FitkinWall Present: Harpland

Stories of the Highland Clearances

Wednesday 15 May 2024

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FitkinWall follow threads of migration, loss and longing in their new show, inspired by the stories of the Highland Clearances.

At the heart of this show is Ruth Wall’s explorations into Gaelic song, fiddle and pipe tunes and history of the Scottish Highlands where she grew up. Composer Graham Fitkin has created enigmatic and mesmerising new versions of these tunes for Ruth’s three harps – the sitar-like Renaissance bray harp, the beautiful medieval Gaelic wire harp (clàrsach) and the Scottish lever harp.

The movement of people during the Highland Clearances is brought into modern-day focus: Ruth spoke with recent migrants to Scotland and their voices are incorporated in the music. FitkinWall have created something beautiful and at times disturbing. Dark, fragmented folk moods transform into soaring fast-paced music in this memorable show.

The concert is lit by a specially-commissioned light installation by the artist Peter Freeman.

“The harp is luminous, pastoral and urban at the same time under Wall’s fingers, she pushes the instrument to its limits and Fitkin’s music allows for a certain steeliness and discordance. The sound is immaculate.”
– London Jazz News

£19 (including booking fee)
  • Howard Assembly Room


Start time

Under 30s Members


Ruth Wall
Renaissance bray harp, Gaelic wire harp (clàrsach), Scottish lever harp

Ruth was brought up in Sutherland, immersed in the songs and tunes of the Highlands. She has performed on stages around the world including the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, and the London Olympic Celebrations. Ruth has featured as a soloist with the London Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra and toured extensively with Goldfrapp, The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, Kathryn Tickell, Ockham’s Razor and her partner, composer Graham Fitkin.

Graham Fitkin
keyboard, electronics

Composer Graham Fitkin has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet. He has won three BASCA composer awards and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composer Award 2015.


Howard Assembly Room

Howard Assembly Room

A year-round festival of music, performance and ideas, in the heart of Leeds.

Under 30s membership

Under 30s membership

Are you 16-29 years old or a full-time student? Get discounted tickets to brilliant shows at the Howard Assembly Room.



Open from Tuesday to Saturday, Kino is our restaurant and bar located below the Howard Assembly Room, presenting the best independent food, beers and wines.

FitkinWall Present: Harpland

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