Anam's music is continually evolving. Although predominantly rooted in the Celtic traditions they have always sought to push the traditional boundaries forward while still respecting their rich musical heritage. With Irish, Scottish, English and Cornish members in the group, there is a wealth of influence and tradition among them. Their material is an eclectic mixture of traditional and original songs and tunes, which are drawn not only from the Celtic idiom, but also from other musical styles including jazz, blues, singer/songwriter, Eastern European and other world music.
The group features a combination of vocals, guitar, bodhrán, bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle, button accordion and whistle. Music critics often comment on the strength of their arrangements of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes. Anam's popularity with all ages and musical tastes has been attributed to this refreshing approach, along with the band's original compositions and the stunning vocal harmonies.
Anam have played major international festivals and venues, including: Folk Alliance Conference; Memphis, USA; Port Fairy Folk Festival, Australia; Taipei National Concert Hall, Taiwan; Altan Festival, Tokyo, Japan; The Fleadh, London, England; Sidmouth Festival, England; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland; Dranouter Festival, Belgium, Milwaukee Irish Festival, USA; San Francisco Celtic Festival, USA.
Anam - the history
Anam was formed as a college band by Brian Ó hEadhra in Dublin, Ireland in the autumn of 1992. Their first concert appearance was at the L'Orient Interceltic Festival in Brittany, where they were awarded a trophy for being the best band of the festival. The concept of the band was to play original and traditional Celtic music with a strong Gaelic language influence. Over the next few years Anam continued to evolve, changing instrumentation and members while touring as a semi-professional unit.
Anam returned to L'Orient in 1994 where they met Aimée Leonard, from the Orkney Islands, Scotland. Aimée joined Anam that winter. In the summer of 1995 Treasa Harkin joined followed by mandolin/bouzouki player, Neil Davey, from Cornwall in 1997. Aimée Leonard left Anam in December 1998 and was replaced by Fiona Mackenzie from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, on vocals and Bodhrán. Another musician, Anna Wendy Stevenson from Edinburgh joined at the same time playing fiddle.