Valerie Klemetti Blessley | Northern Light

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Celtic Muse Kim Robertson Sylvan Gray

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MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic Nexhit Blessley Instruments Web Site PassAlong Tradebit

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United States - Washington

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Folk: Traditional Folk World: Scandinavian Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Northern Light

by Valerie Klemetti Blessley

Luscious Celtic and Scandinavian music on harp and Finnish kantele. Step into Northern Light and drift through the mystical lands of the Irish bards and Finnish poets with dulcet harp, bright kantele and lyric woodwinds.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Planxty Fanny Power
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2:31 $0.99
2. Kalevala Melody
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2:26 $0.99
3. Hermanni ja Miina
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1:53 $0.99
4. Bridget Cruise & Eleanor Plunkett
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2:48 $0.99
5. St. Urho's Waltz (Pyhän Uhron Valssi)
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1:29 $0.99
6. Lapatossu
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2:03 $0.99
7. Carolan's Dream
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2:49 $0.99
8. Fynbo
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2:05 $0.99
9. Mun Kanteleeni (My Kantele)
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2:29 $0.99
10. Runolauluja (Runesongs)
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3:43 $0.99
11. Nonesuch
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2:22 $0.99
12. Pakkasjenkka (Frosty Day Schottische)
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1:44 $0.99
13. Valssi Halsualta
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2:56 $0.99
14. Mairi's Wedding & Fairy Dance
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1:49 $0.99
15. Koivukannel (Birchwood Harp)
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2:22 $0.99
16. Tuoll' on Mun Kultani (There is My Sweetheart)
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2:33 $0.99
17. Lord Inchiquin
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2:02 $0.99
18. Deer in a Riverside Meadow
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1:24 $0.99
19. Maitopolkka (Milk Polka)
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2:21 $0.99
20. My Lagan Love
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2:33 $0.99
21. Planxty Irwin
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1:59 $0.99
22. Carolan's Draught
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1:37 $0.99
23. Lachen
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1:00 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Northern Light - Artists seek it; wise men follow it.

Since the 19th century, the kantele has been the Finnish national instrument. Its history dates back about 2000 years, and is described in the epic poem, the Kalevala. In the epic, the hero Väinämöinen made the first kantele from the jawbone of a pike. Its music was so powerful that the whole world stopped to listen. The traditional instrument was carved from a single piece of wood with 5 strings stretched across the sound board. Modern day kanteles may have up to 38 strings, and some also have sharping mechanisms.

Valerie Klemetti Blessley began playing the kantele several years ago in Portland, OR, after playing the harp for many years. Making the transition between the instruments has been challenging as she has learned new techniques of string playing. Her kantele playing style is a hybrid of classical harp and folk kantele techniques. Valerie began playing music during childhood, when she learned to play the recorder and flute.

She has studied harp with David Harper, in Albuquerque, NM and Marion Fouse in Portland, OR. Most recently, Valerie has studied kantele with kantele masters Wilho Saari and Cathy Cushing of Washington state, and Dr. Arja Kastinen, a respected Finnish kantele professor/performer.

When not playing harps, Valerie works with her husband, Dr. Mark Blessley, in their woodworking shop making harps as Blessley Instruments. She has taught harp lessons for several years in Vancouver, WA. Valerie also teaches pottery, photography and resource room at the high school level in Vancouver.

Valerie plays harp, kantele, and woodwinds in the popular northwest duo, Celtic Muse with Jennifer Pratt-Walter. She also performs with the Finnish-American kantele ensemble, Livakat, and the trio, Soittorasia (Music Box), in the Vancouver - Portland area.

Look for her book of harp music entitled, A Harper's Croft, and her
Celtic Muse recordings, Wind and Wood: A Sylvan Dance and
Merry and Bright: Harp for the Holidays at www.pacifier.com/~blesses, www.soundtracks.com or www.amazon.com.

Instruments on this album are: 36 string Songbird harp, Blessley Instruments, Vancouver, WA; 36 string diatonic kantele, Jussi Ala-Kuha, Töysä, Finland; 10 string kantele, Kaustisen Soitinverstas, Kaustinen Finland; 5 string kantele, Väinämöisen Laulu, Forest Grove, OR; Armstrong flute; Moeck baroque recorder; Sweetheart maple pennywhistle.


Reviews


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Rachelle Johnson

Enchanting
I felt this cd is beautiful, relaxing, yet magical. I love the way it brings the listeners in and capture them in the story. I often found myself day dreaming in sorts from the music. Thanks for sharing your gift so others such as I may enjoy it!

Arja Kastinen

Doctor of Music
Valerie Blessley is a skilled and manysided musician. On this album she creates exciting contrasts between the archaic kantele-sound and delicate timbres of harp. With her music you can travel to timeless world.