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The duo “Amala” is Reidun Schlesinger (harps) and Paul de Grae (guitars). We play music from several centuries, in original arrangements. The core of our repertoire is Irish: traditional Irish tunes, and pieces from the Irish harp repertoire; we also play music from various Continental European countries, some jazz, and our own jazz-tinged compositions.

Belgian-born Reidun has lived in Kerry (south-west Ireland) since 2008; she has considerable experience of playing solo and in bands in Belgium, Germany and France, and recorded three CDs with the Belgian band Amorroma. From Dublin, now also based in Kerry, Paul has recorded with Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Aoife Ní Chaoimh & Paudie O’Connor, and the trio Smoky Chimney, among others. In 1989 he published “Traditional Irish Guitar”, the first such tutor book; and he has written for The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, An Píobaire and other publications.

We both have long experience of backing other people, but for each of us it’s an exciting challenge to take a leading role, which we alternate, so that the sound constantly varies. We work hard on creating arrangements that allow our respective instruments both to stand out and to blend. But improvisation is also a big part of what we enjoy doing, so we aim for a balance between “tight” and “loose” – keeping it fresh for ourselves and the listeners!

Amala’s debut CD “resonance” was released in June 2016, and has received some great reviews. We’re now working on material for our next album, to be released in 2019. In live performance, it’s been gratifying and humbling to see that people respond very well to the hard work we put into our music, and the joy we take from playing it.

Here’s a 2-minute sample of our debut CD, “resonance”:

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Permalink - Posted: August 1, 2018 at 9:06 am