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Recomposed, remoulded and gently unfolding: FitkinWall and ‘Harpland’

Internationally renowned harp and electronica duo FitkinWall (comprising harpist Ruth Wall and composer/performer Graham Fitkin, are about to embark on the second leg of the UK tour of their critically acclaimed new show: Harpland. 

FitkinWall, Photo: Steve Tanner

FitkinWall, Photo: Steve Tanner


The immersive presentation explores themes of migration, loss and longing:

“Our planet houses over 8 billion humans at the moment, and we move around an

awful lot. Migration is not new. It’s been going on for millennia. The reasons for

migration may be geological, climate based, oppressive, work related or voluntary.”


Highland-native Ruth Wall’s explorations into traditional Gaelic song tunes  have unearthed a wealth of music that has particular focus on migration within Scotland and the Highland Clearances:

Ruth Wall plays her Camac Electro harp, photo: Steve Tanner

“This performance focuses on one small aspect of migration, the eviction and

subsequent migration of farmers and crofters from the Scottish highlands during the


As only FitkinWall can, they have created a  heady mix of the ancient and the modern, creating  new work using these Scottish melodies, but “remoulded and recomposed” and interspersed with words from recent migrants in to Scotland. These fragments of folkloric material undergo surprising transformations into the searing, energetic music that is Fitkin’s signature. To complete this immersive experience,  the performance will feature a specially commissioned light installation by the extraordinary artist Peter Freeman. 

The London Jazz News has said of Ruth’s harp playing: “The harp is luminous, pastoral and urban at the same time under Wall’s fingers, she pushes the instrument to its limits.. the sound is immaculate.” 

For this show, Ruth’s performs on three different harps – Gaelic wire-strung, Bray and Camac Electro harps.  This is in itself emblematic of the way in which their work combines the very old with the very new. A sound world which is rooted in Ruth’s passion for the highly ornamented  traditional Scottish tunes, combined with cutting edge sonic and visual elements. As  a complement to the magic of Ruth’s playing, Graham uses a Moog Voyager, Ableton and various FX modules. 

As FitkinWall  tell us: “The melodies are still there but distilled.” You can hear an excerpt here of the haunting ‘Gently unfolding’ tune, ‘Uist’ and gain a sense of this fragile, but vital, utterly unique sound world.

Ruth Wall, photo: Steve Tanner

Ruth Wall, photo: Steve Tanner

Below are the spring/ summer dates, with more planned for the Autumn, we urge anyone in the UK not to miss this important feat of artistic imagination and endeavour.

Spring/Summer Dates 2024

15 May Howard Assembly Rooms Leeds

17 May Tolbooth, Stirling

18 May The Queens Hall, Edinburgh

19 May Eden Court, Inverness

23 May Shetland Arts, Shetland

28 May NCEM, York

29 May The Stables, Wavendon

5 June Lakeside Arts, Nottingham

11 June The Haymarket, Basingstoke

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