Culross Pier, Fife, Scotland: The type of scene I always imagine when I play Scottish folk fiddle tunes.
Ness View Cottage in Low Valleyfield, Fife, Scotland owned by Gifford and Anne Lind was where my partner, Jan and I spent a delightful, relaxing time at the beginning of October for seven nights.
One of the highlights of our stay was walking along the Firth of Forth by the village of Culross where we spotted a seal poking its head out of the water just around the corner from Preston Island. The other highlight was discovering that our host, Gifford Lind, is a singer-songwriter of folk music and the chairman of Dunfermline Folk Club. You can read all about the club here: http://www.dunfermlinefolkclub.co.uk
I kicked myself for not having brought my violin with me because I could've performed a brief spot at the club, but I did, however, bring with me my dear departed Polish violinist friend, Peter's scarf: Peter loved playing Scottish folk music so much that he even told everyone he was Scottish! His partner, Nuna, told me that I'd realized one of Peter's dreams; to experience the folk music scene in Scotland, and he indeed would've been in his element here.
Peter opposite Square Louise Michel, Montmartre, Paris - Spring 2011
Dunfermline Folk Club - 7th October 2015
Jan and I received a very warm welcome from Gifford and friends when we arrived at Dunfermline Folk Club, and on the bill this evening was Scottish singer-songwriter, Andrew Gordon, who's been been entertaining audiences in Scotland, England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Canada and the USA since 1994. He developed a passion for both traditional and more contemporary folk music after having been brought up listening to The Corries.
Accompanying his 'from the heart' vocals with strong rhythms on guitar and bodrhan, Andrew sang a variety of Scottish ballads, battle songs, drinking and comedy songs, which made me smile with my whole being. You can check out his material at: https://www.youtube.com/user/andrewjgordon
Ethnomusicologist, Jew's harp virtuoso, and maker and collector of folk instruments from all over the world, Lindsay Porteous, lives in the oldest house in Culross. This evening he treated us to a short performance on the shruti box (used to provide a drone in Indian classical music) and two whistles, one of which was a tilinko - a tube whistle used in Romania. He told me that he had had several Serbian folk whistles made for him by Dragan Jovanovic, whose website is here: http://www.frula.info
Gifford kindly gave me a copy of his CD, But lately seen... This song from it, 'Auld Grey Toun' is my favourite: https://youtu.be/ITxATP__mUk He invited me to do a gig at the club sometime in the future. I shall definitely take him up on his offer!