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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 November, 2003, 09:26 GMT
Far East date for Scots harpist
Katie Targett Adams
Ms Adams mixes traditional with modern
One of Scotland's most talented musicians has been hand-picked by the Chinese government to take part in a major arts festival in the country.

Harpist and singer Katie Targett Adams, 24, will perform a medley of Scottish songs at the Nanning International Festival of Folk Song Art in the south east of China on Sunday.

Cultural secretary Xu Tong, of the Chinese Embassy, was so impressed by the Edinburgh star when he saw her at a performance in Stirling Castle that he invited her to represent Scotland at the festival.

Ms Adams said she was overjoyed to be playing the clarsach, or harp, in Asia.

It means that I can spread the culture of Scotland and it is just a great opportunity to spread my wings
Katie Targett Adams
"I just feel so grateful to my harp for taking me to these places, because without the clarsach I wouldn't have had this opportunity," she said.

"I'm very excited and when I first found out I was jumping for joy. I'm just looking forward to the challenge.

"It means that I can spread the culture of Scotland and it is just a great opportunity to spread my wings.

"I am looking forward to getting to know Chinese culture, because to me it feels so foreign, so it will be great just getting to know the people and really living out that experience."

Her development into one of the country's most promising musical talents began at the age of 10 when she took up the clarsach as a hobby.

Blend of styles

She has since developed her own blend of crossover music, incorporating Celtic sounds with up-to-the-minute pop tunes and jazz.

Her repertoire, played on a gold and purple harp, includes everything from traditional airs and the songs of Robert Burns to renditions of John Lennon's Imagine and Killing Me Softly by The Fugees.

Ms Adams said: "I think that the songs will appeal to the Chinese because they know some of them - apparently they sing a version of Loch Lomond and Auld Lang Syne in their language."

The harpist has performed as a soloist in New York during the Tartan Day celebrations of 2002 and was named the 2003 Music and Culture Icon for Scotland.

She will be joined by pipers and drummers from the National Piping Centre in Glasgow at the festival.


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