Having been active for ten years and after almost 1,000 concerts (901 as of december 2011!) in Europe and Asia, the Celtic Harp Orchestra is the world's most famous harp orchestra.
With 5 official CD releases and countless contributions in ethnic and ambient music compilations, the CHO style has stretched from celtic music to venetian baroque, from jazz to minimalism, from progressive rock to classical music, always with the guide of Fabius Constable.
Important were the past collaborations with artists like Myrdhin, Capercaillie, Carlos NÃºÃ±ez (with whom they shared the stage), and the affiliations and frequent contacts with LÃºnasa, Alan Stivell and many other top musicians in the ethnic music and international harp scenes.
CHO has worked with professionals making (or having made) the history of italian and european culture, such as Arnoldo Foà , Les Productiones du Dragon (Cirque du Soleil), the lamented Pepi Morgia, the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano ("Venerable Factory of the Duomo of Milan"), the Trinity College of Dublin and many more.
Also notable are the performances with Ikuo Iwabuchi (promiment musician of the Japanese â€œNouvelle Vagueâ€, who has worked with the world renowned director Takashi Miike) and with Ryoko Kashima, vocal trainer and singer in several japanese animation movies' credits songs.
The secret of CHO's success lies, according to Fabius Constable, in the musicians' inexhaustible human energy and cheerful professionalism, making it some sort of mix between a classical orchestra and a companionship of artists, all free to give their personal contribution and point of view in the creative process.
Another strong point of CHO is its ability to adapt to different stages. Castles, churches, theatres, conservatories, universities, festivals: for each one there's a different repertoire and a different lineup, so that the show will always surprise and entertain the vast audiences.
â€œIn over 900 concertsâ€ says Fabius, â€œless than a mere 10% didn't get a sold-out. We couldn't say that our music can please every palate, but we really do our best to adapt to the different audiences we face, not only in order to entertain them, but also, as much as we can, to feed their soulsâ€.
Charity has always been one of CHO's top commitments; in its official vest (the cultural association â€œThe White Stagâ€), CHO has been working on many humanitarian and artistic patronage projects.
Scholastic and medical assistance to indigent families in rural China, free harp courses for those lacking resourses to support their talent, the help to Japan after the march 2011 tragedy, with a 23-concerts tour for refugees and victims of the tsunami-struck and contaminated areas, the fund raisings for Japan...these are just some of the initiatives taken by CHO, which doesn't want to be just a musical reality, but also an important presence in nowadays society.
Thanks to the encounter with miss Nihei Yoshiko, brilliant manager and patron from Japan, president of Grace Harps Internationals, CHO is developing the italo-japanese joint project â€œUSMILEâ€, so as to train musicians for shows in hospitals, asylums, correctional institutions, factories and even corporations, wherever music can help human needs or productivity.
First steps in this direction have already been made in many health and educational insitutions in â€œdifficultâ€ areas, in refugees centers and, thanks to the skillful organization provided by manager Tomomi Watanabe, also in Fujitsu Corporation's offices in Sendai, Japan.
A side note for the project â€œDante's Dream, Music from Hellâ€, where CHO's historical voice, Donatella Bortone, directs and performs a unique, fascinating show, in which the most involving passages of the first part of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy are sung and played with original musics composed by Fabius Constable. â€œDante's Dreamâ€ has been enthusiastically appreciated by the public, and has received letters of encouragement from several italian culture personalities, like Roberto Benigni.
The Celtic Harp Orchestra, come to life thanks to the far-sightedness of the organizers of â€œCelticaâ€ festival in the Aosta Valley (who hosted the first concert of CHO in 2002), can now be proud of being the most imitated harp orchestra of the world, with countless reviews in all the most important media, newspapers, magazines, radios and tv channels.
"Music comes to life from nature and time as a charm; it entertains and heals, singing what's happening and being passed on from soul to soul".
This is what C.H.O.'s music is about: a soul voyage through space and time, from the notes of traditional songs, through sacred musics from Middle Ages, to original compositions ruled by fusion and research. No surprise then if during our concerts the audience is led thorugh an imaginary voyage starting from ancient scottish legends and moving on to real stories of irish and breton Kings, going through the Old Continent and then approaching the New World - with rhythm contaminatins from argentine tango and from swing - and then back to the colours of the Mediterranean, reaching our own cultural roots by amazingly revisiting in musical form the works of the most famous italian poet of all times: Dante.