Magical Strings in Concert April 22, 2017

  April 22, 2017- Magical Strings in Concert (full size gallery)

We had 40 for this spring concert of Magical Strings, a duo of Philip and Pam Boulding. The attendance was probably affected due to the rain, the number of events on earth day and the day of the week of Saturday of Easter week with people on vacation. The candles and flowers in the windows set a mood for the shop.

Pam is the spokesperson for the group and plays hammered dulcimer and ocarina. Philip plays 2 different sized celtic harps, hammered dulcimer, mountain dulicmer, guitar, pennywhistles and Iris Accordian. Besides this he made the dulcimers, harps, and guitar used in the concert! You read it right! He was apprenticed to a guitar maker and with a  love of Irish music this was extended into instruments for his Irish pieces.

The group has been playing almost 30 years. Since 1980 Magical Strings has recorded 18 albums on Flying Fish/Rounder, EarthBeat Records, and their own label, Magic Hill Music. They were promoting their newest CD, "Fairy Wind."   Their children are also musicians and they have family concerts in December as they have done for 39 years.

Philip and Pam have performed on radio and television networks around the country, including ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ NPR’s Weekend Edition, CNN both at home and in Europe, and prime time TV in Japan.

The Bouldings run the well-known School of Magical Strings, inspiring students of the Celtic harp and hammered dulcimer since 1978. They design and manufacture instruments for an international clientele (over 2,600 built to date) and continue to host the annual Magic Hill Summer Harp Camp on their property.

The concert featured Philip stories of how the pieces were composed, most around their frequent trips to Ireland. One composed around a boat trip to Skellig Michael, one about who stayed in a cave for 7 years for penitence, and another for Philip’s mother. "Fairy Wind" was the result of a sound pattern he heard on his travels. His stories were captivating and enlarged the songs he played.

Thanks to Mike and Marilyn Newman who are friends with the Bouldings and brought them here. Thanks to Cookie for the reception. This is our 5th year for concerts so we thank Catherine for continuing this ministry of outreach to the larger community.

Here is their website.  Selections of their music are on youtube. We hope to have them back. They were very warm, friendly people who loved the St. Peter’s acoustics.

Leave a Comment