantasy

Relaxing and evocative Celtic harp music brings a sense of peace and inspiration to listeners.

16 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Celtic New Age, FOLK: Celtic Folk

Jo Morrison is nationally known for her evocative interpretation of Scottish and Irish music on the harp. Chuck Lipsig from Green Man Review''s Best of 2000 listings states "Jo gets more out of the harp than should be possible."

Having spent several months in 2005 teaching, writing music, and performing on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Jo''s knowledge and understanding of the Celtic genre puts her in great demand as performer, adjudicator, and teacher across the country. “Morrison is at ease with this authentic Celtic music, and lends to it a sense of honest exuberance I find refreshing.” -- The Harp Column.

She frequently performs with the Celtic duo, Port Righ, featuring harp and shuttle pipe, the Highland Pipe''s quieter cousin. The duo has performed concerts at locations such as the Library of Congress, Somerset Harp Festival, the Smithsonian, various Scottish Festivals around the United States and also in Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. Their commitment to a traditional style gives them a sound comfortable both in today''s modern society and also fitting for Renaissance festivals, historic sites, and other re-creationist events. Port Righ released their first recording in 2007: "Na Bi Górach – Don''t be Foolish."

When not performing, Jo spends her time teaching harp privately and in classes and workshops, and composing and arranging Celtic music for the Celtic harp. She is Vice-President for Washington Area Folk Harp Society and has previously served as Benefit Coordinator for the WAFHS and the Competition Chair and Board Member for the Scottish Harp Society of America. She also teaches harp at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, Maryland, and has taught at the Ohio Scottish Arts School, the Somerset Harp Festival, and at the Midsummer Harp Course on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. She has served as harp judge at numerous Celtic harp competitions, including the U.S. National Scottish Harp Championship.

Jo’s musical gifts shine in her solo recordings. On her debut album, The Three Musics (1998), she gathers several guest instrumentalists to celebrate the different musics performed by Celtic harpers of old: the musics of mirth, sorrow, and sleep. Jo intermingles arrangements of traditional tunes with her own original compositions “to create an atmosphere that brings to mind both modern coffee shops and halls of ancient kings” (Ellen Rawson, Femmusic). Jo followed this success with the critically acclaimed A Waulking Tour of Scotland (2000), leading listeners on a musical journey “pregnant with sights and flavors of an entire country” (Tom Knapp, Rambles). Jo''s Christmas offering, Christmas Gifts (2003), is a collection of carols from around the world. "These eighteen tracks contain the meaning of the season within them, and will bring joy to the heart of any listener." (Naomi de Bruyn, Linear Reflections) By Request (2004) is Jo''s musical reply to the oft-posed question, "When are you going to record that tune?" Featuring well-known favorites and Celtic classics, this CD is solo harp, so there are no other instruments or vocals to distract from the sublime sound of Jo and her harp. Jo’s most recent release, Flights of Fantasy (2008), explores themes and inspiration she has encountered in recent years in an all-original music CD with traditional roots.

In addition to these albums, Jo appears on the Washington Area Folk Harp Society’s live recording of their 2000 Benefit Concert, The Song of the Selkie. She is also featured on the soundtrack to the Scholastic edition of the children’s book Rainbabies, recorded with John Jennings in 1999. She has published three popular collections of harp arrangements, "The Three Musics of the Celtic Harp," "The Morrison Scottish Repertoire Book," and "The Beginning Harper''s Tunebook," which is rapidly becoming a standard for beginning folk harpers.

Jo has also embarked on a new frontier in harping for her, studying in the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) to learn to provide therapeutic music for those who are ill or dying. She recently received a scholarship from the Jan Pennington Gray Foundation to complete her studies in this program, and looks forward to putting this new aspect of her music to work.

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