The daughter of folk artists Pete and Sue, Lucy Castle (b. England) took violin lessons at the age of eight. Soon she was accompanying her father after switching from classical to traditional folk material. Her formal education continued with studies with the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra, Chetham’s School Of Music in Manchester then London’s City University. After tours of Romania and Hungary in 1992 and 1993 she returned to England to find that Romanian band Iza were playing in Nottingham. Invited to participate in their concerts, she returned to Romania afterwards in October 1993 to play with Iza’s leader, Ioan Pop. Pop had previously spent 10 years working with Romanian folk group Maramuresul, before joining two award winning duos, Cintarea and Ronamiei. Over an extended 10 month period Castle played alongside Pop at village weddings and parties, learning all the time from the ethnic traditions of Transylvanian music. Returning to England in 1994, Pop, Lucy and her father Pete, a veteran of the folk circuit for over two decades and previously a collaborator with Bengali musician Aroti Biswas, made their debut as a performing trio - Popeluc - at the 1994 Broadstairs Festival. Using traditional ‘maramure’ instruments; fiddle, zongara (maramure guitar) and doba (tabor), they released their debut album, Maramures Et Cetera, in 1995. However, concurrent touring was made difficult because of visa difficulties experienced by Pop.
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