May 2014 will see renowned Scottish fiddler and composer Mike Vass undertake a mirror voyage of writer Neil Gunn’s 1937 adventure round the west coast of Scotland, performing community concerts along the way featuring stories, music and local history.
New piece ‘Doors’ to be showcased in Stirling
I’m taking in part in this years Distil Showcase. It is a project run by Simon Thoumire and Dave Francis, and gives young composers the opportunity to develop their skills through both workshops and this showcase opportunity.
My piece ‘Doors’ is inspired by Aldous Huxley’s book ‘The Doors of Perception’ and features McFall’s Chamber and James Duncan MacKenzie on border pipes.
I recently discovered that ‘the Doors’ (the band) took their name from this book!
The showcase features 12 young composers and is on the 4th of May at the Tolbooth in Stirling
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STRING THEORY RSH001CD
Rusty Squash Horn Records (own label)
Mike Vass releases his debut solo album String Theory this week .
Nairn Musician and Composer Vass is best known for his duo work with his sister Ali, and for his
previous work with Folk Band of the Year ‘Malinky’. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, his fiddle
playing has been described as ‘exceptionally expressive’ (Keith Clark) ‘sweet, unhurried’ and
‘seriously graceful’ (Alex Monaghan). More recently he has gained a reputation as being one of
Scotland’s top tunesmiths. He was the winner of the inaugural Niel Gow International Composition
award in 2008.
String Theory is an entirely self-penned album based on Mike’s Celtic Connections commission in
2010 which was part of the festival’s New Voices series. One of the highlights, the avant-garde
piece Man’s Search, inspired by Viktor Frankl’s best-selling book (Man’s Search for Meaning), was
described as ‘utterly compelling’ (Barry Gordon) and was subsequently featured by the Victor
Frankl Institute in Austria to commemorate Frankl’s birthday. BBC Radio Scotland previewed
tracks from String Theory as part of their St. Andrews Day Celebration broadcast in November, and
during Celtic Connections 2011.
String Theory is an ambitious, exciting work featuring a multi-instrumental line up including fiddle,
bagpipes, accordion, guitar, banjo and piano. The record showcases some of Scotland’s leading
musicians, including Anna Massie (Blazin Fiddles), Megan Henderson (Salsa Celtica) and Calum
MacCrimmon (Breabach/Unusual Suspects). The end result is a varied and engaging album.
Mike is touring mainland UK throughout April with his twin sister Ali,
(http://www.mikevass.com/gigs/), and embarks on a Scottish Islands tour in June flanked by Calum
MacCrimmon and Innes Watson. Live performances of tracks from String Theory have been filmed
for BBC Alba, to be televised later this year.
String Theory is available now from mikevass.com & iTunes
& from all good record shops from April