"...it’s a beautiful album, whether it’s the remarkable interplay of low whistle and guitar on the three Improvisation tracks or the wondrous jazz infused Vals Socialista finale this is an album that opens the door ever so wider on each listen revealing depths which unveil a musical relationship that was surely predestined".
I'm delighted to present my new album "In Buenos Aires" !
Recorded in Casa Frida Studio, Buenos Aires, Argentina, the album features the wonderful musicianship of
Walther E. Castro ~ bandoneon
Quique Sinesi ~ guitars, charango
Mono Hurtado ~ double bass
Fraser Fifield ~ low whistles, bagpipes
The CD available to pre-order from Bandcamp!
Digital album available in full from 21st April
CDs posted from 1st May.
This recording was made possible by an Artist's Bursary award from Creative Scotland
Great to play a part once more in this fantastic festival of music.
Thanks to NeWt Trio and La Banda Europa for memorable music making experiences!
Thanks to Rob Adams for the great coverage in advance of these gigs
Great to be playing some more Duo gigs to round off the year... come and hear us at the following venues:
Sun 11th Dec - The Glad Cafe, Glasgow
Thurs 15th - The Depot, Leith
Fri 16th - The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Sat 17th - Glenbuchat Village Hall, Strathdon
"Celebrating 20 years of their critically acclaimed musical partnership, Fraser Fifield (sax/pipes/whistles/kaval) and Graeme Stephen (guitar) blend a worldwide range of musical influences through a perfectly natural Scottish cultural filter. Recently Graeme has been composing and performing extensively for a range of classic silent films, while Fraser has been on inspiring recording trips to Mumbai, Buenos Aires and also gigging with Scottish folk legends, Capercaillie. It's a unique sound from two of Scotland's most respected musicians".
I thought, why not make available this track from 2014, which I'm fond of, so here it is, over on bandcamp
With Red Note Ensemble and Kuljit Bhamra last week...
Loch Shiel Festival, Glenfinnan
Good to escape the city...
The Red Note Ensemble's Reels to Ragas series with Kuljit Bhamra and I attached at various venues throughout the Highlands of Scotland in April, like this one...
See the Red Note website for further info
Includes @LochshielFest Friday 15th April
In Berlin last Tues evening I took part in a concert titled
Celtic Roots: Jazz at the Berlin Philharmonic
put together by ACT records boss Siggifried Loch, and recorded for eventual release on his label, it featured
We had plenty fun doing it. The 'Celtic' term sometimes seems not so far removed from that grassy African plain we all came from, so we were broad minded with our approach. If the CD works out I'll let you know, fingers crossed. Folk music for a Jazz label in a Classical venue with more than dash of the Blues, a beautiful confusion!
photo by Ioana Taut
I made a wee recording yesterday featuring the humble practice chanter and a bit of ableton, having always liked it's sound, it's not often performed upon publicly but various people have of course used it, by now, on recordings. One of my favourite examples was on an album by the late Hector Zazou, featuring the singing of Cathie Ann MacPhee. It was the sax/clarinet player who played the chanter I recall, a French chap...interesting. Jim Sutherland recently got me to dig mine out for a bit of recording, so thanks Jim!
Anyway, here's my track, 'The Chanter' , hope you enjoy.
please share with any Bagpipe interested friends, if you think they're hard enough, thanks!
you can download the song for a mere 25 pence on bandcamp, hurry while stocks last.
