Meeting with harpist Clotilde Trouillaud

Clotilde Trouillaud, harpiste

Clotilde Trouillaud is a musician and harp teacher at the Pontivy Conservatory and at Brittany Music. Meeting with a harpist who knew how to break the codes and think outside the box.


Renowned harpist in the world of Celtic harp and Breton music, Clotilde Trouillaud was the first to collaborate with Brittany Music by recording 40 Breton harp lessons for Brittany Music subscribers. She alternates melodies, marches and dances and regularly accompanies herself with singing to teach her lessons.

How did you get into the Celtic harp ?


It's very simple actually. My sister took Celtic harp lessons with Brigitte Baronnet while the whole Trouillaud family was part of the Châteaubriant celtic circle (44). So I discovered the harp at that time and it was at the age of eight that I also started taking lessons with B Baronnet until I finished my baccalaureate, so I was 18.
From there, I joined the Nantes conservatory. I take lessons with Christophe Caron for the traditional part and Catherine N'Guyen for the harp lessons. I go out with my DEM (Diploma of Musical Studies) in my pocket.
Then, I give harp lessons first in Loire-Atlantique and Ille et Vilaine then finally in Morbihan.

Les fileuses de nuit, trio de harpistes

How were the "Fileuses de nuit" born ?


It’s an adventure that began at the conservatory in 2001 since we used to rehearse together. And then we continued to see each other because we were good friends (and still are) and we had a good time together playing.
With the Fileuses, we recorded two albums. The first “harp trio” is out of print and the second arrived in 2008 which is called “En caravan” with many compositions. (2008, Distribution Coop Breizh)


It’s a trio that stood out because many people who meet me ask me “So when are we going to hear "Les fileuses de nuit" again ?” »

And tell us a little about the Sylbat adventure ?


With Sylbat, it’s totally different. The story begins at the request of the Roue Waroch festival in Plescop, which gave me carte blanche for the occasion.
I didn't want an acoustic format and I wanted to do a concert with musicians from the country. So I asked Hilaire Rama (bass), Patrick Boileau (drums) and Hélène Brunet (guitar) to join me. I brought the themes and asked Patrick to make the arrangements. Sylbat is at the crossroads of rock and progressive music, the electro harp responding to the electric guitar.
We did all the big festivals, from the old plows to Quimper, Marseille….
We recorded an album: “Mara” (2008, Distribution Keltia Musique)



So comes the time for “Solo” and “Lune bleue” ?


I wanted to continue alone to do what I wanted to do. Compositions that I had in me for a long time and which had to come out. I loved making this album which was released in 2011. It also allowed me to gain notoriety and make myself better known.
It’s also an exercise that forced me to work a lot to seek perfection. It’s a totally different approach that requires rigor and work. 

Lune bleue trio, harpe celtique

Then you decide to create a trio of guitar, drums and harp. For what ?

No doubt because I like to break the codes and make the harp appear in new sounds.
With Erwan Berenguer on electric guitar and Jean Marie Stéphant, jazz drummer, we wanted to give new colors to my compositions. A little more jazzy, a little more swing and a little more rock too.
We had prepared a tour in 2020 and Covid hit us so we had to cancel everything. Since then, we have played in many festivals in Brittany, Ireland, Sardinia, Galicia and Scotland.
We still have to play this repertoire because it hasn’t toured enough. It’s a marriage between acoustic harp, guitar and drums and people aren’t used to that formula yet. But the welcome is very warm and the public leaves delighted every time.


And at the same time do you continue to carry out new projects ?


Yes because I like, like any artist, being on stage and playing for an audience. And I also like the diversity of projects as well as musical encounters.


I had the chance to work in residence with the accordionist Erwan Tobbie and the famous Peruvian singer Sylvia Falcon, a soprano who sings in Quechua, well known for defending her native language in Peru. We went to Peru for several days to play in various places including a memorable concert at the Grand Theater in Lima to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great singer Yma Sumac.


I am also leading another project “An hent treuz” with Marie Berardy on vocals, Fabien Robbe on piano and trumpet and Jérôme Gloaguen on drums. It is a journey on the twisted roads of Brittany, a physical and spiritual journey, to the borders of the cultures of Brittany and elsewhere. We will be at the Lorient Interceltic Festival on August 10, 2023.


Robbe/Gloaguen (piano/drums) Little song


But I also don’t forget to play solo, with my trusty Welsh harp. This summer I have planned an acoustic tour in the chapels of Brittany.