Nfld. & Labrador

Meet a duo who put an electronic spin on traditional tunes (and Joey Smallwood)

Lee Tizzard and Tom Ronan were influenced growing up with early electronic music. Decades later, they're still exploring electronica — while dipping into some familiar folk tunes for inspiration. Enjoy our latest segment in our For the Love of Music series.

Lee Tizzard and Tom Ronan were influenced growing up by early electronic music

Tom Ronan plays a synthesizer, a key instrument for Modern Archetypes and their electronic take on Newfoundland folk tunes. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

Lee Tizzard and Tom Ronan know their way around the canon of traditional Newfoundland songs … but their instruments are a bit unusual.

Park the fiddle and the bodhrán. Tizzard and Ronan — who record together as Modern Archetypes – instead use synthesizers, beats and samples to reimagine songs like Mussels in the Corner, Lukey's Boat and She's Like the Swallow.

Oh, and there's a bit of Joey Smallwood in there, too, thanks to some recordings in the Ronan family archive.

Tizzard and Ronan broke down how their early interest in electronic music set them on a path that decades later brought them together in the studio, in our latest instalment of our series For the Love of Music.

WATCH | Electronic musicians Lee Tizzard and Tom Ronan speak with the CBC's Mark Cumby:

Traditional tunes, definitely not the way Nan knew them

CBC News Newfoundland

4 months ago
Modern Archetypes use synths and sampling to revinent some old Newfoundland songs 4:04

For the Love of Music

For the next few months, we'll be bringing you some of the stories about music and musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Our first instalment was about rock-and-roll pioneer Lew Skinner, who over the years has also built a formidable collection of guitars. You can watch that segment below: 

Meet a rock pioneer is still obsessed with guitars

5 months ago
Lew Skinner caught the rock-and-roll bug in 1955 as a teenager, and is now the owner of numerous vintage guitars 4:29

Watch for it every second Thursday on Here & Now, and right here on


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