Claire Roche and myself, John of Celtic Ways, are developing and already touring with our “Veil between Two Worlds” show during March and October each year to various countries around the world.
The content of each show is to fit the capacity and budget of each event so this is a show that can equally be performed in living rooms and small galleries as it can in theatres, concerts halls and outdoors in festivals.
Claire sings songs that are mainly a combination of her original Celtic, Gothic and Inspirational stories, Irish poems set to music and ancient Irish songs along with popular songs, called traditional, but are from more recent Irish history.
Claire accompanies herself with antique concert harps, an Irish harp and, where possible, grand piano too
John’s passion is performance of ancient stories through folk drama traditions taken from ancient Celtic celebration rituals, sacred plays, fertility plays and mummer’s plays. John has also been know to write and sing songs from time to time too.
Where possible and appropriate this show is accompanied by traditional and classical Irish dancers.
The plot of the show
Though I had thought similar in the past the plot was sealed after an exchange of emails with students of ancient Phoenicia, especially in Lebanon, who informed me of the Hebrew and other ancient languages origin of the word “druid”.
Druid, according to their research, is a combination of two words vaguely meaning “vision through the wood”
The origin word for “dru” is the same word that developed into “dara” and “derry” in Ireland to become known at “sacred oaks”. The other half “id” comes from “vid” which we know as part of “video” but was once the word for “vision” or what we may call “vision and inspiration from another place” which may be as simple as our great spirit given gift of imagination that leads to our physical creation of all things.
Putting this all together it leads us to an ancient mythology when all ancient kings of the middle east, and the ancient high kings of Ireland were essentially harpers. They became kings, and some queens, through their ability to communicate “visions” through the wood, the wood of their harps, that amplified and communicated the vibrations from their strings through space and not touch.
The harps, therefore, were the “Veil Between Two Worlds”, the worlds of the physical and the unseen “otherworld”.
Add to this the reverence of birds being a physical presence of the otherworld because aside from the harps, they were the only other communicators of melody through their song. This is probably why ancient people created rituals, ceremonies and celebrations that mimic the behaviour of birds, especially sea birds.
Since writing the above I have been reminded that some ancient people discovered melody through boring scaled holes in bones and stones and blowing through them, but whether this was before or after the harp is unknown because another person informed me that the harp evolved from the hunting bow, and another person told me that the hunting bow invention evolved from the earliest one string harp which to me adds another interpretation of Eros.
So, “The Veil Between Two Worlds” is a collection of scenes and stories to share with audiences that attempts to re-enact these ancient wonders in a way that is entertaining, fun and inspiring for now. We hope our shows will both help you to relax, feel some joy, and cause you to laugh.
This is usually a two part show
Part One: a selection of one, two, or more stories from John’s “Seven Celtic Ways Tales”
"In Comes The Harp"
the arrival of the harp into Ireland
"The Birth Of Bhride"
the romance, battle and peace that concluded with the birth of Bhride, later to become revered as Brigid
"The Sword Of Lugh"
an ancient story of the making of a warrior, chieftain and king
"What Really Did Happen To Diarmuid And Grainne?"
as the traditional epic story told has flaws, but this alternative creates wonder that’s relevant today
"From Erin to Avalon"
a tale of how the Arthurian legends may started in north west Erin and travelled to Glastonbury
"X Marks The Spot"
from the ancient story that created skull and crossbones legends to today's “secret” orders
"The Passage Of Sanctuary "
a bit of a Blackadder story with the genes of an ancient medicine man passing through the birth of druids and priests through time
These stories are told and woven by the songs and music of Claire plus any other performers present.
Part Two: is for the present, for you
With singer and harps present this is a delightful time to request songs and tunes of Ireland and share Claire’s delightful and entertaining tales of learning, travelling and performing with the harp.
Claire performs favourite requests such as Lake Isle Of Inishfree, Star of County Down, Raglan Road, Galway Shawl, Salley Gardens and even wonderful arrangements of well trodden songs like Wild Mountain Thyme, Cockles And Mussels and Danny Boy.
Of course, also enjoy Claire’s originals now often requested by fans such as Dedication, Fields Of Fasseroe, Symbolic and The Longing.
Web Site & Online Presence
In due course this article will develop into a full web site.
For now you can visit these sites for additional info
The most up to dates are posted on Claire’s web site until we post dates here
You can read and watch this from John’s Celtic Ways site where it is also worth subscribing to the newsletter for recent news
This is currently John’s page but always has the very latest news
John’s book is not published yet, will be soon, but its worth setting the scene with Claire’s recordings available as CDs, digital downloads or as a digital collection on a flash drive.
Podcasts and videocasts will follow shortly too.
We look forward to meeting you on tour, at our conferences, in Ireland and online