Fiona Harrison playing Hardanger fiddle
Had an amazing few days studying hardingfele and playing for dancing in Folklore Village, Wisconsin. I won a scholarship from the HFAA and was lent an amazing instrument. It was a wonderful experience.
I have lots of material to work on and perform over the coming year.
Watch this space.
I love holidays. Trips and things. I am in Newcastle just now. Went to Bonnie Raitt's gig last night touring Slipstream. Its the first time she's toured for 7 years I think. She's an amazing role model. Five decades and she is still working and is better than ever.
Foy Vance was supporting her. He is a find. I haven't heard of him (not that that's surprising given I have been buried in scottish traditional or baroque opera music all year!). He played entirely solo - very hard to do. Really powerful stuff.
He has an album coming out later in the year with a backing band . Worth watching out for.
A lot of folk have been listening to my SoundCloud page recently which is great. I loaded up a new composition of mine, Pearl Five. Got a nice comment. Here it is below. If you like it please leave a comment or favourite it. I'd be interested in any feedback.
A Youtube video of Skyline jigs which we played at Queen's Hall, Edinburgh. Written by Ruraidh Saunders
Great performances on Thursday evening in the Queen's Hall. Dido and Aeneas went well - as did folk band. End of another year. Practice continues with lots of my own projects to look forward to, especially fiddling in Winconsin and Quebec!
Good news. I have just heard that I have won a scholarship to study hardanger playing with the HFAA (see above). Really looking forward to it.
Preparation for performances on 13th June is a priority just now. Strings group , folk and choir (see HND1 page for more). Waiting for feedback on my recital.
Played my solo recital on Tuesday this week. I played Lament for Mr Thomas Grant of Elgin (composed by Charles Grant) and then a set, The Banks of Spey (William Marshall) and and The Borthwick (Reel) by Bob Hobkirk, a borders fiddler. I think it went fairly well. Managed to keep the tempo down and solid. I quite enjoyed it.
There were six of us playing. No other fiddles though. Well one to everyone who performed
I performed at the Fused Edinburgh event on Friday night. It went quite well apart from the very last outro where the group ended slightly out of kilter. Ah well.
Practice for my recital continues. I will be playing next week. I had a rehearsal on Friday which went quite well. I just hope its OK on the day. Still not brilliantly well but there seems no point in delaying further. Better to get it done while I can, clear the decks and then focus on the other performances coming up.
I am trying to tidy up little bits and pieces. I have changed the bowing on one part of the reel as its too fast to bow too much separately and it seems to sound better with slurs. But its easy to skip a note in the string changes.
In the rehearsal we practiced the accompaniment for the reel quite a lot - its tricky to use chords all the way through as there is a section of major minor which sounded a bit odd. So we going for a harmony on the melody to keep it light.
I have been hit by some nasty illness meaning I've been down for about two weeks.
I have been trying to practice but have been too ill many days.
Anyway, I am slowly recovering. Too ill to go to physiotherpy but the enforced rest has helped my shoulder.
Practice involves trying to get back on top of my recital pieces and the other performance pieces we have coming
Recital pieces - I am trying to fix little tuning things, triple stopping - slow practice. Also trying to tidy up bowing here and there, cut out some grace notes and flicks where these sound a bit over the top. I am playing the Lament as well as I have ever played apparently.
More vibrato here and there. Rehearsal tomorrow.
We now have the running list for Fused Edinburgh which I am performing at tomorrow. Strings group is beginning to sound good.
Getting near to recitals. My shoulder is giving me problems - physiotherapy weekly at the moment. I have changed shoulder rests yet again to a Bon Musica. I like it. I have also raised the height of my chin rest to 35mm. So the whole violin is very high just now. I think its helping.
Practising the pieces for my recital and trying to get every note clear. I am also continuing on technique and working on the shaping of the pieces. Practising position work too.
Lots of new pieces for Folk Band and we have performances coming up soon. On Green Grow the Rushes we are really improvising accompaniment - a new ay of working for the fiddles.
I am also practising parts for Dido and Aeneas. I can't quite work out which position a bit should be played in. Its fast and tricky. My teacher suggested learning it one bar at a time backwards. I think this is quite a good idea. Because it makes you play t lots of times over addiing a bar at a time.
For some light relief I am also playing in the Scots Music Group Folk Band with Innes Watson and John Sommervile. i am enjoying that. And playing the guitar a bit in DADGAD - now that's a revelation.