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Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch launch Shetland Arts’ third fiddle tune book ‘Kebister Head’ – and other fiddle tunes composed, or as played, by Bobby Peterson. The launch will take place in the Foyer of Shetland Museum on Sunday 2 August at 2.30pm and an invitation is extended to anyone who would like to come along to this event. Bryan and Violet will play in the Museum Foyer at 2.30pm and copies of the book will be available from the Museum Shop that day and later on from other outlets in town.

Bobby Peterson, of South Califf, Tingwall, was one of the best fiddlers of his generation as Tom Anderson’s archive recordings testify. He learned from his father, and was inspired by the famous Geordie Stark the itinerant blind fiddler from Dundee. Bobby was one of the first members of the Shetland Fiddlers Society.

Bobby Peterson has greatly inspired his grandson, Bryan Gear who released his first, long awaited, solo CD, ‘Kebister Head’, in 2008. The tune ‘Kebister Head’ is one of Bryan’s grandfather’s few compositions. Bobby Peterson is virtually unknown outside Shetland, but his style and interpretation of many other tunes deserves recognition. His interpretation is as significant a part of the living traditions of his time as the higher profile work of Aly Bain, Fiddlers Bid and Bryan Gear today. ‘Kebister Head’ also has a CD attached with some of the late Dr Tom Anderson’s fantastic archives recordings of Bobby playing a few of the tunes transcribed in the book.

Students, from all over the world, have been requesting access to more traditional Shetland tunes. This tied in with a project Shetland Arts ran in conjunction with The Scottish Arts Council Youth Music Initiative when, for two years, young Shetland players researched and tutored on tunes, from their own areas which resulted in the first publication ‘Hamar Ower da Taing’, in 2008. Shetland Arts released this first fiddle tune book as part of the music development of their annual fiddle school and festival, ‘Fiddle Frenzy’. A second Fiddle Frenzy book and CD, ‘Shetland Session Tunes’, was published earlier this year to meet the demand from students who want to take part in local sessions and mix with local players. Session sets from the Shetland Fiddlers, the Heritage Fiddlers and the Cullivoe Fiddlers are included, and the CD has tunes played individually, at a very slow rate, then speeded up, in sets by the 2009’s Youth Music Tutors. This is a good aid to learning.

All the books have been transcribed by local fiddle player and teacher Margaret Scollay. Shetland Arts and Shetland Museum and Archives have worked in partnership on this project and look forward to working on further publications.

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