Dear Music Lovers!

My personal coach and mentor pointed out this morning with detectable frustration that, with only 3 days to spare, I really should ask for your support in an important matter.

Apparently, £25,000 is to be given through the Scots Trad Music Awards by a beer company to a musician (hopefully) winning the most votes for ‘Innovation in Music’. Already the critically aware will have detected potential issues with this method of determining and thereby encouraging future innovation, however, let’s push on. 

I would like your support, which means your vote, for two main reasons; arguably my music making continues to be innovative and secondly, that I, albeit like many, am of course relatively short of cash in the big picture (as musicians sometimes are, allegedly). (q.2)

So, I’m happy to offer my first 1000 friends literally a pint (or close equivalent at Edinburgh rates) for clicking the following link and entering my name in box 1 of question 2, then perhaps take a screenshot showing the time/date and of course your correct answer to qualify and redeem as soon as I receive the 25k, that’s all you have to do. You have until this Sunday to take part, it’ll be fun, we’ll have a conversation and add to the social cohesion of the nation. First 1000 votes only mind, so do it now, without delay, #innovation, or after you’ve read the next bit. The link (question 2 only if in a rush): t&c's tbc, redemption non-obligatory. 

As to why your vote, in one sense humorously coerced, is arguably a bona fide one steered by marketing only, I humbly submit the following, largely anecdotal but with some supporting evidence in the video which follows:

In the last year or so I have broken through a way of thinking about one of my instruments, the low whistle, this is good. With the addition of one new custom tone hole and my development over some years now of a range of cross fingerings I can now play the instrument quite chromatically across keys, perhaps not quite with the ease of a saxophone yet but, for me, it’s like my 9-16 yr old Xmas’s all at once when I get a chance to play now compared with only a wee while ago, this is very good. My preferred pitch of instrument is the ‘low D’, and on it I’ve been practising Bach flute sonatas and practicing improvising on a variety of chord sequences used in Jazz such as the ‘rhythm changes’ and even the ‘Coltrane changes’, though honestly that particular challenge is as unbegun, but do-able with resolve. that link again is: (question 2). I’ll surely make some recordings to let you hear some of this, but in the meantime, here’s another side featuring the low whistle this time with 2 samplers making drone based, meditative improvisations, recorded only a few weeks ago oblivious to all the potential cash on offer else I’d have tried something much more flashy;

Might I also boldly mention a precedent set a few years back when an award called ‘Ignition’ was instigated by the Scots Trad music Awards parent company Hands Up For Trad. Awarded firstly to local folk group Lau and then to me, I was pleased to receive the pdf attachment below and take this as one of the first opportunities to display it again publicly:



My other creative work throughout the year past includes: Grit Orchestra, Capercaillie, Gillebride MacMillan, Karen Matheson, Graeme Stephen, Moller/Reiersrud/Syvertsen/Bain aka Celtic Roots, Jim Sutherland and that’s about it, some teaching and a few recording sessions. I have an unreleased album of music on standby featuring a musician whose Dad toured with the Beatles. Vote for me! Vote for my persona, the mask we all hold up from latin times on. Thanks a million, twenty five thousand more exactly.

This, I submit to thee, is marketing, ideally to be kept away from minds too malleable. Be not more offended than any of the other thousand-fold instances of it striking you more subtly and more sopistactedly in the course of the day, but a part of me must apologise however, and provide the link directly to question 2 of this fun survey:

In conclusion, my other innovations over the years include, helping affirm into existence an actual new note, Bb or A#, in the discipline of Scottish border piping around the year 1996, in playing traditional music arguably authentically on saxophone, the first piper ever to record with a bandoneonist, the first Scottish Bulgarian kaval player to feature on a Gaelic album, the first full time piper in a Salsa band, the only low whistle player to play mostly in the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh. Innovation, i.m.o., must probably come not from any effort to innovate but a combination of seemingly hap-hazard notions colliding and directed forward somehow with the right nourishment.

Your humble servant and self-employed whistle/pipe/sax/kaval player choking like you are too on the imposition and unseemlyness of it all,

Fraser Fifield.

It's question 2, don't vote for anyone else, many thanks: