Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Phil Cunningham on Traditional Music
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_PHILCUNNINGHAM_02
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Phil Cunningham
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1760
KEYWORDS
accordions
audio

Get Adobe Flash player

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 decision to pursue a career in traditional music.

Interviewer: Why did you stick with the traditional music and not move on to mainstream?

I don't really know. I mean, cos I, I dabble in, in it all but I suppose I was able to do things on the accordion which there weren't many people able to do at the time, therefore there was a demand within that scene for me to do that. So if, you know, if you've got a job that's going well there's no sense in kind of immediately leaping out and trying to change. I think at one point I was really looking to get into mainstream music because I had this idea of stardom and Rolls Royces and all that; I think every musician does have an idea that they want these kind of things at the end of the day. But I very fast realised that I was, you know, that it was never going to come, so there was no sense in kidding yourself on. And I stuck with what I did and then developed it - a kind of a writing style and a kind of arrangement style which kind of crossed over any borders you want; it could be traditional into classical, or traditional to rock an roll, which is kind of like the stuff I do with Wolfstone; it could be trad/jazz, you know, but I always use the traditional music as a base. And I think when it comes down to it, the real reason would be is that I think traditional music sounds great. I mean they're excellent tunes and you can do loads of stuff with it, and the basis of every piece of music is a good tune

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Phil Cunningham on Traditional Music

1990s

accordions; 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 decision to pursue a career in traditional music.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Why did you stick with the traditional music and not move on to mainstream?<br /> <br /> I don't really know. I mean, cos I, I dabble in, in it all but I suppose I was able to do things on the accordion which there weren't many people able to do at the time, therefore there was a demand within that scene for me to do that. So if, you know, if you've got a job that's going well there's no sense in kind of immediately leaping out and trying to change. I think at one point I was really looking to get into mainstream music because I had this idea of stardom and Rolls Royces and all that; I think every musician does have an idea that they want these kind of things at the end of the day. But I very fast realised that I was, you know, that it was never going to come, so there was no sense in kidding yourself on. And I stuck with what I did and then developed it - a kind of a writing style and a kind of arrangement style which kind of crossed over any borders you want; it could be traditional into classical, or traditional to rock an roll, which is kind of like the stuff I do with Wolfstone; it could be trad/jazz, you know, but I always use the traditional music as a base. And I think when it comes down to it, the real reason would be is that I think traditional music sounds great. I mean they're excellent tunes and you can do loads of stuff with it, and the basis of every piece of music is a good tune