A new CD featuring fiddle and concertina duets focusing on traditional tunes from Clare has been released by friends Jean-Baptiste “JB” Samzun and Charles Monod.
The album of traditional music is called “Aughavinna” named after the area in Doolin where Charles lives and where the pair recorded the album.
Jean-Baptiste “JB” Samzun comes from a musical family in Brittany and has been visiting Co. Clare since he was a young child. He lived in Clare in 2017-2018, during which period he focused on his fiddle playing, joining local sessions and attending traditional music festivals.
Charles Monod hails from Switzerland originally but first came to Doolin in 2006 for a summer job and after a number of return visits moved permanently in 2010. He started playing the tin whistle during his first summer in Ireland and then picked up the concertina in 2007 and never looked back, now playing regularly in Doolin and North Clare in general.
JB and Charles first met in the summer of 2017 at a session in Doolin, during which they instantly connected on a musical level. They met regularly for tunes after that, realising that they enjoyed the same tunes, looked up to the same musicians and simply shared the same love for Irish Traditional Music, and the music from County Clare and East Galway in particular.
“We shared a house for a full year in 2018, in Aughavinna, Doolin during which we played, listened and discussed music on a daily basis. As JB’s return to Brittany was fast approaching, we decided to make a recording together as a souvenir of their musical friendship,” Charles said.
Jack Talty guided them throughout the process and he suggested that the recording should be made live at their house in order to capture the essence of their music, which suited both as they didn’t have any recording experience and enjoyed the nature of live recordings. “Aughavinna” is the result of JB and Charles sharing music together daily for a year, condensed in two days of live recording at their home in Doolin.
They were accompanied by their friends Vincent Fogarty (bouzouki) and Alan Wallace (guitar) on these two days, during which they wanted to pay tribute to the many musicians who have inspired and helped them on their musical journeys. JB & Charles play in a style they developed by immersing themselves in the local sessions and the tunes were carefully selected and also represent their connection with Doolin, Co. Clare and East Galway.
Since its release our album has been featured on Clare FM’s popular weekday traditional music show The West Wind as well as on RTÉ Radio 1 and RnaG
Charles said: “We have received some great feedback from fellow musicians and John O’Connor from Custy’s Music Shop in Ennis who mentioned that ‘it felt like being brought back to the early 90s in Doolin’, which is exactly the sound we were trying to achieve.”