LISTEN: Writer’s tune about isles heritage played by Shetlander for first time
A musician has answered the call of an author, who wanted to hear a Shetlander play a tune he wrote about his isles heritage.
Jenny Keldie, from Burra, has recorded herself playing Taing of Houss on fiddle. The piece was written by Sunderland author Keith Gregson who can trace his roots back to the same isle.
Gregson’s song is named after the home where his family lived, and was composed “with the old ruined croft on Burra in mind”.
Keldie said she hoped Gregson liked the song, which had also made her homesick for Burra as she now lives in Orkney.
She arranged and performed Taing of Houss after Gregson put out a call for an isles fiddler to play it in an article in last week’s Shetland Times.
The story, which included sheet music, was published in the hope that someone from Shetland would be able to play it.
Gregson told this newspaper last week: “I would love to hear it played properly on a fiddle by a Shetlander.”
The writer, who turned 70 last year, has been using his time inside to practise the instrument, with the lockdown giving him a chance to brush up his fiddle playing. But he said he was “not up to recording the tune on fiddle” just yet.
As a belated 70th birthday present, Gregson’s three sons were planning to take him and his wife up to Shetland for a weekend in May, but with that now called off for obvious reasons, he decided to offer up his song instead.