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Album review: The Masterharper of Pern, by Tania Opland and Mike Freeman

Webmaster’s note 1/17/2016: This is an old review from the previous version of the site, which we’re bringing in as a post so that it’ll be searchable in the reviews categories with newer content.

The Masterharper of Pern

The Masterharper of Pern CD

reviewed by Scott Lammers

I heard a story once that I thought of as little more than a wishful-thinking type of urban legend. It stated that Anne McCaffrey’s latest Pern novel, The Masterharper of Pern, was supposed to be released with a few recorded songs in the bargain. As is well known, this did not happen, so it became the standard stuff of urban legend.


Anne McCaffrey had made a dedicated effort in this direction, but was apparently thwarted by a printer too eager to sell. The plus side – this freed her and the other artists to put together a *full* lp. I am listening now to an incredibly delightful (and in most cases, exquisitely beautiful) CD bearing the name, The Masterharper of Pern. The lyrics are almost exclusively Anne McCaffrey’s (from her books, of course). The rest was done primarily by two folk artists; Tania Opland and Mike Freeman. Four others added their voices and one her harp.

It includes eighteen tracks, from the teaching ballads (Duty Song, Golden Egg of Faranth I, II, and III, and Fighting Thread, to name a few) to Petiron’s most beautiful work, to both versions of Robinton’s first composition (Whistle Tune – the first was written as a young child, and the second was a version he simplified so other harpers could keep up with it during gathers). Every song has a story, and the insert addresses them all.

I highly recommend it. You won’t find it through standard publishers though – the artists published under the name, Dragonhold (Tinmore Lane, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland). To find out more about this wonderful CD and how to aquire it, you can have a look-see at either of the following addresses:

http://www.annemccaffrey.org for info about Anne McCaffrey
http://www.opland-freeman.com for info about Tania Opland and Mike Freeman

If memory serves me correctly, it was at the second site I located the
order form.