Fiddle-L Anthology 1999

A Tour 'Round The World Of Fiddling

Performer Bio


 

4.

Ian Douglas King, Waukford Kirk Yetholm, Kelso, Scotland (ianking@scotborders.co.uk / http://calligrafix.co.uk/khs/index.html)

King was born May 20, 1952, in Glasgow, Scotland. He attended school in Edinburgh and is a teacher of computing studies.

HERITAGE, HISTORY, LESSONS, FAVORITE TUNE

Ian's heritage is Scottish; both of his parents were born in Glasgow, Scotland. His younger sister also plays the violin, as did his great uncle, whose fiddle he plays today. Ian began playing violin at age 30, in Out Skerries, Shetland Islands. He did not take formal lessons, but has learned by ear from other musicians in a local band. He attended Sal Mor Ostaig with Alistair Fraser. (SP?) The first fiddle tune he learned was Bonnie Tammie Scollay, which he learned from another fiddler as well as from sheet music. Today, his favorite tune is Homeward Bound; Buddy McMaster plays his favorite rendition. Likewise, McMaster is Ian's favorite fiddler.

TYPES OF TUNES, INSTRUMENTS, VENUES

Ian enjoys playing jigs, strathspeys, and marches. He works with cross tuning, usually ringing open strings. Although he used to play guitar, he concentrates on fiddle today. He prefers piano for backup. He plays with The Small Hall Band (kids and adults - 20 members) and The Clarty Cloot (adults and teenagers - 8 members) ceilidh bands. Kind enjoys playing at dances and pub sessions, weddings, Burns Suppers, as well as ceilidh gigs.

FIDDLE CONTESTS

"They don't have them over here"

STYLE

Ian plays Shetland / Cape Breton styles. He names Aly Bain and Tom Anderson as early influences. He says there are hundreds of fiddling styles overall; "Shetland alone has one or two per Isle". Where he lives, Northumbrian/Irish styles dominate.

THE VIOLIN

Ian's violin is a Mirecourt, 1892, Strad style. He describes it as "strong on bass, mellow tone, weaker on treble (it's a 7/8 with a thick sound post)". He uses a Wolf shoulder rest and Jargar strings, with a heavy bow.

WHY DO YOU PLAY THE "FIDDLE"?

"[It's] fun, meeting other people."

THE TUNES

Ian chose to record Shetland tunes; "but I have only recently discovered them -- I learned the fiddle there and lived there on a remote island, (approximately 85 inhabitants) for 8 years, but learned most of the Shetland tunes I play after I had left." Eric Falconer, a fellow tape participant, provides bodhran accompaniment.