A Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter concert is about much more than music.
It delves into the history of the Celtic and Swedish tunes that the duo perform and the array of interesting instruments (including Celtic harps and the Swedish nyckelharpa) they bring to each concert.
“We tour with a big trailer full of unique instruments,” says Lynne, who performs with Frankfurter on March 2 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe.
Lynne and Frankfurter started their careers as rock musicians who loved folk music. Lynne played the electric bass, and Frankfurter played the electric violin. They both had active performing and recording careers by the time they met and got a chance to play together at a Celtic harp conference in 2006.
“We immediately hit it off,” says Frankfurter, who taught himself to play a variety of instruments including the cittern, mandolin, lap dulcimer, psaltry, penny whistle, baroque flute and recorder. “We launched our musical duo immediately after the conference.”
Celtic music is Lynne’s specialty. Lynne learned a lot of what she knows by attending Celtic music camps where music is passed on from one musician to another through informal jam sessions and workshops.
The duo’s collection of Swedish folk music comes from Frankfurter. He was first exposed to ancient Swedish tunes when he was invited to play the Celtic harp at a music festival in Sweden in the early 1990s.
“Swedish music is very interesting and really captivating music,” Frankfurter explains. “While there is a certain familiarity to it, it has unusual rhythms and melodies that move in surprising ways.”
Half of a Lynne and Frankfurter concert consists of original tunes composed by Lynne. While these pieces have been recently written, some of them contain melodies that are reminiscent of traditional Celtic folk music.
After their concerts, Lynne and Frankfurter often bring their Celtic harps into the audience so audience members can look closely at and touch their instruments.