A reel, for those not in the know, is not just for fishing or films. It is also a lively Scottish or Irish dance. And, though The Reel Sisters are not real sisters, they are good friends who have …
A reel, for those not in the know, is not just for fishing or films. It is also a lively Scottish or Irish dance. And, though The Reel Sisters are not real sisters, they are good friends who have grown closer through their love for traditional Scottish and Irish tunes.
Rosalind Buda plays the Scottish smallpipes, a smaller and quieter cousin to the bagpipes. Kelly Brzozowski plays the Scottish harp. Both Buda and Brzozowski have classical training as well as experience playing traditional folk music. And, while they may not be blood relatives, The Reel Sisters share an easy, familial camaraderie that makes their concerts extra enjoyable.
They are also fun to interview. We talked together via conference call since Buda is based in Asheville, North Carolina and Brzozowski lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Taos musician Julie Norem-Hawley is a harp student of Brzozowski and invited The Reel Sisters to come to Taos. They will perform Sunday (Dec. 2), 2 p.m., at the Bareiss Gallery, 15 State Road 150, north of El Prado.
Although they have known each other for a number of years, Buda and Brzozowski told me they have been performing together as The Reel Sisters for less than a year. Their first performance was in May 2018. They've already recorded their first album, called "Beyond Measure," which was released Oct. 11.
For their Taos concert, The Reel Sisters plan to play a lot of Scottish dance tunes as well as Appalachian and Irish music.
"It's a good mix," said Brzozowski, adding that they may throw in a few holiday songs as well.
Brzozowski said her family background is Scottish and Irish, and her mother always had music playing in the house when she was young. Brzozowski also recalls going to the Scottish Highland games, which were held close to her home when she was growing up.
"There was somebody out there playing harp. I saw it and fell in love with it," Brzozowski remembered. "My mom would swear to you that I started screaming at her at 2 years old that I wanted to play the harp. I started playing as a pretty small child."
Brzozowski earned a bachelor's degree in music and a master's diploma in harp performance and musicology from the University of North Wales. She has taught and performed both classical and Celtic music throughout Europe and the United States and maintains a large teaching studio in Atlanta. She also stays busy home-schooling her son.
Rosalind Buda plays the Scottish smallpipes, which she says are "similar and dissimilar to the Highland bagpipes." She said the smallpipes are a chamber music instrument which "play well with others."
Buda holds music degrees from the University of Iowa and the New England Conservatory. Like Brzozowski, Buda has also taught and performed throughout the United States and Europe. Buda teaches and performs classical chamber and orchestral music and Celtic music throughout western North Carolina and in her home of Asheville. She also plays clawhammer style banjo and enjoys contra dance.
This will be the first time that Buda comes to New Mexico. "I'm feeling very grateful we're coming and looking forward to sharing this music," she said.
"We're ridiculously excited about it," Brzozowski chimed in. "I think we'll have a lot of fun, too."
"We don't do the stoic Celtic music thing," Buda added. "We're the opposite."
While they are in New Mexico, The Reel Sisters will also perform a couple of shows in Albuquerque on Friday (Nov. 30) and Saturday (Dec. 1). Buda will also be available to give lessons on the smallpipes.
Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information, contact Norem-Hawley at (575) 770-3546 or visit reelsistersmusic.com.
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