While keyboard player Tammera Lane attended Taylor University as a music major, the sounds of the Medieval/Renaissance period fascinated her.
“I really liked the unusual tones and modes — music scales,” she said. “In later years, working at a folk music shop, I discovered that Celtic music uses some of those same modes. It’s partly what gives Celtic music its haunting and unique quality.”
Her love affair of the genre led to the creation in the early 1990s of Celtica. The group has varied in size over the years, and today Lane performs mostly with Greensburg guitarist and vocalist Tim Dooley.
The duo will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Ethnic Expo, the city’s free, two-day downtown international festival. The pair also will release a CD, “Labyrinth Walk,” a project launched shortly after they played at a gathering at the circular, meditative walk last year at North Christian Church.
Why Celtic music?
There is a pleasantness and peacefulness with this music. One can connect emotionally, as well as intellectually, to what we do. We’ve been told that it has brought in a breath of fresh air, especially when people have been going through difficult times or are feeling depressed. One person told us that it seemed we were in a bubble, and she wished she could enter in with us.
How are you different from other similar groups?
We are a progressive Celtic group, in that we enjoy creating alternative chords, counterpoint and interesting musical changes to the traditional tunes. Besides normal instruments such as piano/keyboard, guitar and mandolin, we perform hammered dulcimer (ancient Persia), double-bowed psaltery (ancient Greece), hurdy gurdy (11th century Spain), and more.
Who has influenced you
Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, the Chieftains, Dougie McLean, Ad Vielle Que Pourra, Solas, Blowzabella, and more. Even classical and rock composers have influenced us, especially in our creative alterations.
What do you want listeners to take away from your concerts/tunes?
Hopefully they take with them an enjoyable emotional/spiritual and artistic experience, through our Celtic music.
What will your forthcoming disc feature?
The new CD is Celtic-influenced/-based music for labyrinth walks, meditative and prayer times. We are including some of our traditional tunes, trisagions, ancient hymns, and such — all instrumental, with our variety of Medieval instruments.
Besides Expo, where can people find you?
First at CelticaBand.com. But we are doing various corporate-level gigs, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Columbia Club, wineries, festivals, churches, libraries, schools, weddings, house concerts, private events, etc. We especially love doing Christmas music, Old World carols that we’ve “Celticized,” a word that I think we’ve made up.
I would do Christmas music all year long, but Tim says no, it wouldn’t work on St. Patrick’s Day.