All of us have idols in our lives. People that we look up to in some way or another. My idol, as far as fiddling goes, is Alasdair Fraser.
Alasdair is a Scottish fiddler who now resides in California. He tours quite a lot, most recently with Natalie Haas, a cellist. I don’t remember when I first heard Alasdair, but have been able to see him perform many times, and have enjoyed it each time! One of my earliest memories of watching him perform was at the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain.
So, why is this man my idol? It has all got to do with his tone. Various people like different things in fiddle music. For me, one of the big things that I listen for, and also aspire to, is a beautiful, singing tone. Alasdair has that tone!
There is no extraneous sound and no scratching! His sound is very clean. His playing also seems to be completely effortless.
One of the things that I have always loved about the Scottish and Irish styles of fiddling is the lilt to the music. The fast tunes are energetic and driving, but there is a swing to the music. A lilt that always brings a smile to my face!
Perhaps one of the reasons I have been drawn to Alasdair Fraser is that he is classically trained, as am I. This means that he has been trained to listen to his tone and has also trained to work on bow control. Sometimes you will hear people comment on a fiddler being classically trained as if it is a negative thing, but to me it seems to work well for Alasdair.
If you want to hear my idol in action, check out Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas in Boston on YouTube.
You can also visit his site at: www.AlasdairFraser.com
This is what I aspire to be and to sound like!