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TITLE
Phil Cunningham - Early Years
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_PHILCUNNINGHAM_01
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Phil Cunningham
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1759
KEYWORDS
accordions
traditional music
audio

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Phil Cunningham MBE is one of Scotland's best known traditional musicians. Trained classically in the accordion and violin, he later joined his brother John in the highly acclaimed Scottish band 'Silly Wizard' and played with the band for ten years (1976-1986). More recently, he has become well known for his partnership with Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain. Phil is also an accomplished music director, presenter and producer. He has composed two orchestral suites for symphony orchestra and Celtic instruments. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in the early 1990s, Phil talks to Robina Goodfellow about his early years.

By all accounts I think I was supposed to be a nice laddie, if not a bit precocious, you know? Always trying to get with the adults. Never wanting to be in the company of people my own age. Happier being around - just around grown up people trying to learn the tricks before it was time to learn them.

Interviewer: What was schooldays like?

I enjoyed school very much and I was, I was quite good at - up through primary school and when I got into secondary school I started getting a bit of a notion for, for music as a, you know, in - as a sideline. I was always playing classical music on accordion. Since I was about three years old I was sent to lessons and they taught me to play classical music on the box. But I started getting into kind of session music and playing traditional stuff and as a side line it was fine. By the time I got into second or third year at secondary school I was very discontented with the way that I was being taught; the teachers weren't really teaching, they were bullying people into things and I was being told I was to go for a certain academic line. Whereas you know I wanted to be a vet or a zoologist; that was my chosen profession. At the same time I had this little sideline in, you know, in music which was a hobby at the time. And things were going quite well with that; I was doing some ads and stuff by the time I was fifteen and sixteen. And then after a battle with the music department at school I decided that I was for the off. I left in fourth year, just after my 'o' levels and Silly Wizard, which was the band my brother formed at the time, they were on the go and they gave me shout and asked me to join. So I basically went through school, enjoyed most of it, hated the last two years, and ended up in a band

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Phil Cunningham - Early Years

1990s

accordions; traditional music; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Phil Cunningham

Phil Cunningham MBE is one of Scotland's best known traditional musicians. Trained classically in the accordion and violin, he later joined his brother John in the highly acclaimed Scottish band 'Silly Wizard' and played with the band for ten years (1976-1986). More recently, he has become well known for his partnership with Shetland fiddler, Aly Bain. Phil is also an accomplished music director, presenter and producer. He has composed two orchestral suites for symphony orchestra and Celtic instruments. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in the early 1990s, Phil talks to Robina Goodfellow about his early years.<br /> <br /> By all accounts I think I was supposed to be a nice laddie, if not a bit precocious, you know? Always trying to get with the adults. Never wanting to be in the company of people my own age. Happier being around - just around grown up people trying to learn the tricks before it was time to learn them.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What was schooldays like?<br /> <br /> I enjoyed school very much and I was, I was quite good at - up through primary school and when I got into secondary school I started getting a bit of a notion for, for music as a, you know, in - as a sideline. I was always playing classical music on accordion. Since I was about three years old I was sent to lessons and they taught me to play classical music on the box. But I started getting into kind of session music and playing traditional stuff and as a side line it was fine. By the time I got into second or third year at secondary school I was very discontented with the way that I was being taught; the teachers weren't really teaching, they were bullying people into things and I was being told I was to go for a certain academic line. Whereas you know I wanted to be a vet or a zoologist; that was my chosen profession. At the same time I had this little sideline in, you know, in music which was a hobby at the time. And things were going quite well with that; I was doing some ads and stuff by the time I was fifteen and sixteen. And then after a battle with the music department at school I decided that I was for the off. I left in fourth year, just after my 'o' levels and Silly Wizard, which was the band my brother formed at the time, they were on the go and they gave me shout and asked me to join. So I basically went through school, enjoyed most of it, hated the last two years, and ended up in a band