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Shetland Arts’ 10th annual fiddle school and festival, Fiddle Frenzy 2013, has been in full swing this past week with sell-out concerts, workshops, a festival club, and tours all around the Isles, and is set to finish with a bang this weekend with a few highlights left to come including the launch of 2 new fiddle books on Saturday evening at the 10th Birthday Bash concert and a chance for bairns to take part in an introduction to traditional music from the members of Kollifirbolli: May Rutherford, Kaela Jamieson, and Astryd Jamieson.

Tiny Trad is an introduction to traditional music for 5 to 8 year olds taking place in Mareel’s Green Room on Saturday 10 August from 11am-12pm. 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 to Tiny Trad and a responsible adult must attend with each child or group of children.

And on Saturday evening at the Fiddle Frenzy Finale: 10th Birthday Bash at Mareel, everyone is invited along to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary. The event will be jam packed with local fiddle talent, performances from the Fiddle Frenzy students, and a party atmosphere. The evening will also include a tribute to Shetland Fiddle the late Willie Hunter, who would have been 80 this year. And, Shetland Arts is delighted to reveal, the event will also include the launch of two brand new fiddle books: The Fiddle Frenzy Collection and Back tae Burns – The Complete Collection.

Shetland Arts’ Director, Gwilym Gibbons, said: “The Fiddle Frenzy Collection brings together four publications previously collated for Fiddle Frenzy students. Shetland Arts is delighted to reprint these volumes to mark the 10th anniversary of our annual fiddle week. A fifth book, Back tae Burns, a collection of compositions by Ian Burns, has been extended and is being republished separately. Thank you to all that have contributed to this collection and those that have supported Fiddle Frenzy over the years.”

Burns COVER Front

The front cover of Back tae Burns

Ian Burns (1932-1995) was born in Lerwick, with ancestors coming from Unst. He lived most of his life in Tingwall. Spootiskerry is his best known tune; it appears on many recordings by Scottish bands, and is 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 reels, jigs, waltzes and marches in the Back tae Burns book show Ian’s musical versatility. His understanding of instrumental traditions when composing is highlighted in some of his marches which fit well in the bagpipe idiom.

The tunes have been transcribed by Margaret Scollay as they appear on the double CD Back tae Burns (PEB 666). Ian recorded everything on a 4-track recorder and played all the instruments himself – accordion, fiddle, guitar, bagpipes, piano, mandolin and drums. The CD was compiled by his daughter, June Burns, in 2001 from his original recordings, previously released on cassette as Spootiskerry Collection, The Laebrak and Sunnyside, all of which have been out of print for many years.

Both books can be purchased from Mareel and will be available to purchase from other vendors soon also. Tickets for the 10th Birthday Bash cost £15 / £12 and doors are at 8pm. Tickets for Tiny Trad cost £3 per child. Tickets for both are available via Shetland Box Office in Mareel & Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at www.shetlandboxoffice.org and www.mareel.org

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