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A Portable Recorder and a Brilliant Mind

Agustina Taborda is an Argentinian folk musician and composer living in Galway and whose tracks reflect a rich cultural background, with influences like tango and cumbia music from South America. Not only is her style unique and compelling, but her methods also show how resourceful Agustina truly is.

In 2020, she released I bhfad ar shiúl, an album entirely recorded from her own house on the versatile Zoom H6 portable recorder.

The musician may have gone without a traditional recording room, but the street became her studio: she recorded beeping pedestrian crossing signals, music sessions and buskers, bringing the daily life noises of Galway into her album. All these sounds were brought into the tracks in a creative yet natural way, to complement Agustina’s voice and instrumentation - mostly the piano and the bandoneón, a type of concertina particularly used in tango, but also some nice virtual instruments from a rich library called Labs, made by Spitfire Audio and available for free.

In late 2019, recording a whole album like this was not only ingenious and unique, but it truly broke boundaries. Agustina knew what she was able to do well without much, and we were delighted that she asked us for help when it came to mixing this masterpiece. Knowing when to start trusting someone else with such a labor of love is often the most difficult part!

Galway isn’t the only featured artist in the composer’s work, as she also brought her community and personal life experiences into it.

For instance, the album stars special guests Aneta Dortová, Cheryl Kelly, and Jamie Toomey in the beautiful piece Tall Pine Tree. Track #5, Fionnuala, was written for the daughter of a friend who was just born at the time. Finally, Cumbia del Deli Shop was inspired by Agustina’s experience working in a deli. Every song has an atmosphere and can bring your mind to places never visited before.

To finish things up, she asked her friend Cesar to be the mixing engineer, meaning that he gathered all the tracks and edited them to achieve a cohesive and balanced sound throughout the album. As always, he also tried to add his own touch to the project, as he loves being part of an album’s creative process - even as a very final icing on the cake.

If you need to travel - both around the world and in time - look no further: I bhfad ar shiúl will take you right where you need to go...

"...the album manages to sound warm and natural, exciting and new, enchanting and ethereal all at once. It is genuinely brilliant and one of the best of the year so far, no doubt."


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