Traditional Irish Music
Adam Agee and Jon Sousa are two of Colorado’s most sought-after traditional Irish musicians. They first met through the Boulder Irish session music scene in 2002. Jon explains : “There were a number of young bands in the area at the time and the Irish music scene was on fire. It was a year or two later when we played our first gig together at a small pub, discovering a synergistic musical connection.”
They played together in various configurations over the following years, before moving to Ireland in mid-2008 to further immerse themselves in the music, land, and culture that they loved. Adam had been planning to move to Ireland after many trips there in subsequent years, and Jon had decided to pursue a Master's degree in Irish music performance at the University of Limerick. “We ended up living together in Ennis, Co. Clare, which has become a second home to us.”
After a year, immersed in Ireland’s music and culture, they moved back to Boulder, Colorado and started to play more regularly as a duo. Their debut recording called Suantraí which we feature today was recorded in 2014 and we include a track below. “The set starts with a Paddy Fahey jig in the key of G minor before switching to reels, building energy and finally ending in the wild, craggy landscape of Donegal's ‘The Glen Road to Carrick,’ a tune that Adam learned from the playing of Siobhán Peoples.”
Jon’s introduction to Irish music came initially from the group Afro-Celt Sound System, a link from his early electronic dance music days. He then discovered the sound of Kevin Burke and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill on a Green Linnet compilation CD, as well as the sounds of Planxty, The Bothy Band, Altan, Lúnasa and others. Adam grew up attending the Valley of the Moon fiddle camp in California where he had the opportunity to study with many Celtic fiddlers from various traditions. Over the years he has been influenced by the playing of Martin Hayes, Siobhán Peoples, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Paddy Glackin, Tommy Peoples, Liz Doherty, André Brunet, Bruce Molsky, Alasdair Fraser, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, and others.
“When we perform, our goal is to generate a mood and energy which allows us and our listeners to experience, even if for a short time, an uplifted state of mind that transcends normal, daily experience. The emotional information encoded in the Irish tunes we play provides a lush sonic landscape that can stimulate a vast range of inner experience. This nourishes something within us, quenching a deep thirst we feel. The traditional Irish music we want to create is deeply connected with the natural rhythms of the human body and nature. It is organic and dynamic. We strive to create music that builds community, inspires passion, and has an enlivening effect in the world.
The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.
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