Two books to be launched at Fiddle Frenzy’s 10th ‘birthday bash’

Tonight will see two new fiddle books launched, coinciding with the “10th birthday bash” of Fiddle Frenzy.

Shetland Arts said this evening’s concert in Mareel would be “jam packed with local fiddle talent, performances from the Fiddle Frenzy students, and a party atmosphere”.

It will include a tribute to the late Willie Hunter, a renowned fiddler who would have been 80 this year.
The two books being launched are entitled The Fiddle Frenzy Collection and Back tae Burns – The Complete Collection.

Shetland Arts director Gwilym Gibbons said the former “brings together four publications previously collated for Fiddle Frenzy students”. The arts agency is “delighted to reprint these volumes to mark the tenth anniversary of our annual fiddle week”.

Back tae Burns is a collection of compositions by the late Ian Burns, which has been extended and is being republished separately. Ian (1932-1995) was born in Lerwick, with Unst ancestors, and lived most of his life in Tingwall.

Spootiskerry is his best known tune, appearing on many recordings by Scottish bands, and played at traditional music sessions all over the world. The croft it is named after lies between Sullom and Brae, and belonged to Ian’s grand aunts, Bella and Joan Nicolson.

The tunes have been transcribed by Margaret Scollay as they appear on the double CD Back tae Burns. Ian recorded everything on a four-track recorder and played all the instruments – accordion, fiddle, guitar, bagpipes, piano, mandolin and drums – himself.

The CD was compiled by his daughter, June Burns, in 2001 from his original recordings, previously released on cassette, which had been out of print for many years.

Both books can be purchased from Mareel and will be available to purchase from other vendors soon.

This morning, bairns will get the chance to enjoy an introduction to traditional music from Kollifirbolli members Astryd and Kaela Jamieson, and Mary Rutherford. “Tiny Trad”, for 5-8-year-olds, takes place in Mareel’s green room from 11am-noon.

Shetland Arts marketing officer Lisa Ward said: “The Kollifirbolli lasses will introduce the bairns to trad instruments with a particular focus on the fiddle. The bairns will get the chance to touch the instruments, hear about how they’re made, and learn a little about traditional music and its origins.”

Attendees do not need to bring an instrument with them, and a responsible adult must attend with each child or group of children.


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