Karine Polwart / James Robertson Pilgrimer
Fraser Fifield Trio :
Colin Edwards on the duo's Deeside Inn show
Thursday 3rd Dec 2015: Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen at the Deeside Inn, Ballater
By Colin Edwards
What makes a moment memorable? Things that happen spontaneously. A breathtaking sunset, a spark of joy in the eye of a passing stranger, a haunting musical phrase..
read the article here:
thanks Paula Tod
Serbia - lucky to get opportunities through music to meet fascinating people and places and so it was the past week in Belgrade, big thanks to Slobodan Trkulja and Balkanopolis, It's exciting musically to throw yourself among a new group of musicians from a different culture. We Balkanised my 'Dark Reel' and some classics from the modern Scottish folk canon including Martyn Bennett's 'Swallowtail', Gordon Duncan's 'Sleeping Tune'.. the Serbian musicians, and Dutch drummer, are great players, good human beings - a real kaval player in the band, so I had a few questions. People, in general, have challenging financial circumstances over there. It's about 3 hours away but quickly gives fresh perspective. Wages are low, a university graduate would command a higher pay bracket of around 200 euro a month. I didn't haggle. English spoken by all it seems, womankind there need particular mention you would concur. The TV station, Ministry of Defence buildings and a couple others are still bombed out shells in the city centre, from 1999, thanks again Tony. I asked and was told very different accounts of the civil war than we were encouraged to believe here in the West. Of course. None of us now would be so quick to buy the Nato story now the duplicitous nature of their aspirations has been rubbed repeatedly in our faces, I hope...but a bit late for Serbia and it's neighbours. Went to my first opera. Slept a bit, then enjoyed the rest, didn't understand, Othello got progressively lighter as the show went on I thought, smokers balcony on the breaks was a scene to behold. I was part of a TV show recording yesterday, tunes and chat, was quite something ...27 of us jammed into a very cool props studio/warehouse for Serbian film industry, see attached photos, Tim Matthew I'm reminded of you (the industry is on hard times - no government incentives for film-makers..). I politely declined the offer of staying up for 24 hours artificially with a seemingly fun group of people who also talked of a certain kind of depression which is manifest across the society to a degree, but if true, is certainly being lifted by the musical adventurousness of Slobodan and his band - which scottish music band could get an audience of 1600 on a self promoted gig? I'll be happy if I get 60 on Thursday in Ballater. This thursday. with Graeme Stephen.
Looking forward to visiting the Hippodrome in Eyemouth on 5th December to give a concert with Graeme Stephen
Here's the event details : http://eyemouthhippodrome.org/events/fraser-fifield-and-graeme-stephen/
catch the short set* performed by Fraser Fifield, Graeme Stephen and David Milligan on BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3 online for 30 days.
*circa 47 mins into the programme.
Chase It Catch It
Also performing : ACV (featuring pianist Matthew Bourne and guitarist Chris Sharkey) Emma Smith (bass) and Lauren Sarah Hayes (electronics), and Herschel 36, (Paul Harrison, Stuart Brown)
sets by Inge Thomson and Fraser Fifield at 34.25 and 01.06.48 - available online for a short while only i think
Looking forward very much to meeting and playing with these fine musicians soon in Buenos Aires
Lots more info to follow
Performing as part of Alchemy Glasgow, a celebration of classical, traditional, folk and contemporary music from Pakistan, India and the UK, Hussain and co proved beyond all doubt that traditional Indian and Celtic music are natural bedfellows. Soul, rhythm, they’re universal. Flanked by six Caucasian musicians playing a sensitive melange of acoustic guitar, woodwind, violin and percussion, Hussain sat crosslegged alongside bamboo flautist Rakesh Chaurasia and violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan.
Their mesmerising instrumentals, though permitted to run free via wild improvisations, were anchored by Hussain’s unearthly lightning rhythms. His hands danced across the skins like spiders dodging raindrops, or Wile E Coyote racing off a cliff and peddling in midair. I mean that in the nicest possible way. This was no earnest recital. Rather, it was impish, friendly, contagious. Cheeky traces of The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond and Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly permeated funky pieces such as Michael’s Mattress, an almighty groove pitched somewhere between Bollywood and a Blaxploitation soundtrack.
When the ensemble played as one, the sound was utterly thrilling. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard bagpipes and tabla in simpatico. There ain’t no ceilidh like a Mumbai ceilidh.
from the Scotsman
That's what I've been doing...
