Athena Tergis’ Debut Album A Letter Home Available Now!
August 15, 2007
Athena Tergis’ Debut Album A Letter Home
"...this is a stunning album..." - IRISH AMERICA MAGAZINE A Letter Home
is an album that ranges across the intersections of Irish and Scottish music with an instrumental voice and style informed by the fiddler’s American experiences. "I called this album A Letter Home
because it’s really like a set of landmarks, it’s my favorite pieces of music over the last ten years," says fiddler and composer Athena Tergis. "I’ve been playing with other musicians my whole life, bands and recordings and other projects, but this is the first time I’ve made an album of my own." Kicking off with a set of reels including "Johnny McGreevy’s", "Owney Davey’s", "O’Callaghan’s" and "Margaree Reel", Tergis shows her gift for phrasing which underscores the emotional essence of the tunes. The album moves quickly into a lively set of barn dances and a Scottish strathspey. The collection winds through fourteen tracks of jigs, reels, highlands, set dance tunes and flings with origins in Galway, Cork, Antrim, and Donegal to those from the Scottish Highlands, the Irish community of Chicago and the heart of Cape Breton. A Letter Home concludes with the haunting slow air, "Bi Falbh O’n Uinneig" [Be Gone From The Window], a tune which Tergis learned from her childhood mentor and teacher, Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser.
Tergis enlisted guitarist John Doyle, former member of Irish supergroup Solas, who has worked with Alison Brown, Michael Black, Liz Carroll, Susan McKeown and Cathie Ryan among others, to produce the project. " He has a fresh approach, but he’s very true to the tradition," she says, "and that was very important to me for this record." She has an A list roster of supporting players as well, including Sharon Shannon and Billy McComiskey on accordions, cellist Natalie Haas, Ben Wittman on percussion, and fiddler Liz Carroll. "Just some of my favorite musicians," Tergis reflects happily, "an all star cast, I’d say."
Athena Tergis currently resides in Italy, and has started a studio in Tuscany, Terra Linda Studios. She returns often to the Americas to perform, including upcoming plans to appear with Mick Moloney and the well-known group Green Fields of America, with whom she’s also working on a recording.
Here samples from A Letter Home here