A master in the performance and traditions of the Gaelic harp, Ann Heymann continues to spearhead the instrument's revival. From the start she chose to play in the traditional manner: resting the harp on her left shoulder so the right hand plays the bass and the left hand plays the treble, striking the brass strings with her fingernails, and damping with the fingerpads. Known for her symbiotic relationship with her instrument and her ability to wed performance practice with the recorded literary tradition, Ann is the first modern harper
Other contributions Ann has made to the instrument include:
Under the name "Clairseach" (Irish for "Gaelic harp"), Ann and Charlie perform a broad spectrum of repertoire--from traditional and historical to Ann's own compositions--throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Their collaboration extends to giving presentations on their research in related areas such as Gaelic harp mythology and the performance of medieval bardic poetry. Ann inspires professionals and learners alike, and is frequently asked to lead workshops and masterclasses. Her definitive solo CD "Queen of Harps" documents the virtuosic capability of the Gaelic harp. Current projects with Charlie include investigating the symbiotic relationship between the harp and Gaelic bardic poetry; religious chant of the Celtic rite; medieval monophonic dance music; the presentation of Gaelic oral narrative poetry; the role of the clairseach in palliative care; and completing their investigation into the metallurgy of historical clairseach stringing.