Falkirk fiddle femme up for Scots Trad award

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Rumford musician Marie Fielding has many strings to her bow and could add a Scottish Traditional Music Award to her impressive CV this weekend.

Marie, who played the prestigious Celtic Connections at the start of the year, has ended a magnificent 2013 with her album ‘An Tra’ being nominated for Album of the Year at the trad awards.

The full-time mum, musician, composer and fiddle tutor released ‘An Tra’ at the start of 2013.

A potent mix of Irish and Scottish music, it more than succeeded in its aim to keep the music form alive for future generations.

Marie said: “I went over to Ireland to work on an album with some musicians there - we wanted to make it a real blend of Scottish and Irish music.

“We brought the recording back to Scotland and launched it at Celtic Connections.”

The 11th annual Scots Trad Awards takes place at Aberdeen’s Music Hall on Saturday and includes categories like Album of the Year, Composer of the Year, Venue of the Year and Gaelic Singer of the Year.

Artists honoured with awards and performance slots at the event over the years include Barbara Dickson, Peatbog Faeries, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Karine Polwart.

Marie has won a Scots Trad award before as a member of Tom Orr’s Band.

“I wasn’t really expecting this nomination,” she admitted. “I’ve performed at the awards before and know most of the people involved, but I’ve never had my own work nominated.

“This album has 14 of my own compositions so it’s good to have this recognition.”

Event founder Simon Thoumire said: “The traditional music scene in Scotland is so vibrant with artists like Marie and an array of festivals, events, bands and singers.

“It promises to be our best awards yet.”

Edinburgh-born Marie will hope to follow in the footsteps of Falkirk Folk Club, which won Club of the Year in 2012.

“I come from a musical family,” Marie said. “There was always lots of different music around the house - my dad was into big bands and I think I was subconsciously learning about music while I was
growing up.

“I started playing the fiddle when I was 10 and began gigging at the age of 15. I was still at school when I realised this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

“It was the enjoyment of playing - I didn’t find it difficult. It just felt natural and normal and the more I did it the more I wanted to do it and the better I got.”

Marie became a full-time professional musician at the age of 17, joining the famous Jim Johnstone Scottish Dance Band and playing a ton of concerts at prestigious venues for 12 years before following her own musical path.

“I gained a lot of experience with that band,” said Marie. “But things have changed so much, you have to be able to multi-task to make a living from music now. And I wanted to do something a little bit different.”

Teaching has now become a focal point for Marie and she passes her skills, experience and musical knowledge onto her students at The Conservatoire in Glasgow and is resident fiddle tutor at Stirling’s Tolbooth.

She also mentors the Blackford Fiddle Group in Perthshire and in the past has worked as traditional music advisor for the Scottish Arts Council.

‘An Tra’ follows on from her debut album ‘The Executive Club’, which mixed Fielding original compositions with traditional tunes.

It also continued her quest to establish her own musical identity and reputation, but also keep the music she loves alive for future generations.

She regularly plays in a strictly traditional trio called Tribute, which released an album of classic numbers from Jimmy Shand and other Scottish legends.

“People like to hear songs they know,” she said. “But I also like to play my own material alongside those old tunes from years gone by.”

Marie said she is in no hurry to come up with a follow up to ‘An Tra’, but admitted it would be just a matter of time before she was itching to get back in the studio again.

Visit www.mariefieldingmusic.com for more information on Marie.