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Gillian Grassie


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Gillian Grassie (say: Jillian Grass-y) is a contemporary harpist/singer-songwriter whose signature brand of alt/pop has been described as “music that is sure to haunt you like a reassuring and melodious ghost.” Her distinctive vocal approach, paired with a remarkable ability for storytelling, makes her first full-length effort, Serpentine, “a treat” .

Grassie’s clever songwriting is supported by extensive classical training in both harp and voice. Her interpretations of traditional Scottish harp repertoire earned her first place prizes in five competitions and an invitation to perform at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2001. In her youth, she sang with both national and regional ACDA honors choirs in such prestigious venues as Heinz Hall, Symphony Hall, and The National Cathedral.

Her debut, independent EP To An Unwitting Muse, released in June 2005, sold out of its original pressing and helped her cross over onto radio territory, receiving airplay on WXPN, and making the top ten in Q102’s “Have a Great Gig” contest. Grassie’s approach to the harp, which brings the instrument out of its traditional context and into a brand of indie pop that is both accessible and unusual, has inspired critics to call her “an innovator par excellence.”

Her first full-length effort, Serpentine, was released in October 2007 and has received rave reviews, praised as “an album that belongs on every critic’s best of list not only for the year, but also the decade,” .

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  • ptbreman A youtube video of Gillian Performing Silken String at the gig I wrote about earlier.

    31 Jan 2012 Reply
  • ptbreman

    Gillian played yesterday at my favourite pub in my hometown Hengelo (NL). What a great performance. A nice voice, excellent harpplaying and lovely songs.

    16 Jan 2012 Reply
  • PopQuizLiz

    Heard her when she was still at Bryn Mawr. Just incredibly talented in every way.

    4 Jun 2010 Reply

    There are live recordings of two new songs on her homepage. as well as the lyrics of three new songs Can't wait for a new album, though I know it will still take some time ...

    18 Dec 2009 Reply

    Heard her in Hamburg performing solo - and what a surprise. She arguably plays the harp like no one else - reminds me a bit of Jaco revolutionizing the bass. Now, the right combination of instruments to accompany her - why not even a bass (Tal !), possibly a flute, a hang, tabla or even more exotic instruments ? Her voice !!! Maybe too special to sell millions - but definitely premier league ! Definitely unique ! And her own lyrics !!! She might be the cult, soon ! Glad I saw her now :-)

    14 Dec 2009 Reply