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Charles & JB give an ode to Aughavinna in new album

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Charles Monod (fiddle) and Jean-Baptiste “JB” Samzun (concertina) have released a traditional Irish music duet album called Aughavinna. Both men have strong ties to traditional music in Clare.

The duet album, recorded at Charles’ house at Aughavinna, features 12 tracks. Charles admits that, “It’s been really strange to release the album in the middle of the pandemic and without being able to play and do launches.”

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, realizing 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.

Jean-Baptiste 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.

They shared a house for a full year in 2018, in Aughavinna, Doolin during which they played, listened and discussed music on a daily basis. As JB’s return to Brittany was fast approaching, they decided to make a recording together as a souvenir of their musical friendship.

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.

An avid reader from a young age, Cian’s love of the archives has been shared by Clare Echo readers who enjoy his Reeling in The Years section. Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and Michael Crichton were his favourites writers in his younger years while he was always a fan of studying the opinion columns in The Irish Independent. A past pupil of Lissycasey National School and St Flannan’s College, he is currently completing his final year studies at the University of Limerick in New Media and English. From September, he will be commencing a Masters Degree in Journalism at UL.

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