The Anglo-Scottish duo Cythara takes its name from the Latin word that means to play a stringed instrument, which was often used to decribe the harp and other similar instruments. Jennifer Crook (Celtic harp, penny whistle) was a graduate of Middlesex University, England, and is a trained multi-instrumentalist, with background in harp, piano, flute, voice, and guitar. MacLaine Colston (hammered dulcimer, guitar, bodhran) first took up the hammered dulcimer under the inspiration of an American virtuoso, Jim Couza, with whom he later toured and recorded an album. Crook and MacLaine began playing together as Cythara in 1992, and winning numerous folk competitions, before recording their debut album late that year. Their sound is all acoustic, and generally centers on playing the contrasting textures of the harp and the hammered dulcimer off against each other, and their repertory is built around traditional folk material, mostly English, Scottish, Irish, and Breton.
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