"I waited a week before I called her," O'Tuama said.
After two dates, they knew they wanted to get married. About a year later, in 1997, they started touring the U.S. After touring for more than seven months in 1998, the couple moved out of their rental home and went on the road full-time.
On Tuesday night, that road trip led them to Farmington, where they performed for families at the Farmington Public Library in a concert entitled "Around the World in 30 Instruments."
The library hosted the concert as a preview for its Summer Reading Program. The Summer Reading Program starts in June and continues through Aug. 5.
Trish Fine attended the concert with her family on Tuesday. She and her husband raised their children listening to music, especially Celtic music.
"Our family is into different types of music," Fine said.
When the concert started, Maren Hunt, a youth librarian, asked the audience to raise their hands if they knew the different types of instruments displayed on stage. Not a single hand went up.
Martin and O'Tuama introduced the instruments as they played songs. One of the songs allowed O'Tuama to show off various types of recorders, starting with the bass recorder.
During another song, O'Tuama started by playing the spoons. After the song finished, he talked about the instruments and how he had started out playing his mother's metal spoons. If the children in the audience wanted to learn how to play spoons, all they have to do is start practicing on their mother's best silverware, O'Tuama said with a laugh.
Martin first heard the sitar an Indian stringed instrument made from a gourd when she was 10 years old. She immediately fell in love with the music and started to play herself.
Eventually, she expanded from Indian music to playing Celtic music on a variety of instruments. Now, her repertoire includes hammered dulcimer, mandolin, sitar, banjo, guitar, charango, psaltery and bodhran, all of which she played during Tuesday's concert.
O'Tuama got his start in a more traditional way: the piano. As the son of a well-known Irish scholar and playwright, O'Tuama grew up in theater. Later, he attended college and majored in music. After graduating, he started the band Four Shillings Short, a nod to the James Joyce short story in which a woman is cheated out of four shillings. During Tuesday's concery, O'Tuama told the audience he feels musicians are often in a similar situation.
Over time, Four Shillings Short has gained and lost members. Today, it is a duo consisting of Martin and O'Tuama.