Tours in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with the Boy and the Bunnett and the Red Note Ensemble with Kuljit Bhamra respectively leading into a tour with Zakir Hussein's Pulse of The World in the USA
all of which was a great deal fun. I've played in the Carnegie Hall, NY, so I can ease off the practice ?
Looking forward to:
a visit to the Isle of Man with Graeme Stephen June 25th
and what am I doing, other than looking forward.. writing new music, going well, more on that soon.
a feature written by Jim Gilchrist for the Scotsman in preview of a tour by the Red Note Ensemble
Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award is an award for musicians and bands who put the charge into the tradition. At Hands Up for Trad we like to celebrate innovation so we have brought forward this award to celebrate those musicians who take chances and in doing so make Scottish trad music an exciting place to be. Fraser Fifield has been awarded the Ignition because of his commitment to innovation in Scottish music. For many years he has performed with Scotland’s top musicians on pipes, whistle and sax and has also recorded 5 innovative CDs in his own name.
We asked Fraser Fifield the following questions...
A couple of clips from the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015 in Glasgow
Hope you enjoy this - a left over recording from a live session in Amsterdam in the summer of 2013, a composition of mine called Old Ways.
With - Oene Van Geel viola, Jorg Brinkmann cello, Martin Ornstein Bass Clarinet, Mark Tuinstra guitar, Niti Ranjan Biswas tabla, Fraser Fifield low whistle
Make a cup of tea, put the phone on silent, let the kids watch a cartoon. I've written a newsletter.
what I was messing about with yesterday evening..
a video interview with Fraser while in Gavoi, Sardinia.
....was successfully performed on Glasgow Green in July 2014. In case you missed it you can see it on youtube :
Fraser Fifield & Graeme Stephen "Esotero"
Own Label, 2013
Fraser Fifield should be familiar from Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica, numerous other groups, and three or four of his own previous CDs. On this relatively short album, Fraser plays low whistle, border pipes and soprano sax, combining Scottish and other traditional music with his own brand of cool jazz. His equally versatile collaborator Graeme Stephen plays what looks like a semi-acoustic guitar in styles from folky to freaky. As this duo put it themselves, "Gone are the days of neatly categorising music as folk, jazz, or whatever else." Esotero is a prime example, mixing Eastern and Western European traditions, jazz and trad, new music and old. Even the lines between the tracks are blurred, with most of the album presented as a seamless whole, and one or two pieces specifically written as short links. All the material on this recording was either adapted from the Scottish tradition or composed by Fifield and Stephen. The entire recording, from the title track to the final Cockerel in the Creel, is perfectly played and flawlessly produced.
At the gentler end of this pair's repertoire, the complex air Esotero and the simpler but equally stunning Secret Histories are eerily evocative on low whistles. Chase It Catch It and The Bank of Time have much harder edges, with aggressive piping and some modern Middle Eastern rock guitar. The sax tunes are sort of in between, and there are also a couple of punchier whistle numbers, especially the final pair of reels. All seven of the big tracks here are mini masterpieces, and each is a different delight. The two short interludes are fascinating too. Almost all ofEsotero should appeal to anyone fond of modern pipes and whistles, whether Scottish, Irish or further east. Things do get seriously jazzy in one or two places, but to quote another great performer, it's all in the best possible taste. I'm already looking forward to Fraser's next musical project.
© Alex Monaghan
Lovely week was spent here...thanks to all organisers and fellow musicians and artists that made it
If you speak Italian, like books, this festival is for you :
performing with Mr McFalls Chamber 'Birds and Beasts'
new work by Allan MacDonald
see the gigs page for details.
With special guest, American saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist, David Milne
Yes that's right, Eurovision. No, not Scotland, Montenegro. Courtesy of a mutual friend, Slobodan Trkulja, I was introduced to Sergej Ćetković and the rest of the story resulted in this:
Surely in with a chance?
