Monday, June 25, 2018
Text Size

Around the world in 30 instruments

Four Shillings Short to perform.

Travelling musicians with a carload of instruments is nothing new in the world of folk music.

What Four Shillings Short adds to the equation, though, is an unusual variety of instruments ranging between a sitar from India to a Renaissance crumhorn.

Going out on a musical limb is what the husband and wife duo does to entertain audiences.

Four Shillings Short will appear in Gothenburg twice on Wednesday, March 2.

The husband and wife duo will perform for Gothenburg Public School students during the day and will present a concert to the public at 7 p.m. that evening.

Aodh Og (pronounced, ayog) O’Tuama from Cork, Ireland, and Christy Martin, from San Diego, CA, have been touring as the band Four Shillings Short in the United States and Ireland since 1997.

Each performance includes traditional Irish tunes and airs, Indian ragas, folk ballads, old-time songs, medieval and renaissance instrumentals and a cappella numbers as well as contemporary folk and original compositions.

Audiences hear more than 30 different instruments from around the world including hammered dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, Medieval and Renaissance woodwinds, recorders, tinwhistles, banjo, North Indian sitar, bowed psaltery, the charango from Bolivia, bodhran, doumbek and spoons.

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.

He sings both in English and Gaelic.

Martin grew up in a family of musicians and dancers.

From the age of 15, she studied North Indian sitar for 10 years as a student of master sitarist Ravi Shankar. She took up the hammered dulcimer in her 20s. She sings in English, Irish and Sanskrit.

During the program, 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.

“Our main objective is to give people, young and old, an opportunity to experience traditional folk and world music,” they said.

Four Shillings Short has several recordings. “The Boggy Spew” was released in 1998 and is called a uniquely eclectic British Isles music.

“Dodging Lodging” came out in 2000 and was recorded during a number of live performances in the United States.

The next production was called “Of Labour & Love” and it was released in 2002. It is an acoustic blend featuring some of Ireland’s top musicians.

Four Shillings Short recently released an eighth CD called “Pass It On—Live in Boulder, Colorado.”

The duo is also scheduled for concerts in Kearney, North Platte, Hastings, Lincoln and Omaha.

For more information, visit the Four Shillings Short website.