Songs of Guernsey, Ancient and Authentic

Eight centuries ago, the residents of an island just off the Normandy coast of France pledged their allegiance to the British Crown.

Cover of the Harp Consort's CD shows a fisherman in silhouette.

Guernsey native Andrew Lawrence-King directs the Harp Consort in a selection of songs from the island. Harmonia Mundi hide caption

itoggle caption Harmonia Mundi

But for the people of Guernsey, "allegiance" certainly didn't mean giving up a colorful and vivid cultural identity.

To this day, islanders remain proud and fiercely independent, and they have kept alive a unique local language, Guernesiais.

A new CD of ancient songs from the Isle of Guernsey has been released by the Harp Consort: Les Travailleurs de la Mer. Director Andrew Lawrence-King, a native of Guernsey, talks about the project, subtitled "Ancient Songs from a Small Island."

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