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The Sound of (Irish) Music

by Dan Otto

Dan Otto 2016 Blarney CastleTime: 4:00 pm
Location: South Tent

With roots in the medieval period, Irish traditional music experienced a revival in the 1960s and is recognized today as a popular musical genre worldwide. Irish music is performed by several renowned groups, some of which got their start in the '60s and '70s: The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Clannad, Planxty, and The Bothy Band. These acts’ popularity gave rise to popular bands of the '80s and '90s such as Altan, Dé Dannan, and Danú, which in turn inspired bands formed even more recently: Líadan, Beoga, Teada, and Gráda. The aforementioned groups and others represent the instrumental aspect of traditional Irish music. This tradition also encompasses such skills as dancing (Riverdance, Michael Flatley, Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, etc.) and singing (Celtic Woman, Enya, Moya Brennan, etc.). The popularity of Irish traditional music has also spawned Irish rock and punk acts such as Sinéad O’Connor, The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, and Flogging Molly, among others.

The bodhrán (frame drum) and tin whistle (Irish Gaelic: feadóg) are two of several instruments played in Irish traditional music sessions around the world. In his Tent Talk, Dan will discuss the history of these instruments and demonstrate their use. Dan will also discuss the art of singing in Irish traditional music and present songs in both the Irish and English languages.

Bio: Originally from Alfordsville, Daviess County, Indiana, Dan Otto now resides in Ferdinand and is a Treatment Program Facilitator at Dubois County Community Corrections in Jasper. Dan is a 2011 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, where as a member of the Chamber Choir, he went on three concert tours to the Republic of Ireland and gained a love for the folk music of that country. Dan has been playing Irish music in some capacity since 2008, when he first learned how to play the bodhrán. Dan was a member of the Rowan Tree Irish Traditional Band in Evansville for over three years, and has been playing in amateur sessions in Evansville, Washington, and Vincennes since 2010. Aside from Irish music, Dan’s interests include German language, literature and culture, teaching, reading, writing, hiking, and films, history and politics both foreign and domestic.

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