The first concert Cormac and Caoimhín played together was a sold out show at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in May 2016, as part of a residency in the new Kevin Barry Recital room.
They share a common interest in the traditional music of both Kerry and Clare, and they both have an approach to that music that revels in repetition and a deep meditative engagement with each tune.
Both play a number of very unusual instruments that extend the musical and sonic range available to them: bass, baritone and piccolo concertinas combining with 10-string hardanger d'Amore fiddles.
Cormac Begley is a bass, baritone, treble and piccolo concertina player from a West-Kerry musical family.
He is the founder of Airt and the award winning Tunes in the Church live concert series in Galway. In 2014, he received the Seán Ó Riada Award for concertina playing and his playing has been described as 'a masterclass in timeless musicianship' (****, Irish Times).
To date, he has featured on three acclaimed recordings – the first with fellow concertina player, Jack Talty ('Na Fir Bolg') and the second ('Tunes in the Church'), featuring his sister, Clíodhna (viola) and Páraic Mac Donnchadha (banjo) and third, Ré, featuring Liam Ó Maonlaí, Maitiu O Casaide, Eithne Ní Chatháin and Peter O Toole.
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh plays traditional and contemporary folk music on Hardanger d'Amore.
Caoimhín's distinctive sound can be traced back to an early interest in both the sound of the flat-pitch uilleann pipes and a love for the traditional music of Kerry and Clare.
A proclivity for tuning the fiddle below concert pitch and a tendency to play on two strings simultaneously had already given him a unique and distinctive sound when he first encountered the Norwegian hardanger fiddle, which has since become his chosen instrument.
He has performed on some of the most beautiful stages in the world, including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall and the Lincoln Center.
He has made nineteen albums to date, performs solo, in duos, and as part of many other collaborations.