This year, Jim will be releasing an album of all instrumental pieces entitled "Piece by Piece" The 12 original compositions will be released at the end of each month throughout the year; the final of which to be released on New Year's eve 2014. Jim plans to launch it as a CD at some point in 2015, which will also coincide with the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking award-winning album, Gypsy.
Born in 1670 in Nobber, County Meath, Ireland, Turlough O'Carolan was a blind early Irish harper, composer and singer whose great fame is due to his gift for melodic composition.
After being blinded by smallpox, at the age of eighteen he was apprenticed to a good harper.
At the age of twenty-one, being given a horse and a guide, he set out to travel Ireland and compose songs for various patrons.
He is considered by many to be Ireland's national composer.
He composed both songs and instrumental harp music, reflecting various styles of composition.
Some of his compositions show influence from the style of the continental classical music of the time, whereas others such as Carolan's Farewell to Music reflect a much older style of "Gaelic Harping".
Many of his songs are designated as "planxties", a word that he apparently invented or popularized to signify a tribute to a merry host.
In return for writing songs in honor of wealthy patrons, he was often welcomed as an honored guest to stay on their estates.
It is said that weddings and funerals were sometimes delayed until he could arrive to perform.
For almost fifty years, he journeyed from one end of Ireland to the other, composing and performing his tunes.
He died on March 25, 1738.
More than two hundred of his compositions have survived to this day.
This piece was composed in the spirit of a tribute, "An Ode to Turlough".
May his music live on!
The Handler project is a bi-national music collaboration between Newfoundland's well-known Jim Fidler and musician, composer/arranger, record producer Jörgen Hansson from Sweden.
Both blind, these two individuals endeavor to combine and activate something seemingly much lost these days; the human imagination "the theatre of the mind".
"When I grew up we were all excited about the future and the possibilities it held, such things as star trek and the album Autobaun by Kraftwerk really stimulated the imagination. We were all looking forward to the future and I have heard it said that the future is here." If that be the case, does this mean we should stop dreaming about the future? The Handler Project says no. - Jim Fidler