The new decade marks an exciting new chapter for Scotland’s fabulous fiddle-led Fara, as founding Orkney frontwomen Jeana Leslie, Catriona Price and Kristan Harvey welcome young Highland pianist Rory Matheson to the line-up.
Having bid a fond farewell to original fourth member Jennifer Austin, Fara recruited Matheson via the fabled folk scene in Glasgow, their shared adoptive hometown. With all three fiddlers being fast friends from childhood, Jeana explains, ‘We weren’t only looking for an excellent musician we could enjoy listening to, but just as importantly, someone willing to put up with us on a full-time basis. Then from speaking to friends and fellow musicians, Rory was the name that just kept coming up.’
A 2018 finalist in BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Matheson hails from the rich musical heartland of Scotland’s north-west coast. ‘I’ve always loved the sound of a group of fiddles,’ he says, ‘It can be so powerful in different ways, and those big, intricate Fara arrangements lend themselves so well to piano accompaniment. It’s also really interesting to explore the parallels between Orkney and Highland music – and to create new ones. And being the token male seems pretty good so far – I get a room to myself wherever we go.
“FARA bring contemporary fiddle music to new heights. . . enthralling vocal arrangements” (The Scotsman)
Tickets £15 available from Masham Community Office 10am-3pm.