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Influential Musicians: Phamie Gow

(Official Press) Phamie Gow is currently based in London, is described by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC The Planet) as a 'young prodigy' . Composer, Singer, pianist, lever harpist (acoustic and electric), accordionist, whistle player, and producer. In her late twenties, she has already five solo albums under her belt, Winged Spirit, Lammermuir, Dancing Hands Moments of Time, and, La Vida Buena - The Good Life. She has performed with the likes of Philip Glass, Band of Horses, Ashley MacIsaac, Carlos Nùñez, Alasdair Fraser, Eric Rigler (uillean pipes - Titanic, Braveheart), Allan Stivell, and many more.

Winner of the 'Danny award' in Celtic Connections (1999) the 'prix de composition de la ville de Dinan' - composition award 2002 - France, and the Tap Water Award - 'best music act in the Fringe 2002' August 2002. Winner of the 'Matt McGinn' award 2003, 'Best newcomer'. Phamie has performed in Broadway, New York on numerous occassions, including performances with International artists including the living legend Pete Seeger, and the sell out show `Tapeire`.. She was asked to play for his holiness the Dalai Lama, in a sell - out concert in Edinburgh`s Usher Hall to an audience of 2,500 people. ***** The Scotsman.

Phamie`s most recent solo piano album, Moments of Tim
e is featured on a regular basis on Classic FM (the UK`s national and most popular classical radio station) where they talked about her as being `a definate rising British star`. More recently, Phamie`s composition ¨War Song¨has been selected on The Smooth Classics - The Ultimate Collection alongside the great composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Moricone, Zimmer, and more; released under the UNIVERSAL/Classic FM label. Awesome, original, rythmical, melodic, funky and exciting are words used to describe her performances on the harp. Forget about your preconceptions about the harp being for fairies! In her hands she is pushing forward the frontiers of this ancient instrument and is changing peoples perceptions about this instrument. Gone is the ball gown for this hip new inventive harpist.

(Attached hereby pic of Phamie with Celtic harp legend, Alan Stivell performing in Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland. 2003)

"In Gow's capable hands, her electrified harp easily shifts between heavy metal and ethereal celestial music." 14th October. 2007. The Globe and Mail. Canada. Enter this contemporary virtuoso who takes your breath away with her skill and charm, who is so at one with her instrument that audiences are transfixed, visually as well audibly. She looks quite spectacular as she engages with the instrument controlling a 'harp with attitude', her heels stamping out the beat consumed by the breakneck speed of some reel or flamenco. Sometimes she may play two melody lines at the same time as well as a bass line, and using the harp as a percussive instrument. Some people say that she plays the harp like a piano, and the piano like a harp!

She is truly breaking new ground.
Whether she is playing in a jam with Phil Cunningham or opening for giants such as a Kepa Junkera, or Seamus Heaney and Liam O' Flynne, Main Auditorium, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Phamie Gow is at her happiest performing. Hailed as 'one of Scottish music's most exciting young talents' Sue Wilson, Sunday Herald, Phamie entertains with humour, interest and joy.

What makes Phamie's live appearances stand out is by her use of improvisation, and composing in the moment. She creates sounds out of the harp that you would never expect to be heard on the instrument. Beyond genre, musical boxing, she simply creates real music that touches peoples sou
ls and as a listener, leaves you wanting more. "Award-winning harpist Phamie Gow was astounding to listen to as she created sounds with the harp one would swear was three or four different instruments." SooToday. Canada.

This disarmingly charming young musician/composer has been commissioned for short films, dance and theatre companies, has given many workshops and masterclasses in festivals and conservatoires around Europe and Latin America. Her piano compositions have been used in university studies and concert halls, and Phamie is a part time tutor for piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow where she graduated in 2001, and also conducts masterclasses and workshops on how to compose. One of Phamie's Gaelic song was sung by the Young Traditional Musician of the year 2004, James Graham, and was featured on his his debut album, Suibhal. Her setting Aonghas McNicol's poem ' Bu tusa an gaol a bh'aire m'aire' reached the finals of the Gaelic Eurovision song contest 2008. And .... a final string to her bow is the sound of her quartet, an energetic, dynamic and exciting set up of Phamie on electric harp, piano, accordion, whistle, voice and is accompanied by guitar, electric bass, and drums.

This sound is best heard in festivals and out door events. Phamie's musical evolution is so important to her, and one way of this being cultivated is by collaborating with other artsts of high calibre in different musical genres. Some collaborations she has created has been with the well known rock-pop group Band of Horses (North Carolina, USA), another has been with the Global celtic phenome
non Carlos Nùñez (Galicia in Spain), Kepa Junkera (Bilbao in Spain), Bajaly Suso (Gambian Griot and kora player), Scots singer/songwriterKarine Polwart who sang Phamie's song, Goodbye to the sea and sailors, as featured on Phamie's album, Dancing Hands. She has appeared on 13 different albums, and her first solo C.D ( 1999)'Winged Spirit' (Wildfire Records) is a solo album which shows Phamie playing harp, piano, accordion, whistles, as well as singing. 'She demonstrates admirable creativity and originality' wrote Aibhlin McCrann and continuing. 'Phamie Gow in this multi - faceted recording has shown that she is a creative force worthy of our attention'. Critics have described her second album 'Lammermuir' (2001) as 'a masterpiece of Scottish music' (Willi Rodrian - Radio Lora. Germany). Lammermuir is Catriona Black (Scotsman 'full of sparky originality and sends a tingle up your spine'Gaelic Music Column). This album is a 'live' recording featuring Alasdair Fraser, Eric Rigler, James Ross, amongst others receiving ***** review from The Scotsman. Her third self produced album (2004), which was made possible with an award given from the Scottish Arts Council, Dancing Hands demonstrates a new sound, and is very up-lifting, fresh, and accessible. Phamie chose to work with 8 different fantastic musicians such as Ricky Steele (double bass), Tom Richardson (guitar), Fraser Fifiled (soprano sax, whistle), James Graham (Yound Tradtional Musician of the year 2004), Mattie Foulds (drums), Andy Webster (guitar), Karine Polwart (voice), and the Spanish percussionist, Javier Villar Morales. There is also a bonus track on the album which is a colloboration with DJ Daniel, and gives an example of another new possible project to arise.

"Dancing Hands demonstrates Phamie's full breadth and depth of musicianship. Whilst her previous albums have been enjoyable, this one is outstanding - exciting music, with a lot of variety, yet rounded with a clear thread running through it. An album of the highest calibre`..Michael Moll. Folkworld.

In 2007 Phamie released her forth solo album and book, Moments of Time which her first piano solo album showing her skill as pianist and composer. " played with great skill and expressive musicality, these dozen, often simple, pieces are laced with emotion, lyricism and an underlying sense of peace." The Scotsman.

2008 had the release of 'La Vida Buena - The Good Life' which protrays again Phamie's raw skill and talent as solo harpist, singer and composer. In the meantime, she is changing the preconcept ideas of the harp. Phamie Gow is clearly entertaining us with her never-ending creativity and talents.


Talking of space, check out her 2 Myspaces:

www.myspace.com/phamiegow
www.myspace.com/phamiegow_moments

Let us end this review with Phamie's own words: "I dedicate my whole life, soul, heart and spirit to be creative in order to touch people and communicate to all human beings around the planet ... I also learn all the time from people, experiences, things I hear, see and feel all that .. then transform into music "

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