|Music in Shetland Today|
Today, Shetland, given it size, population and relatively isolated location is a musical success story of an almost unprecedented nature. By and large the end product of a thoroughly committed mind, a tape recorder and a few persuasive bottles of whisky. The end result of a man with a mission - Dr Tom Anderson.
Largely thanks to this mission Shetland is now on the international music map as never before. Bands and individuals such as Rock Salt and Nails, Fiddlers Bid, Filska, Jenna Reid, Catriona Macdonald, Drop the Box, Da Fustra, Brian Gear, Hom Bru and yes Aly Bain, to name but a few, have directly benefited from it over the years and are now regularly touring the world, performing and entertaining at festivals and other high profile events. By doing so they ensure the name of these small group of islands, tucked away in the far reaches of the North Sea, is kept 'up there' in a way which we could never have imagined when Tom kick started his one-man campaign all those years ago.
Today in Shetland, the results of Dr Anderson's mission are self-evident:
The whole 'new' generation of young musicians ready and willing to take up the mantle are not purely limited to the traditional music world either. All kinds of music from the ambient sound of the clarsach to rock music, as hard as the islands' foundations themselves, go to make up this compact musical melting pot.
Then of course there are the local profile-raising events such as the Shetland Folk Festival, which regularly attracts eclectic acts from across the globe, and the Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival, an annual homage to traditional music roots from home and much further afield.
Add to that events such as the Shetland Blues Festival, Shetland Fiddle Frenzy (a week long Shetland fiddle school and festival) and the 'Peerie Willie Johnson Guitar Festival, to name but a few events that occur throughout the year.
Gigs featuring both local and visiting artists regularly take place throughout the islands in many of the community halls and the local sport centre in Lerwick.
Add to this individual, often very diverse, concerts featuring a range of visiting acts of all genres, many of them household or international names (Elvis Costello, Pulp, Steve Earle, Ian Brown and The Proclaimers to name just five) and you can clearly see what an eclectic musical community Shetland has developed into since those first almost uncertain steps, not really all that long ago.
Without doubt, Shetland is a musical community and tradition apart
|About Our Music|
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