OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS Q&A with Éamonn Cagney, percussion

Built on 15 years of constant collaboration, percussionist Éamonn Cagney and guitarist Niwel Tsumbu are known for their incredible musical chemistry and exciting, joyous performances. Besides their duo music, they have worked in traditional Irish, Jazz, world, contemporary, electronic, opera, soundtracks, dance and countless other musical forms.

For Hotter than July the duo will be coming from Dublin’s Camden Studios straight into your living room, and ahead of these performances, Éamonn chatted to us a bit about their style as a duo, thinking about creativity in lockdown and the magic moments of music-making.

Hear Niwel Tsumbu & Éamonn Cagney Duo at Hotter than July on Saturday 18th and Sunday 26th July, 7pm on our Facebook or Youtube.   

Q. Could you tell us a bit about your style of music when playing in duo?

We have developed a highly unique style together that is rooted in both rhythm and friendship, with Niwel’s explorative, highly creative guitar melodies and harmonies interweaving with my own multi-drum rhythms and grooves.

Q. What is the most important thing to you when making music? 

To be completely in the moment and let the moment produce the magic. To be aware of being the player and also not the player.

Q. How are you finding making music during the COVID-19 restrictions? What do you think of the differences between streaming concerts and performing live? 

I have been in a very creative phase, mainly in an inward-looking sense, with space to experiment more without the restrictions of deadlines and outcomes. I have found this to be a valuable time of getting to know myself, and what I truly love creatively.

I have not performed any streamed concerts but I have produced videos and I love it. I feel like that’s actually what I want to focus on for now. But whenever I actually do a proper concert again I’m sure I’ll remember how much I love that too!

Q. Could you mention some of your artists or tracks you’ve found influential in this duo, or any of your favourite things to listen to?

Most of Paco De Lucia’s music can be refered to for sure. I personally love classic world, folk and jazz artists and groups like Batacumbele, Bassekou Kouyaté, Salif Keita, and am influenced also by teachers and other musicians I’ve played with, these days especially percussionists Louis César Ewande, Nana Tsiboe and Giovanni Hidalgo.

I love Latin music, Rumba, traditional Irish music, electronic, Baroque and love Justin Timberlake too!


Thanks Éamonn!

Hear Niwel Tsumbu & Éamonn Cagney Duo at Hotter than July on Saturday 18th and Sunday 26th July, 7pm on our Facebook or Youtube.   

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