Friday, August 6, 2010

A surprise... from Naeema

Chant Hindu -- Beatrice Harrison Nightingales In Her Garden, Oxted (spannerworks1 YouTube)

Yes, Angels exist and dreams do come true! And a dream came true on Wednesday, thanks to my friend Naeema (@Naeema).

In "Blackbird" on August 3, I wrote that "I once heard the most magical recording of British cellist Jaqueline du Pre playing to the accompaniment of Nightingales in her back garden..." and how I have looked for this recording for years.

Naeema tweeted that she had a "surprise" for me. When I checked the comments on "Blackbird," she had sent me a link to British cellist Beatrice Harrison (1892-1965) playing the cello in her garden with Nightingales! Maybe that's what I heard so long ago... who knows and who cares! I just couldn't believe my ears and wanted to share this amazing recording.

Beatrice Harrison (Photo courtesy of
 According to Wikipedia, "Beatrice Harrison's performances became well known through broadcast in the early days of BBC sound radio. She made some 'live' recordings in which she sat and played her cello in the garden of her house at Oxted, and the nightingales which frequented the place sang as she was playing. The tunes thus recorded included Songs My Mother Taught Me (Dvorak), Chant Hindu (Rimsky-Korsakov) and the Londonderry Air (the tune of Danny Boy). Records were also issued of the nightingales singing alone and of the dawn chorus in the same garden. These recordings were extremely popular..."

Thank you Naeema for this wonderful "surprise," and thank you for my "blogwarming" present -- the header to Mich Cafe. It is by this amazing Lebanese visual artist. And I would encourage you to see more of Naeema's work at

I hope you enjoy the recording as much as I am.