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December 13, 2012

Harpist meditates on winter

JAY — The “Adirondack Harper” illuminates winter’s cold and darkness with “All on a Winter’s Night,” a concert Saturday evening at J.E.M.S.

“It’s a time to have light, friends and family around,” said Martha Gallagher. “That’s really the core of the show. The music is celebrating Christmas, New Year, family and friends. There’s a lot of nice music.”

The concert is not focused solely on Christmas music.

“I incorporate some of that because I love it. I don’t build a whole show around the holiday itself.”

Inside the Amos and Julia Ward Theatre, concert-goers will hear primarily original compositions.

The concert’s theme is also the name of a song that Gallagher wrote at her Keene residence.

“I was probably sitting in my house as it started to get dusk. There’s just a change. I remember being cold. There’s a real beauty to our time of year, winter in Northeast when the sun sets. The sun has been out. It’s sort of warm. Once that goes, the temperature drops. There all are these real interesting colors,” she said.

Sunset rose and forest purple.

“And (there’s) this real magical element to it. In my mind, I just want to stand there, though I may be really cold because it’s so fascinating. This song is like a poem and describes this very beautiful and cold element. It was a challenge to make the music match.”

A vocalist from way back via choir, rock and blues bands, Gallagher finds the harp a natural to accompany singing, though she didn’t feel much like it last year.

“Since all the flooding from Irene, our house was still in ruins. I wasn’t feeling really jolly. I love Christmastime,” she said.

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