Thursday, December 29, 2011

Four Shillings Short concert explores eclectic music

Four Shillings Short, a Celtic/folk/world music duo, returns to Richmond on Jan. 12 as part of Indiana University East's Mindful Explorations programs.

Four Shillings Short performs traditional and original music from Ireland and Scotland, Indian Ragas, folk ballads, medieval and Renaissance instrumentals and a cappella numbers.

The husband and wife, Aodh Og O'Tuama and Christy Martin of San Diego, Calif., have been performing for 16 years. They recently released their eighth CD, "Pass It On -- Live in Boulder, Colorado." They previously performed in Richmond in 2008 and March 2011 at the West Richmond Friends Meeting.

On Jan. 12, they will perform a free concert, "Around the World in 30 Instruments," from 3:30-5 p.m. in Vivian Auditorium in Whitewater Hall. Mindful Explorations programs are provided courtesy of the William H. and Jean R. Reller Endowment.

The performance is expected to include music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the Americas and India using more than 30 instruments, including hammered dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, recorders, tinwhistles, banjo, North Indian sitar, bowed psaltery, the charango from Bolivia, bodhran, doumbek, spoons and vocals in English, Gaelic, Spanish and Sanskrit.

O'Tuama and Martin will introduce each instrument, talk about its history and follow with a demonstration in the form of a song or instrumental piece so the audience may experience traditional folk and world music.

Lee Ann Adams, a reading specialist and First-Year Seminar peer mentor coordinator at IU East, encourages anyone who loves traditional music to attend this performance

"I guarantee that you'll be tapping your toes some of the time and sitting completely still at others -- absorbed in the beautiful sounds of many instruments you've never heard before. They are both awesome musicians," Adams said in a press release. "Having heard Christy and Aodh Og twice before, I am so glad that Mindful Explorations is bringing their educational and entertaining performance to IU East and the Richmond community. I really love the way they introduce each instrument and song with a brief story that adds so much to the enjoyment of the music. You come away feeling like you've had a vacation to far-away places -- especially when you hear the sitar."

Og O'Tuama grew up in a family of poets, musicians and writers. He received his degree in music from University College Cork, Ireland, and received a fellowship from Stanford University in California in Medieval and Renaissance performance.

Martin grew up in a family of musicians and dancers. Starting at age of 15, she studied the North Indian sitar for 10 years as a student of master Sitarist Ravi Shankar. She began playing the hammered dulcimer in her 20s.

Four Shillings Short concert explores eclectic music | Palladium-Item |

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