Fiddle-L Anthology 1999

A Tour 'Round The World Of Fiddling

Performer Bio


 

7.

Gordon G. Gunn, Wick, Caithness, Scotland. (gordon.g.gunn@btinternet.com)

Gordon was born January 6, 1966, in Wick. He graduated high school and is currently an audio QC manager. He is a member of Performing Right Society.

HERITAGE, HISTORY, LESSONS, FAVORITE TUNE

Gordon's heritage is Scots; both of his parents were born in Scotland. He is the first in his family to play the violin. Gordon began playing the instrument in 1973 in his home town. He took classical lessons and has attended festivals and workshops, including the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp, and Stirling University Fiddle Course. His favorite tune is Hogties Reel, which he learned from accordion player Phil Cunningham. His favorite fiddler is Mark O'Connor.

TYPES OF TUNES, INSTRUMENTS, VENUES

Gordon enjoys playing jazz in addition to more standard types of fiddle tunes. He utilizes cross tuning, and in addition to fiddle, he plays mandolin, tenor banjo, bass guitar, and keyboards. He prefers piano for fiddle tune backup. He plays at festivals, for dances at dance halls, and at wedding parties. "I play in a band called The Ruby Rendall Band, but also as a solo artiste accompanied by piano & guitar. 'On the Fiddle' (Harp Records) is a solo album but I am working at a new album at present & also do session work for various projects."

FIDDLE CONTESTS

Gordon began playing in contests in 1978 in Inverness, where he won the under 16 section, using no backup. He competed during high school and won second place twice in the Golden Fiddle Awards. Today he prefers not to enter contests. "[A good contest judge plays the fiddle and has] a good grasp of the particular style."

STYLE

Gordon calls his fiddling Scottish/Irish with a touch of swing. He notes Angus Cameron as an early influential musician. Gordon feels there are hundreds of fiddling styles. Not surprisingly, Scottish fiddling dominates in his region.

THE INSTRUMENT

Gordon's violin is a Schmidt, Strad style. Its sound is powerful and bright. He uses a Willy Wolf Superflexibel shoulder rest, and prefers Jargar steel strings. His bow is a Weichold. Gordon also does maintenance, set up and repairs on his instrument.

WHY DO YOU PLAY THE FIDDLE?

"Because I enjoy making music with other musicians."

THE TUNES

Gordon recorded four reels: Dublin Porter: Traditional, arr. G.Gunn Harper Music; Galway Rambler: Traditional, arr. G.Gunn Harper Music; Bobby Casey's No.2: Traditional, arr. G.Gunn Harper Music; Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie's Reel: P.Cunningham Bracken Music.

He learned the tunes two years ago at a festival. His backup guitarist is Phil Anderson, who lives in the Orkney Islands.