And The Way She Might Pluck At You

Harpist Aisling Ennis on her influences

Having toured Ireland, the UK, Europe, the USA and Asia over the past two decades, Aisling Ennis has established herself as one of Ireland’s finest harpists.

Whether performing with orchestral ensembles, solo or as part of the award-winning trio Affinití, the Wicklow-based harpist has basically been living the dream.

The dream she first created as a child growing up in Tipperary. Singing to cows.

Coming to The Whale Theatre on Sunday, April 10th with flautist Vourneen Ryan and violist Robin Panter plus special guest soprano Catherine Redding, “To A Child Dancing In The Wind” takes works by Tavener, Debussy and Faure and celebrates the coming together of W.B. Yeats and Paul Verlaine in a Parisian tenement house in February, 1894.

Speaking about the event, Aisling explains:

“Our concert on the 10th of April at the Whale Theatre will explore various musical settings of Verlaine’s poetry alongside a stunning song cycle of Yeats’ poetry,” explains Aisling. “Yeats met Verlaine on one of his visits to Paris, and I was fascinated and intrigued by this fact. I think for any music lover, this will be an opportunity to enjoy some much-loved pieces whilst also discovering some new compositions that reflect on these two incredible people.

And to be honest, I am super-excited to perform music to real live audiences again. It’s been a long ould two years of pandemic-ness…


As a child, I was always always singing. I’d sing to anyone and anything about anything at all. 

Some of my favourite audiences were the cows in the field behind the cottage in Tipperary where we spent our summers.

They were very receptive to my repertoire of peculiar self-made songs. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to stop and sing a song to some cows next time you pass a field.

Cows love a good gig – and they are incredibly tolerant of the not-so-polished ones I delivered in my youth.

Music was fairly constant at home and my mam was delighted at the idea of me playing the harp in a Laura Ashley guna. As soon as she hoodwinked my first harp teacher Aine Ni Dhubhghaill into giving me a few lessons that was
that. I was hooked!

I wrote one of my first songs at the age of 8 (or thereabouts) after my mam read Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and The Rose to me. I cried and cried for the poor nightingale and really the only thing that helped in the end was to create a piece of music especially for that gorgeous little creature.

Even at that age, somehow, music was not only the connection into the world around me but the cure for it too.

To find out more about “To A Child Dancing In The Wind”, and to book your tickets, head over to our What’s On page!






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