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Eleanor Dunsdon & Gregor Black

Eleanor Dunsdon and Gregor Black are a Glasgow-based harp and percussion duo, who met during their postgraduate studies in Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2022. Blending their respective sounds of Scottish clarsach and Irish bodhrán, along with contemporary percussion and vocals, they form a dynamic and innovative new duo. Drawing on their shared experiences in classical, traditional, and jazz music, they aim to challenge perceptions of the clarsach and push the boundaries of the traditional music scene. The duo plan to release their debut EP in Spring 2024.

 

Winners of the Danny Kyle Open Stage at Glasgow's Celtic Connections 2024, the duo have been invited to play at the festival in 2025. They are looking forward to performing as ‘Rising Stars’ at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in April this year, as well as being Fatea Record’s featured artists at Southport’s Love Folk Festival in February. Their music has been chosen to feature on Fatea’s Showcase Sessions and broadcasted on Celtic Music Radio.

 

Eleanor and Gregor have been invited to present workshops and masterclasses at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, and for students at The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton Music School. In February 2024 they will present a workshop and concert at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alongside Ukranian bandura player, Anastasiya Voytyuk, showcasing the fusion of their shared musical traditions and the relationship between the bandura and Scottish harp.

 

Alongside their duo project, Eleanor performs with award-winning Irish alt-folk band, Ranagri, who in 2023 toured across Germany, France and the UK. In recent years she has performed at Manchester Folk Festival as part of the English Folk Expo, Costa Festival in Ibiza, and the World Harp Congress in Cardiff. Throughout 2023 she has been involved in a collaboration project with singer and musician Tony Christie, touring the UK and recording a studio album to be released in Spring 2024. Eleanor is currently working on a project with students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to commission new works by Scottish composers for an ensemble of classical string quintet, clarsach and fiddle, to be programmed alongside Sally Beamish’s work ‘Seavaigers’ for the same ensemble. This project aims to further explore the interplay between classical and folk repertoire and their place within the concert hall.

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Gregor is a percussionist and bodhrán player, steeped in both classical percussion and the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland. He has gained his BMus Hons in percussion from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance before relocating to Glasgow to receive an MA in traditional music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has performed at the BBC Proms in London, the Edinburgh International Festival, and was recently invited to attend Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop in Boston. Living and working in Glasgow, he runs a series of traditional music sessions in the city as well as travelling often to London to perform with his Irish trio, Green Time Folk, and ceilidh band, Stroma.

 

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