Emilia Bartellas and Aaron Collis of The Dardanelles release CD as a duo

Published on December 2, 2013

It’s a possibility that with the release of their debut CD as a duo, Emilia Bartellas and Aaron Collis will one day become their own competition.

As members of The Dardanelles, who won the 2012 MusicNL award for Celtic/Traditional Group of the Year, there may come a time when Bartellas and Collis will vie for awards or stage time against themselves. They both laugh when the thought is put to them.

“We haven’t thought that far ahead,” Bartellas says. “We just can’t wait to hold the record. It just got in today and we just want to see that it exists first.”

Bartellas, a fiddler, and Collis, who plays accordion, will release a self-titled CD Tuesday night in St. John’s.

They’re not quitting The Dardanelles — the new CD is a side project, inspired by their work together in the band.

The pair often finds themselves jamming together, as the melody instruments in the group, and just thought it might be a cool project.

The record pays tribute to traditional accordion and fiddle music of this province.

All the tracks are dance tunes, learned from the people who played them or folks who collected them. While all instrumental, there’s a lot of variety on the album.

“Even just in Newfoundland dance tunes, within that there are reels, there are jigs, there are types of tunes called singles and doubles and even triples, there are waltzes,” Bartellas explains.

“In the dance halls there’d be just an accordion player or just a fiddle player, so the majority of the album is just that, and then we have some accompaniment on some of the tracks.”

Bartellas and Collis will also have some accompaniment at their CD launch, happening at the Rocket Room at 8 p.m.: performances by Dave Penny, Dave Paddon and Kelly Russell, as well as help from Duane Andrews on guitar, Billy Sutton on bodhran and Jason Whelan on bouzouki.  

They’ll play the full album, with recitations weaved in throughout.

“It’ll be as if it were a time in somebody’s house,” Bartellas says.

Bartellas started playing classical and Newfoundland traditional music at age four, while Collis first picked up an accordion around age 11 or 12, having seen it played at a wedding party.

As members of The Dardanelles, the duo has played at festivals and stages around the world.

Tickets for their CD release party are $20 and are available at Fred’s Records and O'Brien’s Music in St. John’s.

Bartellas and Collis will play next as special guests at The Once Christmas show at Gower Street United Church, Dec. 21 and 22.

Visit www.thetelegram.com to see a video of them performing in The Telegram studios.



Twitter: @tara_ bradbury

Fiddler Emilia Bartellas and accordionist Aaron Collis — members of The Dardanelles — release a CD of their own Tuesday night in St. John’s. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram