Friday, October 12, 2007

now playing: Athena Tergis

A Letter Home

Fiddler Athena Tergis has lived in San Francisco, New York, and points between, in Belfast, Galway, London, and points between, and she’s now based in the Tuscan region of northwest Italy. When she decided to call her first solo recording A Letter Home, she was considering all that. Her background also includes playing in Riverdance on Broadway, touring with Sharon Shannon, and backing up many world renown musicians while at TG4, the national Irish language television channel in Ireland. A Letter Home is a collection of Celtic based tunes which are true to the traditions from which they arise but which also allow the listener to hear Tergis’ own instrumental flair and line of thought quite clearly. The music includes a lively set of barn dances and a Scottish tinged strathspey, after opening at a fiery pace with a set of Irish reels. In all there are fourteen tracks : jigs, reels, highlands, set dance tunes, flings, and slow airs, tunes with origins in Galway, Cork, Antrim, and Donegal as well as in the Scottish Highlands, the Irish community of Chicago, and the heart of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.

John Doyle, whose music you’ve encountered before on this site, produced the collection, and there’s really collaborative ensemble work from Sharon Shannon and Billy McComiskey on accordions, cellist Natalie Haas, Ben Wittman on percussion, and fiddler Liz Carroll.

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