Gwenael Kerléo

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Gwenael Kerléo (2014)

Gwenaël Kerléo (* 1975 in Abidjan , Ivory Coast ) is a Breton harpist and composer (folk harp).


Gwenaël Kerléo has been playing the harp since she was nine. She was taught by Hervé Quefféléant von Triskell, among others . She then studied at the "École de musique de Brest" with a focus on music therapy . She composes her pieces herself and arranges them with changing formations ( violin , bagpipes , tabla , saxophone , chromatic accordion and vocals).

Their first CD "Terre Celte" is still completely in the tradition of Breton and Gaelic folklore. Popular melodies are interwoven with their own compositions to create catchy mood images (Walpurgis Night, The Call of the Ocean, Land of Eternal Youth). On the second CD, Gwenael Kerleo breaks out of this tradition and continues to perfect her programmatic style. This creates touching, musical descriptions of archetypes of the human soul (on the journey, she is asleep, immobile) and songs without words (I expect you, Tu me diras). In “Tu me diras” the melody alone can convey the words. In the material accompanying this CD, Ms. Kerléo describes her composition technique. She records free improvisations that touch her on tape so as not to forget them. She later arranges these pieces together with musician friends.

Gwenaël Kerléo's third work, “Yelen”, is a solo piece for harp and vocals. It was created as a result of years of sound studies on your harp and makes virtuoso use of its sound properties. Influences from jazz and from compositions of French impressionism, such as the Prelude by Claude Debussy, are clearly evident. The individuality of the composition and its meditative character are sometimes reminiscent of Eric Satie. “Yelen” is divided into three parts of 4 to 6 pieces. The pieces can again be interpreted programmatically, whereby the program can often be deduced from the music alone, without having to translate the Breton titles into a language that the listener can understand. This alone shows that Ms. Kerléo is an exceptional artist of our time.


  • 1996, "Terre Celte", label: Coop Breizh
  • 2000, "Chemin de Brume", label: Coop Breizh
  • 2003, "Yelen", label: Coop Breizh
  • 2009, "Pevar", label: Coop Breizh

See also

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