New work by acclaimed fiddler marks 30 years of Fèis Rois

A new musical work by fiddler Iain Fraser which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the popular Fèis Rois nan Inbheach (Adult Fèis Rois) will take to the road later this month.

Iain will be performing in the Highland locations which provided the inspiration for the music.

Fèis Rois commissioned renowned fiddler Iain to record an album to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fèis Rois nan Inbheach; one of the arts organisation’s key annual events which celebrates Gaelic and Scots music with a weekend of workshops, concerts and sessions.

Iain, who was one of the original tutors at the very first Adult Fèis Rois, took his inspiration for this new album, Gneiss, from not only his time spent teaching at the Adult Fèis over the last 30 years but also the landscape, and in the particular the geological features, of the three places the Adult Fèis has been held in over the years; Dingwall, Gairloch and Ullapool.

Iain will be joined by a stellar line-up of musicians for this mini Highland tour, who also feature on the album which will be available to purchase at each of the performances, including; Graeme Armstrong (guitar), Gordon Gunn (fiddle), James Mackintosh (percussion), Calum-Alex MacMillan (Gaelic song and pipes), James Ross (piano), Wendy Stewart (harp) and Wendy Weatherby (cello) with visuals by Somhairle MacDonald.

The tour dates are:

Wednesday 27 April, Tulloch Castle, Dingwall; Thursday 28 April, Poolewe Community Hall; Saturday 30 April, The Macphail Centre, Ullapool.

The final night of the tour (30 April) will also form part of this year’s Adult Fèis, which takes place from 29April–2 May, and taking to the stage that night, alongside Iain & co will be award-winning Highland multi-instrumentalists, Mairearad Green and Anna Massie.

Booking for the Adult Fèis, is now open and places can be secured via www.feisrois.org.

Fiddler Iain Fraser

Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois chief executive, said: ‘Over the past 30 years, the Adult Fèis has been held in the three Ross-Shire communities of Dingwall, Gairloch and, most recently, Ullapool.

‘The number of participants in the workshop programme has grown from around 30 at the first event in 1991 to close to 300 attending now. The event has become a lively three-day festival with a number of concerts, recitals, pub sessions and talks accompanying the core workshop programme. It is enjoyed by the local community and by visitors from far and wide.

‘It has been a pleasure to commission Iain Fraser to write a new suite of music inspired by the places and the people who made this Fèis event become what it is today. Tying together geology, culture and place, Iain’s music makes vivid the passing on of tradition and the nature of change, elements so central to Fèis Rois.’

Tickets for the Gneiss tour performances are priced from £10 to £15 and will be available at the venue on the night or can be booked in advance at www.feisrois.org.

All performances start at 7.30pm.

Fèis Rois enable people of all ages to access, participate in and enjoy the traditional arts and Gaelic language through a diverse programme of activities in Ross & Cromarty, across Scotland and beyond.

Based in Dingwall, Fèis Rois is widely recognised as a national leader in the arts, particularly in music education and was established in 1986.

There are now more than 40 fèisean in communities across Scotland. However, Fèis Rois is unique within the fèisean movement as it has a team of full-time staff that enable the work of Fèis Rois to take place year-round and extend well beyond the local community.