Another great Scots Fiddle Festival. We went to all three concerts, every one was excellent.
The Friday evening concert started with Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth. Simply fabulous. We have seen Ryan before as a competitor for young traditional musician of the year at Celtic Connections – sadly he didn’t win either – but he’s a really great fiddler.
They were followed by Mike Vass and his “The Four Pillars”, a commission by the festival. Again, great.
I didn’t have workshops on the Saturday so was able to session all day – I started with the fiddle in the main session, but we soon had enough to form a breakaway impromptu Scandi session on the stairwell landing. We had a great time – I think I played about four hours solid on the nyckelharpa.
The evening concert began with Adam Sutherland who had been giving materclasses to some excellent youngsters. After their sets we had the Kinnaris Quintet who are also excellent.
They were followed by the Orkney duo, Saltfishforty – masters of their trade.
On Sunday I had a workshop to start – “Improvisaton” with Mairi Campbell – which was interesting and thought provoking. After that there was another burst of sessioning, initially with people from the Glasgow fika session, but I bailed out when it changed into a fast reels session! I later had another workshop with Mairi Campbell on “Cape Breton fiddle” which will be very useful in the future when I finally get there!
The Sunday concert had Sarah-Jane Summers and Juhani Silvola – some good Scandi there – followed by The Poozies who were their usual fantastic selves.
Altogether a great festival, with the new venue (The Pleasance) being most successful.