On her tenth release, Angels in Disguise, Celtic harpist Kim Robertson adds a new dimension to her music: The evocative sounds of her voice, previously heard only in concert.
Along with her own arrangements of Irish, Scottish, and Japanese instrumentals, Kim has included five elegant original songs and two scottish folk songs that capture the haunting quality of her vocals. The album opens with Doucement, one of two selections with French lyrics inspired by her years of study in France. These pieces, along with Hello My Friend, speak eloquently of timeless love, while selections like Contemplate and Angels in Disguise reflect on the power of imagination to transcend limitation.
The dreamy production quality of the album adds to the magic and clarity of Kim's expressive vocals. Her crystalline harp melodies are further enhanced by warm, ethereal instrumental arrangements featuring violin, hammered dulcimer, guitar and percussion. After listening to this celestial yet sensuous music, you may wonder if Kim herself is an angel in disguise.
Kim Robertson's name has become synonymous with the gentle but powerfully evocative Celtic harp, an instrument which for a thousand years held within its strings and wood the spiritual heartbeat and poetic breath of the Celtic race. Kim Robertson's remarkable ability to reach into its strings and pull from it hidden treasures has made her one of the most popular harpists performing today.
Combining the authentic traditions of the Celtic Harp with a dynamic flair for world rhythms and on-the-edge improvisation, Kim Robertson has stretched the boundaries of the harp. This daring redefinition of harp music is at its most vibrant in her concert appearances. Remarking on her greatest love, live performance, she says, "That's where the magic is...between the audience and the performer...that's when I truly express myself. Without that experience, I don't think I could make meaningful recordings. Not only can I see how people are responding, but I take more chances playing live."
Kim Robertson's repertoire includes timeless Celtic melodies, classical, Renaissance and medieval works, and original compositions which, since the release of her 1991 album, Angels in Disguise, also feature her beautiful lyrics and vocals.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Kim Robertson began studying piano at age eight, continuing on into college as a piano major. I was in Kim Robertson's senior year of high school that Kim first began to learn the pedal or orchestral harp. "I was never a very good pedal harp student since I was not interested in a symphonic career. I found it fascinating only as a sideline."
Kim Robersons introduction to improvisation early on by a jazz pianist enlarged her musical vision, freeing her from the need for written music. This freedom influenced both her piano and classical harp training, building trust in her own creative instincts and allowing many future innovations in her style.
In the mid-70's, Kim Robertson discovered the Celtic harp. This quickly evolved into a profound love for the instrument and set her upon the original path of exploration for which she is renowned. In 1979, she moved to the California coast where she was approached by Invincible Music.
The first recording session turned into her debut recording Wind Shadows with producer Liv Singh Khalsa, a rich blend of old Irish melodies and original compositions whose success projected Kim Robertson onto the vanguard of the new acoustic scene.
Kim Robertson's love affair with Celtic music has blossomed into a highly visible performing, recording, and teaching career. Her work encompasses 18 recording projects including Tender Shepherd, Love Song to a Planet, and her 1993 appearance on the Sugo harp anthology Harvest Moon. Kim Robertson has published nine volumes of harp arrangements and two instructional videos and pursues an international itinerary of concerts, workshops, and retreats. Through the prism of the Celtic harp, one of the world's oldest and most loved instruments, Kim Robertson has found and focused her artistic vision to create an intimate and universal chamber music of the heart.