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About Savourna Stevenson

The Scottish harp has provided the vehicle for Savourna Stevenson's musical message. In addition to recording a series of memorable solo albums, Stevenson has worked with the upper echelon of British and Celtic folk music. She collaborated with British vocalist June Tabor and double bass player Danny Thompson in 1995 on a major composition, Singing the Storm, that was commissioned for the Borders Festival in Scotland. She joined with Irish multi-instrumentalist Danny Spillane, the Ross of Mull Ladies Choir, and her longtime pianist Anne Wood two years later to record an album, Calman the Dove, celebrating the advent of Celtic Christianity in Iona. Stevenson has also collaborated with Scottish fiddler Aly Bain of Boys of the Lough fame. She recorded an album of original songs, Transatlantic Sessions, with accompaniment provided by Bain, Thompson, and Donal Lunny. Stevenson has been embraced by the musical press. While Mojo claimed that she was "leading something of a one-woman revolution in the rarefied world of small harps," the London Sunday Times explained that she "draws together strands of ragtime, funk, Scots folk traditions, blues, and even African influences with invention, virtuosity, and joy." The Scotsman summed it up by claiming that she was "borne on the wings of enviable technical dexterity and outstanding musicianship." While her debut album, Tickled Pink, released in 1984, combined original songs and unique interpretations of traditional tunes, Stevenson has become increasingly daring. Her 1990 album, Tweed Journey, was recorded with a seven-piece band comprised of veteran jazz and rock session players. Stevenson has been celebrated as much for her songwriting skills as for her musicianship. Several of her original songs, written with a variety of lyricists, were covered by Tabor in 1995. Her lengthy composition, Tusitala, Teller of Tales, provided the soundtrack for two BBC Omnibus shows about the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. ~ Craig Harris

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