Mithril (myth-ril), noun (Elvish, Middle Earth), 1. truesilver, most precious of metals, supple and easy to work, can be polished to shimmer like silver that never tarnishes, but it is as strong as steel. 2. Tom Morley and Andra Bohnet's vision quest into the world of Celtic music. We tried to come up with a clever Gaelic name for our band, but that would require an explanation to most anyone outside of the west of Ireland. Most people know us as part of the Silverwood Quartet; as Mithril is 'fantasy' silver (from the imagination of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien), the name serves as an homage to Silverwood. But this CD also represents our fantasy band. Through real world magic of digital technology, the two of us play a variety instruments on this CD (most at the same time), which means we can finally play all the melodies and countermelodies that we hear in our heads when the two of us perform live. So what are a couple of classical musicians doing playing Irish music? We were turned on to this incredible tradition about four years ago and have been obsessed ever since. Just ask our spouses! Since the Deep South is definitely not a hotbed of activity in this musical genre, we have had to engage in serious distance learning. We have devoured CDs by our favorite musicians (flute players Skip Healy and Chris Norman; fiddlers Martin Hayes, Liz Carroll and Kevin Burke; and bands such as Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Lúnasa, and Solas), and we thank them for teaching us by example. These folks play trad with the best of 'em but they also aren't afraid to bend and expand those traditions. So we have tried to mix things up a bit ourselves and hope all lovers of this music will enjoy our efforts. Not to brag, but we play every instrument heard on this CD (except on track 9). To the studio, Tom brought a fiddle, guitar, classical guitar, Irish bouzouki, mandolin, viola, harmonium and bohdran, while Andra hauled in an Irish flute, fife, whistles, bansuri (bamboo flutes) and Celtic harp. Thanks to the magic of overdubbing, we two musicians became a full band. Tom Morley plays: Violin made by Amati brothers, 1634, Cremona, Italy; Alvarez guitar; Flatiron bouzouki; Washburn mandolin Andra Bohnet plays: Irish flute custom design by Skip Healy; B-flat fife by Skip Healy; whistles by Wilson Woods and Susato; bansuri by Patrick Olwell; Celtic harp by Dave Thormahlen.
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