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TITLE
Angus Grant's fiddles
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_ANGUSGRANT_02
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Aonghas Grant
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1561
KEYWORDS
Angus Grant
fiddlers
traditional music
audio

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Aonghas Grant, also known as the Left-handed Fiddler of Lochaber, has been playing fiddle since he was thirteen years old. His career spans over sixty years and he is still active as a teacher, soloist, composer and session participant, playing a wide range of fiddle music. Aonghas is a Gaelic speaker and particularly noted for his 'West Highland Style' of fiddling, influenced by both Gaelic and piping. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in the late 1990s, Aonghas talks to Andy Ross about some of the fiddles he has owned.

Interviewer: How old were you when you took up the fiddle?

Och, well I was mucking about first of all with the chanter when I was about six and seven, and I was having shots of the fiddle then but there was no wee fiddles in these days about, you know, it was all full-sized fiddles; a bit too big. So, I was really about - I would say about thirteen afore I really got going at it, by the time I was kind of big enough to get a hold of - to work on a big fiddle.

Interviewer: And who adapted the fiddle for you?

Well, there was three or four of them floating about cause my father and uncles all had left-handed fiddles

Interviewer: Oh, I see.

In fact, the fiddle I've got with me tonight to play at the concert is, is one of my uncles' fiddles.

Interviewer: Aye? Oh well, so it's been handed down?

Oh aye.

Interviewer: What's the story about that particular fiddle then? Where was it made, d'you know?

Oh, I don't know where that one was made; it's a pretty old one. But the oldest one I've got that my Uncle Archie played most of his life, and my grandfather before that, was a Joseph Ruddiman - Aberdeen; it was made in Aberdeen in 1771. And he was the man that repaired Niel Gow's fiddle in 1780s, I think, when Gow fell on the ice at Stare Dam, and fell on the top of his good Italian fiddle that he had got from the Murray of Abercairny. And he went all the way to Aberdeen, to Ruddiman, who was the leading fiddle maker of the period, to get it repaired. And a very interesting thing I did last year for Scots in recordings; I played two of Niel Gow's tunes in his cottage at Dunkeld, in Niel Gow's cottage - 'Lament for his Second Wife' and 'The Atholl Volunteers' - in probably the same room that they were composed over two hundred years ago, and playing on the fiddle from that period - 1771 - by the man who had met Gow and spoke to him. Quite a historical link

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Angus Grant's fiddles

1990s

Angus Grant; fiddlers; traditional music; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Angus Grant

Aonghas Grant, also known as the Left-handed Fiddler of Lochaber, has been playing fiddle since he was thirteen years old. His career spans over sixty years and he is still active as a teacher, soloist, composer and session participant, playing a wide range of fiddle music. Aonghas is a Gaelic speaker and particularly noted for his 'West Highland Style' of fiddling, influenced by both Gaelic and piping. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in the late 1990s, Aonghas talks to Andy Ross about some of the fiddles he has owned.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How old were you when you took up the fiddle? <br /> <br /> Och, well I was mucking about first of all with the chanter when I was about six and seven, and I was having shots of the fiddle then but there was no wee fiddles in these days about, you know, it was all full-sized fiddles; a bit too big. So, I was really about - I would say about thirteen afore I really got going at it, by the time I was kind of big enough to get a hold of - to work on a big fiddle.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And who adapted the fiddle for you?<br /> <br /> Well, there was three or four of them floating about cause my father and uncles all had left-handed fiddles <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh, I see.<br /> <br /> In fact, the fiddle I've got with me tonight to play at the concert is, is one of my uncles' fiddles.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Aye? Oh well, so it's been handed down?<br /> <br /> Oh aye.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What's the story about that particular fiddle then? Where was it made, d'you know?<br /> <br /> Oh, I don't know where that one was made; it's a pretty old one. But the oldest one I've got that my Uncle Archie played most of his life, and my grandfather before that, was a Joseph Ruddiman - Aberdeen; it was made in Aberdeen in 1771. And he was the man that repaired Niel Gow's fiddle in 1780s, I think, when Gow fell on the ice at Stare Dam, and fell on the top of his good Italian fiddle that he had got from the Murray of Abercairny. And he went all the way to Aberdeen, to Ruddiman, who was the leading fiddle maker of the period, to get it repaired. And a very interesting thing I did last year for Scots in recordings; I played two of Niel Gow's tunes in his cottage at Dunkeld, in Niel Gow's cottage - 'Lament for his Second Wife' and 'The Atholl Volunteers' - in probably the same room that they were composed over two hundred years ago, and playing on the fiddle from that period - 1771 - by the man who had met Gow and spoke to him. Quite a historical link