'Uisce' (pronounced 'ishka') is the Irish word for water, and the ethereal sound of solo harp often reminds me of the sound of water. This album is a collection of some of my favorite folk tunes I have learned over the years from friends and colleagues in different world traditions, and a few modern compositions by my friend/producer Barry Phillips, a cellist and composer who writes folk and classical music. A lot of the pieces were originally arranged for harp orchestra, and played in the Santa Cruz Harp Festival, an annual event held every Winter Solstice in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California. The Harp Festival is a celebration of world music traditions interpreted through the voice of the harp - an instrument that appears in many cultures all of the globe, from the Scottish clarsach to the African kora; the triple harp of Wales to the classical pedal harp. 'Uisce' features a lot of tunes played at the Harp Festival, and one of my favorites is an arrangement by Barry of a Swedish polonaise, first learned from Mikael Marin (Vasen) and then arranged for baroque ensemble, then stolen by us harpists and played in the harp orchestra. Another much-loved piece is 'Chipembere', which means rhinoceros - a tune from the Shona culture of Zimbabwe, learned from the Kuzanga Marimba band and then adapted for two folk harps. Then there are some rollicking Irish jigs, a somewhat traditional Welsh harp solo, a haunting melody from Japan, and a kopanitsa from Bulgaria... I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I have enjoyed playing them. Cheers! - Jesse.