Darcy Nair; vocals and hammered dulcimer with Irish bouzouki, bodhran and bones. Music from Celtic, American and Maritime folk traditions. About Darcy

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I feel my heart fly             Released April 24, 1999
Featuring hammered dulcimer solos and vocals with guitar, fiddle, whistles, banjo and percussion

"Dulcimer fans in particular should want this one, but anyone who enjoys Celtic music with a delicate touch should try it out."
Tom Knapp, Rambles Magazine -- Full Review

"Nancy Whiskey," from I feel my heart fly was selected for Oasis Duplication's 2000 compilation CD -- distributed to radio stations nationwide.

The Musicians -- special guests
The Music -- liner notes
The Production -- studio and production credits
Dedication and Special Thanks
To order by mail
Kudos from listeners!

The Musicians
All arrangements by Darcy Nair and the musicians who participated in this recording:

Bernard Argent -- pennywhistle and wooden flute
Lynn Cunningham -- dumbek
Ira Gitlin -- banjo and guitar
Brad Howard -- harmony vocals
Elena Larsen -- harmony vocals and vocal arrangements
Karin Loya -- cello
Al Petteway -- guitar
Jim Rockwell -- bones
Liberty Rucker -- fiddle
Craig Williams -- guitar and bodhran

The Music

Rise Up and Dress Yourself/Sixth of May (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Craig Williams: guitar
Coincidentally, the first Irish tunes that I learned on the hammered dulcimer go together nicely. In "Rise Up and Dress Yourself," a bridegroom urges his bride-to-be to get ready so they can go to the church and be wed. Imagine, a groom in a hurry...

Fiddler's Hymn (Pete Sutherland)
Darcy: vocal, harmony vocal
Elena Larsen: harmony vocal, vocal arrangement
While it is certainly true that I'm not a fiddle player, this song really expresses the pure joy that I get out of music.

Carolan's Cup (Turlough O'Carolan)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Craig Williams: guitar
Bernard Argent: pennywhistle, wooden flute
Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan made his living as a traveling musician in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His compositions survive only as single line melodies -- interpretations of these tunes are as varied as the artists who play them.

Waves on the Sea (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, harmony vocal, hammered dulcimer
Ira Gitlin: guitar
Brad Howard: harmony vocal
I've been singing sea shanties for years, so I was delighted by this one. Imagine the classic "shipwreck" song, but with a little bluegrass flavor!

St. Basil's Hymn (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
I was a big fan of George Winston's piano solos in college. Years later, I taught myself this tune as a fun exercise: the right and left hands play different parts. I checked the liner notes from George Winston's recording, and it turns out that he was inspired by famous hammered dulcimer musician Malcolm Dalglish's version of this traditional Greek Orthodox carol -- for hammered dulcimer.

Arise, Arise (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, hammered dulcimer
Ira Gitlin: guitar, muted banjo
Elena Larsen: harmony vocal, vocal arrangement
A young man comes to his love's window one night and bids her ask her parents' permission to marry him. She tells him that only will they not give their blessing, but her father is prepared to kill him. In many versions, the suitor leaves and one or both lovers commits suicide or dies of grief. I decided instead to repeat the song's opening words and leave the lovers with more open options.

Spatter the Dew (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Al Petteway: guitar
Jim Rockwell: bones
Al's guitar backup sounds like pure rock n'roll here. However, some of the chord progressions are modal, and therefore closer to Celtic music's roots than I thought!

Loch Tay Boat Song (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, hammered dulcimer with padded hammers
Bernard Argent: pennywhistle
Karen Loya: cello
A Mrs. Cameron in Inverailort collected the melody for this classic tale of heartache in 1870. Harold Boulton's translation from the traditional Gaelic appeared soon after in the three-volume Songs of the North (1885-1926).

Nancy Whiskey/Mountain Road (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, harmony vocal
Ira Gitlin: guitar, banjo
Liberty Rucker : fiddle
A riches-to-rags story, this song first appeared in print the early 1900s. Calton is a district of Glasgow in Scotland that was famous for its weaver's workshops at the time. Our hero, being a Carlton weaver, is quite a prosperous man. That is, until he meets "Nancy" whiskey, the drink that leads to his ruin. The fiddle takes the lead on "Mountain Road," a traditional American tune.

