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The next installment from Fiddle Frenzy Blogger Laura Simpson

*yip, I'm a day behind.....hopefully come Wednesday I'll have caught up wi mysel.....look oot for a fishy tale.

Monday started off, for me, wi group tunes at Mareel. I wis short o' a set o' music but that got photocopied by friendly Fiddle Frenzy volunteers and distributed later in the day. Fiddles and guitars joining in the lovely music I kinda enjoyed sitting on the floor picking my way througj the bones of the tune that I managed to pick out by ear. A testament to a past Shetland fiddle experience of mine, where I wis encouraged to learn fae ear wi music for back up. I always felt the music closer to my heart and soul than when learned than from notes on a page! My wee while sat on the wooden floor was a lovely confirmation that I could jist aboot pick up a melody by ear again and the morning progressed in a very positive way wi twa tunes learnt, by the improvers class, by the refreshing & engaging Martha Thomson.

My, she could mak that fiddle sing~ sometimes sweet and pure & at ither times wi earthy & gravelly tones. As weel as breaking down the tunes into bite sized snippets that abody in oor cheery wee group could manage to get a hold of she encouraged us to take these lovely Shetland tunes and make them our own. Sometimes simple melodies can give space and time to spice up the rythm or pepper a tune wi different grace notes or ringin' strings. Wow! Can't say I'd considered a tune in terms of texture or using the bow to mak the beat. Food for thought to tak hame and weave into my fiddle tapestry.

I treated mysel to a rocky road brownie (beautiful!) & hot choc at Mareel's cafe (thocht I deserved it aifter a' the brain and fingerwork!!) before heading, via bank machine on Commercial st, to the gig at the Islesburgh.

A testament to the living, breathing Shetland music tradition was the presence & energy o' Eunice Henderson as she hosted the Shetland Showcase, featuring some of Shetland's brightest young stars on stage with a wee break to sample a Shetland bannock (I'd filled up on a cake fae Mareel, so was miffed to find I'd no space!) & an opportunity to peruse some lovely Shetland craft stalls. I'm hame fae the Islesburgh wi my purse afew pound lighter!

Very much looking forward to the morn up at Ollaberry, I've taken the opportunity to take a Creative Fringe class- an alternative to music in the Frenzy and choose a day's sketching.

Whatever folks have chosen at Ollaberry bus leaves at 8.30 so I'll finish off this dander roon' day one and get some zz's in!

Cheers, Laura

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