Christy Martin and Aodh Og O’Tuama, a.k.a. Four Shillings Short, are modern-day troubadours who travel throughout the U.S. and Ireland sharing traditional and contemporary Celtic tunes.
Living out of a Chevy Express van, this husband and wife musical duo presents more than 120 concerts a year in public libraries, concert halls, churches, schools and theaters.
Their show, “Samhain Concert,” at Teatro Paraguas on November 15 and 16 features a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces around Samhain, which is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
Samhain is an Irish-Gaelic word meaning “the summer’s end.” It is not only a harvest celebration but also a celebration of life over death and a time to remember those who have left the world of the living.
“During the concert we’ll talk about this traditional folklore and explain past and current celebrations,” explains Martin.
Martin and O’Tuama have been sharing Celtic music, poetry and stories with audiences for two decades. They are well-trained musicians who also are passionate about the history of the music they play.
O’Tuama, who grew up in a family of poets, studied music at University College Cork, Ireland and received a fellowship from Stanford University in Medieval and Renaissance performance. He plays tin whistles and a large variety of woodwind and other instruments.
A student of the north Indian sitar for 10 years, five of them spent studying with a student of the master sitarist Ravi Shankar, Martin plays an assortment of string instruments including the hammered dulcimer, mandolin, banjo and guitar.
“We go everywhere and meet every kind of person,” adds O’Tuama. “Our goal is to make the past relevant to the present.”
“Samhain Concert” is one of nine performances taking place at venues throughout New Mexico during the month of November. Among their New Mexico concerts are appearances at the Jemez Fine Art Gallery in Jemez Springs on November 11, the Silver City Public Library on November 21 and Solid Grounds Coffeehouse in Albuquerque on November 25. A complete concert schedule is available on the website 4shillingsshort.com.