Hilary de Vries is a Scottish composer/musician whose work is greatly influenced and inspired by the landscape of Scotland, its people and birdsong, especially that of the Highlands where she lives. She has been making music for most of her life and composing for well over 20 years. Her music is full of melody, with strong rhythmic patterns and uncommon time signatures adding extra depth. The tunes are quintessentially Scottish, but always with a twist; timeless and with a highly original voice.

She mainly composes for harp, recorder and pipes, as well as writing songs, both solo and in collaboration with others.
Over the years Hilary has been involved in various  projects with different poets and musicians, including Bill Taylor, Aonghas MacNeacail, Donald S. Murray and Kenneth Steven. Together with harpist Bill Taylor she brought out a book of her harp tunes ‘Heartstone’, arranged by Bill, and described by Folk Harp Journal as ‘a great addition to the repertoire of a wire-strung harpist.

Other publications of her music include ‘The Barley Skimmers’ with foreword by renowned piper Allan MacDonald,‘An Orkney Sampler’ and most recently ‘The Black Isle Collection’ of over 70 of her tunes inspired by this Highland achipelago.  She was invited to write music for a performance of ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’, a new sequence of poems by Kenneth Steven based on the Celtic legend. Her music has been played on local and national radio, as well as being performed by others.

Her previous album album 'Cherry Blossom After Rain', recorded on wire-strung clarsach, brought together influences of Scotland and Japan through music that is beautiful, minimalistic and calming. The new album 'The Knockbain Road' also draws on poetry for its inspiration and was recorded live in nature, creating an emotional effect that stays with you long after the music has ended.

Heartstone harp tune book cover
Cherry Blossom After Rain album cover
Orkney Sampler tune book cover
Black Isle tune collection cover
A Song Among the Stones book cover
Barley Skimmers pipe tune book cover
'Hilary writes tunes that give affirmation to a deep love of the landscape and nature of the Highlands'
Duncan Chisholm, fiddler/composer
    'the careful listener will hear the influence of poetry...wind, sunshine, rivers, birds and all atmospheric elements'
Irish Music Magazine
'a Scottish composer who breaths in her Highland landscape and exhales it in dances of rippling melody'
RnR Magazine

The new album

The Knockbain Road

On sale now Knockbain Road album cover and link Knockbain Road album cover and link

'engaging, atmospheric and skilfully understated'


''a gentle recording that employs subtlety to great effect'

The Wire Branch

'the birds and the wind are all part of the sound picture'

Ross-shire Journal

© Hilary de Vries 2024                   

'one of Scotland's finest harpists'

Alan Riach

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