Catriona McDonald Trio

Village Hall, Hemingby ~ Sat 8th May 2004

Last Saturday a capacity audience packed Hemingby Village Hall to see the Catriona MacDonald Trio who were on a Rural & Community Tour. Catriona (whose name is actually pronounced Catrina) who hails from the Shetland Isles, first played in the county as part of the Young Tradition Tour as long ago as 1993. A remarkable fiddle player who is following the tradition of fiddle playing, though most before her have been male, including Tom Anderson who was her teacher.

Catriona was accompanied by the jazz Scottish jazz pianist David Milligan and double bass player Conrad Ivitsky who was once a member of Scottish folk band Shooganifty. The talented trio combined the sheer joy of playing with a remarkable tightness. This coupled with the informal air the musicians created around them made for a memorable concert. The closeness of the audience to the artists gave them the impression of giving the concert in a living room, enhanced by the mantelpiece behind Catriona.

Much of the music featured came from Catriona's award winning CD 'Bold'. She draws her inspirations from a variety of backgrounds, not just her native Shetlands. This is partly due to the strong Scandinavian influences on the island's music. Indeed the Shetlands were once ruled by Norway, rather than Britain, and an underlying love of the northern lands still remains.

Tunes such as 'Three Drunken Fiddlers' and 'Muckla Skerry' came from the Shetland Tradition, whilst poignantly the haunting 'Michael's Mazurka' was written by a young fiddle player from the islands, Michael Ferrie who died aged just 21. After meeting Knut Buen, the great hardanger fiddle player from Norway, Catriona was inspired to write 'The Tuddal Troll'. The trio's set also featured reels and tunes from the Norway and Sweden traditions. For one number Catriona introduced a fellow fiddle player and friend Rosie Coggle from Lincolnshire, a special treat for the audience, who responded with a rousing reception at the end of the tune.

We're sure that everyone in the audience enjoyed what was a memorable performance by the trio, there will be another opportunity to see them in action later in the month, when they are one of the acts appearing at the Brigg Fiddle Festival on Fri. 21st May. Tel. 01507 603049 for further details of this event.