Only a year or so now to go before Scotland has it's own Eurovision song to worry about...another reason to vote YES perhaps
ABERDEEN - Lemon Tree - 4th March
BERWICK ON TWEED - Maltings Theatre - 8th March
Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen performing music from their recent release, Esotero
See 'Gigs' page for more info
"filed under adventure" Esotero reviewed in the Sunday Herald 19th January 2014
...gigs coming up in the Celtic Connections festival, Glasgow in which I'll be performing
Esotero, the new album by Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen is available to purchase now
Click here to read more
The new album from Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen
Have a listen to the Nordanians Extended (if you like), the whole set from our recent gig at Tonejazz Festival in De Toonzaal in Den Bosch :
Oene van Geel - viola,
Mark Tuinstra - guitar,
Niti Ranjan Biswas - tablas
Fraser Fifield - pipes, low whistles, soprano sax,
Maarten Ornstein - soprano saxophone, bass clarinet,
Jörg Brinkmann - cello.
I'm not sure how long it'll stay there, but it's there at time of writing so get it while it's hot.
A phone picture of the gig during the first tune which didn't involve Maarten nor me, an old synagogue I think I'm correct in saying...in case it helps the listening experience
concert van The Nordanians Extended volgden een muzikaal pad, dat slingerde van opwindend, funky, swingend naar melancholiek en humorvol. De moeilijke maatsoorten werden makkelijk. De Schotse pipe-speler Fraser Fifield kleurde prachtig met zijn melancholieke fluit-geluid, en speelde in het laatste stuk - ja inderdaad - ook nog doedelzak!
The Nordanians is een trio van musici die in Amsterdam-Noord wonen (en daar de omgeving onveilig maken - zie video...). Af en toe speelden ze met een 4e musicus, als gast. Voor deze gelegenheid vroegen ze drie gastmusici tegelijk en zo werd het dus een sextet met Oene van Geel - altviool (VPRO/Boy Edgarprijswinnaar 2013), Mark Tuinstra - gitaar en Niti Ranjan Biswas - tabla’s (en dit zijn de musici uit Amsterdam -Noord, Nordanians) en drie gasten: Fraser Fifield - pipes, low whistles, sopraan sax, Maarten Ornstein - tenorsax, klarinet/basklarinet, Jörg Brinkmann - cello. Een opname van 19 -5-2013 in De Toonzaal in Den Bosch, gemaakt door Micha de Kanter.
(in rough translation)
The concert Nordanians Extended followed a musical path that meandered from exciting, funky, swinging to melancholy and humorous. The difficult signatures were easy. The Scottish pipe player Fraser Fifield colored beautiful with its melancholy flute sound, and played in the final stretch - yes indeed - also bagpipes!The Nordanians is a trio of musicians who live in the north of Amsterdam (and infest the area - see video ...). Occasionally they played with a 4th musician, as a guest. For this occasion they asked three guest musicians at once and thus so it became a sextet with Oene van Geel - viola (VPRO / Boy Edgar Prize winner in 2013), Mark Tuinstra - guitar and Niti Ranjan Biswas - tablas (and these are the musicians from Amsterdam-Noord, Nordanians) and three guests: Fraser Fifield - pipes, low whistles, soprano sax, Maarten Ornstein - tenor saxophone, clarinet / bass clarinet, Jörg Brinkmann - cello. A recording of 19 -5-2013 at The Showroom in Den Bosch, created by Micha de Kanter
1st performance of 'Of Gauls and Gaels' at Jazz Sous Les Pommiers festival went well...
The J-Word Tour Apr/May 2013 with Trilok Gurtu, Omar Sosa and Paolo Fresu...
photo by Sean Purser
Thanks for stopping by.
So this is the new version, sparse in it's design, and thus farewell to the last one which, with all it's refinement, I never really did understand how to use. I'm on top of this one though, inshallah, and look forward to it becoming the central hub for all my musical activities and musings, kind of like how a website should be? The views expressed within shall be not be impartial nor deferential to any particular person or persons, unless deemed a good idea at the time.