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TITLE
Angus Grant, fiddle maker
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_ANGUSGRANT_18
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Aonghas Grant
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1583
KEYWORDS
Angus Grant
fiddlers
traditional music
fiddle making
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 his fiddle workshop.

Interviewer: Have you got a workshop yourself, then?

Aye, I've just made a - built a new one in the summer to - my other one was getting too cluttered up. I could hardly get into it and my wife said, 'If there's any more fiddles come into this house I'm going out', so I thought I better build a bigger workshop.

Interviewer: And do you get a lot of repairs to do then?

Aye, quite a few. All local. I do all my own pupil's repairs and bows, the hair and that. So I'm very interested in it.

Interviewer: So that'll keep you going then? And what type of wood have you got then if you're going to make a - make fiddles.

Well, I've got, I've got good sycamore for backs and ribs, and some from Glen Nevis when they were knocking down some of the old sycamore trees, and I got some well-seasoned stuff there over the few years.

Interviewer: How long does it have to season?

Oh, well, the longer the better, but I would say alt least three or four years.

Interviewer: Yea, I was thinking maybe five years even, yea.

Aye, aye, at the minimum of three, I would say.

Interviewer: And where do you keep it then, to season it then?

Well, I've, I've got, I've got it in the rafters -

Interviewer: The rafters

- up and I seal the ends with glue to keep them from splitting there and getting the air at them. And then I've got some bogfir, pine - some Caledonian Pine - and some nice spruce, which is used for the tops.

Interviewer: So you're just getting all set for the first one to come off the assembly line?

Yes. So maybe one of these times I'll come in here and be able to play it for you, Andy.

Interviewer: Aye, well. I'll maybe hold you to that.

Aye, well.

Interviewer: How long do you think it'll take - would it take you to make a fiddle?

Well, Donald Riddell used to say a hundred hours.

Interviewer: A hundred hours.

That was working at it pretty steady, pretty steady.

Interviewer: Oh well, that'll keep you going

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Angus Grant, fiddle maker

1990s

Angus Grant; fiddlers; traditional music; fiddle making; 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 his fiddle workshop.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Have you got a workshop yourself, then?<br /> <br /> Aye, I've just made a - built a new one in the summer to - my other one was getting too cluttered up. I could hardly get into it and my wife said, 'If there's any more fiddles come into this house I'm going out', so I thought I better build a bigger workshop.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And do you get a lot of repairs to do then? <br /> <br /> Aye, quite a few. All local. I do all my own pupil's repairs and bows, the hair and that. So I'm very interested in it.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So that'll keep you going then? And what type of wood have you got then if you're going to make a - make fiddles. <br /> <br /> Well, I've got, I've got good sycamore for backs and ribs, and some from Glen Nevis when they were knocking down some of the old sycamore trees, and I got some well-seasoned stuff there over the few years. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: How long does it have to season?<br /> <br /> Oh, well, the longer the better, but I would say alt least three or four years. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yea, I was thinking maybe five years even, yea. <br /> <br /> Aye, aye, at the minimum of three, I would say.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And where do you keep it then, to season it then?<br /> <br /> Well, I've, I've got, I've got it in the rafters -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: The rafters<br /> <br /> - up and I seal the ends with glue to keep them from splitting there and getting the air at them. And then I've got some bogfir, pine - some Caledonian Pine - and some nice spruce, which is used for the tops.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So you're just getting all set for the first one to come off the assembly line? <br /> <br /> Yes. So maybe one of these times I'll come in here and be able to play it for you, Andy. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Aye, well. I'll maybe hold you to that.<br /> <br /> Aye, well.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How long do you think it'll take - would it take you to make a fiddle?<br /> <br /> Well, Donald Riddell used to say a hundred hours.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: A hundred hours.<br /> <br /> That was working at it pretty steady, pretty steady. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh well, that'll keep you going