The Sunset (Cathal McConnell, Seamus Quinn)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer with padded hammers
Bernard Argent: flute
For Doug.

Lagan Love (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, harmony vocal
Elena Larsen: harmony vocal, vocal arrangement
Al Petteway: guitar
One of those rare Irish love songs in which no one dies or is left alone and brokenhearted.

Broken Pledge (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Ira Gitlin: banjo, guitar
Liberty Rucker: fiddle
This was a favorite with Elena Larsen, Liberty Rucker and me when we worked together in the band Homebrew. It amused us to do this tune at wedding gigs.

Eight & Forty Faeries/Eight & Forty Sisters (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Lynn Cunningham: dumbek
Two variations on a single tune. While playing the first, I imagined tiny winged creatures flitting around (hence the title). Adding the dumbek brings it back down to earth.

Chˆ¨ Mi Na Morbheanna (Mist Covered Mountains) (traditional)
Darcy: vocal, hammered dulcimer
Craig Williams: guitar
Liberty Rucker : fiddle
This is a favorite that I've sung in different arrangements with several different music groups. This time, I recorded it in Gaelic for Mike Field's original play, Manassas! A Civil War Christmas which debuted in December, 1998 with Vpstart Crow Theatre Company. The variation on the melody was inspired by Mark Knopfler's beautiful interpretation for the movie Local Hero.

The Galtee Hunt/Flowers of Edinborough/Rakes of Mallow (traditional)
Darcy: hammered dulcimer
Craig Williams: guitar, bodhran
Jim Rockwell: bones
A lively set of three popular Irish session tunes. You might recognize the rollicking "Rakes of Mallow" from the classic John Wayne film The Quiet Man.

The Production

Produced by Darcy Nair and Scott Twiford

Recorded, mixed, edited and produced at Big Bear Productions
Falls Church, VA.
Recording Engineer: Scott Twiford

Mastering by Cue Mastering, Ltd.
Falls Church, VA.
Mastering Engineer: Doug Johnson

Duplications by Oasis
Flint Hill, VA.

Augusta Grand 15/16 hammered dulcimer built by Nick Blanton

Cover design and layout by Karen Fletcher
Photographs by Douglas Bond

CDRs AVAILABLE: The second printing of Darcy's debut solo CD I feel my heart fly is pending until the second CD is mostly done and paid for. However, CDR copies are available on request. Email Darcy if you are interested in a CDR. Thank you so much for your support of this independent recording!
Dedicated to:

My mother, Regina B. Nair -- who taught me to love singing
My father, Richard Nair -- who showed me by example that pursuing one's passion takes hard work and dedication
Elena Larsen -- who shared her talent with me for 8 years
Douglas Bond -- for his love and support

Special Thanks to:

The Bear, Butterscotch the Giant Dog, Jody Marshall, Jennifer Cutting, Steve Schneider, Karen Ashbrook, Carolyn Spedden, Mike Field, C.J. Crowe, The Pyrates Royale, Tim Shaw and the participants and audiences at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.


Your debut album is a definite "must have."
-- Karen Beleck

Wonderful CD! Got it at the Pyrate Home Companion, and been playing it since Sunday, and I can't get enough of it! Your CD is a work of art. Different from the Pyrates, and in a class all by itself. I hope that there will be enough interest to get more of this type of music from you!
-- Matthew Blades

This season I purchased 11 CDs at various Faires. I've been listening to them for weeks at work (heheh gotta love computers with CD players in them). Well, there is one CD that I find myself listening to more than all the rest. That CD would be "I feel my heart fly." From the moving rendition of "Chi Mi Na Morbheanna," to the haunting "St. Basil's Hymn," this is a CD that I, for one, will not grow tired of playing repeatedly. This is the CD I play when people ask me about Faire music.
-- "Trong Trongersoll"

Congratulations, Darcy, on a lovely show and CD!
-- Carolyn Owen

Your new cd is beautiful. We just got home from Southern Maryland [Celtic Festival] and listened to it. It is lovely. You did a great job.
-- Bob and Karen Stanford

We just wanted you to know how proud we are of your wonderful CD. Chris really liked it a lot, as did I.
-- Brad Howard

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