Deirdre specializes in voice, percussion, and mouth harps, in both traditional and improvised settings.
Solo Mouth Harp
As part of her research since 2005, Deirdre has studied a number of mouth harp traditions from around the world. In particular, she has conducted fieldwork on the Balinese genggong, the Austrian maultrommel, Norwegian munnharpe, Sicilian marranzano, Yakutian khomus, and others. Deirdre has appeared at many festivals and events (Canada, USA, UK, Norway, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Sicily, Russia, Bali) both as a soloist and a collaborator, demonstrating the wide range of techniques, repertoires, and styles possible on the mouth harp.
Since 2012, Deirdre Morgan and Iranian santur virtuoso Peyman Heydarian have explored the combination of zanburak (mouth harp), santur (hammered dulcimer), and daf (frame drum). The zanburak (“little bee” in Farsi) is known as a children’s instrument in Iran, and this project exposes audiences to the potential of the zanburak in a Persian classical music setting. Peyman and Deirdre work with improvisation around Persian meters, melodic fragments and themes. They perform regularly around London and the UK.
SOAS Mouth Harp Society
Since 2012, Deirdre has taught solo and ensemble mouth harp playing and theory at SOAS, University of London. Members of the society have performed at events around London, including an open-air concert at the Nest Collective’s Campfire Club.
Pipes and Trump
Since 2012, Deirdre Morgan (mouth harp, voice) has collaborated with piper Edward McIlwaine (great Highland bagpipe, Scottish smallpipes, practice chanter, voice). Their repertoire includes English ballads, Scottish pipe tunes, and arrangements of other folk traditions for mouth harp, voice, and pipes. They have played in Vancouver, the UK, and France.
Touchtone Duo was formed in 2011 in Moscow and Yakutsk, Russia. During an intensive two week period, mouth harpists Deirdre Morgan and Aksenty Beskrovny explored the possibilities of the mouth harp duo format. Playing in unison or an octave apart, Touchtone Duo played with the interactions of lower and higher harmonics in different acoustic spaces, experimenting with trance-like states of extended improvisation.
The Sorceress and the Elemental
From 2011-2013, Deirdre Morgan and Kyla Bourgh produced a series of live comedy sketches blending clowning, fortune telling, improvisation, mouth harp, and finger dancing. This surreal act has been performed for audiences in Vancouver and Barcelona.
Gamelan Gita Asmara
From 2005-2010, Deirdre was a member of Gamelan Gita Asmara, Vancouver’s well-known Balinese performing arts ensemble. As a musician, Deirdre played many instruments in the ensemble, but focused particularly on the reyong, or kettle gongs. In addition to being a musician, Deirdre produced GGA’s first ever album, Gamelan Gita Asmara Live (2008), and served as a board member (2009-10) and president (2010-11).