Listen to Bir Damet Yasmin, recorded from a live performance on KALQ radio.

Listen to Jenny Plucks Pears from Chris’s Holy Wood CD.          

                                                               QuickTime required to play samples.

Go to Chris’s MySpace page to listen to more of his music and see his impressive Discography.

The concert will be combined with two workshops - Harps without Borders, and Pizza-box Bodhrán - both for all levels.  (These are popular workshops at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival.)

Chris Caswell
Harps without Borders
A Magical Evening of Music & Song & a Little Too Much Talk with one of the Masters of the Modern Celtic Harp.
Chris’s Second Auburn House Concert
Saturday,  March 6, 2010, 7:30 PM

Sharon and I first met Chris at Lark in the Morning World Music & Dance Camp where he taught his famous Guerilla Music Theory class. See my class notes. I also thoroughly enjoyed his Scottish Trance Music class where we sang piebroch.

Chris Caswell is a true Celtic bard and a natural raconteur. He casts a bright spell through his intense and creative playing, songs, and obvious delight in what he’s doing. His music is informed by Wales, the Middle East, Latin America, the French countryside–anywhere from which his experience can move the listener in an essential way.

Beginning in 1976, Chris recorded three albums and toured North America and Europe with Robin Williamson and His Merry Band. In 1980 he formed Caswell Carnahan with Danny Carnahan and recorded two albums (re-released in 1995).

HOLY WOOD (2001) is Chris's solo bronze-strung harp album displays this rare and hauntingly beautiful instrument in a mix of the popular and eclectic from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and France. CELTIC TIDINGS (1999) is his well-loved Christmas CD. He is on over thirty recordings, including Bonnie Rideout's multi-award-winning GIVE ME ELBOW ROOM and Grammy- nominated KINDRED SPIRITS. Chris was a featured artist with Bonnie’s national A Scottish Christmas tour, 1998-99 and Live from the National Geographic, 1997.

Chris has been making harps for over 30 years. He makes both a traditional and an innovative Hybrid Harp Series.

Visit Caswell Harps and you might just learn something. Check out Living Music in Your Life.

Based on our classes with Chris at band camp we strongly recommend that you attend the workshops he’ll be holding the afternoon of the concert. Free your mind of musical expectations and open it to other avenues of sound. It doesn’t matter what you think the class is “about”, you need to be there experiencing in order to learn and grow as a musician.

I vividly remember someone sitting in on a session of the Guerilla Music Theory class who had an advanced degree in music composition from UC Santa Cruz, “a composer”. Needless to say he studied a lot of classic music theory during his university training. I believe we were talking about just intonation and building natural chords when this fellow sat up straight, his expression lit up and he said, “So that’s what it means. I’ll been using these terms my whole life and never understood before, now it makes sense.”

Class descriptions, times and other information about the workshops may be found on the Caswell Workshops page.

Workshops, the afternoon of March 6, 2010
     Harps without Borders &
     Pizza-box Bodhrán../../Caswell_Workshops.html../../Caswell_Workshops.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1

Chris Caswell is a Renaissance man of the Celtic Arts. He is a renowned Celtic Harpist and also plays the tin whistle, Irish flute, highland bagpipes, tar (lute), English concertina, chromatic button accordion, harmonium, tambura, bodhrán, congas, briefcase, tambourine and Scotch snare. He also sings and writes songs.

His passion is the harp.

What the Critics Say

"I deeply appreciate the quality...that I feel in every note. What a relief! It allows my heart to settle and open into the effect of the music on subtle levels, which I have found is not often the case with other Celtic music I have heard. I feel that for the first time I am able to connect with the finer sentiments of this music and it is very sweet indeed." (L. H., Iowa, on Holy Wood)

“When you play I find that dancer inside of myself and am dancing freely and naturally. Your music bypasses my mind, resonating with something more essential within me, much like reading ecstatic poetry.” (R. C., California, on Chris’s live performance)

"Chris Caswell is particularly versatile playing flute, penny-whistle, Scots harp and bodhran, the last a drum, and playing all well." (Variety)

"Chris is well-known worldwide as a maker of fine harps and he's an incredible performer as well." (Plowshares Newsletter, San Francisco)

"Not all the current crop of harp albums feature the harp as a lead voice. Caswell Carnahan's new LP "Borderlands" shows the harp in quite a different role. Chris Caswell, one of this country's leading harp makers, plays one of his harps on much of the album, but he uses it in the arrangements like a string section–or more aptly like the Celtic equivalent of the ubiquitous Rhodes piano. It seldom stands out, but if you listen for it, you'll hear it in the mix, tying everything else together, smoothing out the seams." (Jim Hatlo, Frets Magazine)

“A prolonged residence in the United States during the 1970's saw the formation of Robin Williamson's Merry Band, a group who combined the early instrumentation and musical intricacy of The Chieftains with the drive and immediacy of American roots music. In so doing, they provided the blueprint for Loreena McKennitt and a host of others in the creation of what's commonly regarded as North American "Celtic music" today. (

Music Samples

Jenny Plucks Pears, Auburn House Concert 2008

Leaving the Auld Music, Auburn House Concert 2008

Go to Chris’s YouTube site for additional videos.