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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Athena Tergis

I found Athena Tergis a week ago on one of my many investigative visits to iTunes music store and I really wanted to share her music with you because she plays the fiddle in such a delightful manner.

Athena Tergis grew up in San Francisco and began to learn the classical violin in the Suzuki method at the age of 4 but she soon needed another challenge in order to stay interested in music. She began to exhibit an interest in fiddle music, when the fiddler Cait Reid hired her to be a baby sitter at the Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon fiddle camp, because it led to her being fascinated by fiddle music. She was particularly delighted by Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan's music so she followed her and learnt a lot of tunes. After that summer she spent many more summers going to these fiddle music camps, and so she studied with Ni Mhaonaigh, Alasdair Fraser and Buddy Macmaster. She developed such a talent for playing the fiddle that she won the Junior National Scottish Fiddling Championship three years in a row and managed to record an album with her fellow fiddler, Laura Risk, called Journey Begun. Tergis originally intended to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston but she eventually decided to go to Ireland instead. She spent the first year there sitting in on sessions on most nights, and then after a year she  started to work as a backing musician with Irish language television and was invited to tour with the accordion player, Sharon Shannon. She opened the production for the Lord of the Dance in Las Vegas and after that she was the principal fiddler for Broadway's Riverdance. She has now set up a studio in Tuscany called Terra Linda studios.

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