HARRIS CENTER PRESENTS
ALASDAIR FRASER AND THE
SAN FRANCISCO SCOTTISH FIDDLERS
Friday, April 24 @ 7:30pm
Picture a stage with 50 fiddlers—backed by piano, drums and guitars—projecting a sound as lively as a dance band, as majestic as a symphony orchestra; a group that creates “a raucous sampling of authentic music from Scotland... [there was] no delayed standing ovation here; the audience instantaneously rose to its feet with the final notes.”- Anchorage Daily News. Founded in 1986 by Master Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser—“one of Scotland’s most valued traditionbearers," (BBC)—the group honors the ability to play by ear and be enough in the moment to follow spontaneous changes of direction during performances.
They don’t sound as brash as bagpipes, but the massed San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers are an experience not to be missed. “What you’ll see,” promises their director, Alasdair Fraser, “is a bunch of beaming, delighted faces and fingers playing the tunes that we love to share. And there’s the sense of ‘Come on in and join us!’” —Jeff Kaliss, “Roots Run Deep for Musician Behind SF Scottish Fiddlers”, San Francisco Chronicle.
“Scottish music spans a few hundred years of styles,” notes Fraser. “So you go from get-wild get-down dance music to very beautiful 19th and 20th century composed tunes written by fiddlers and violinists who had a good command of the instrument.” . . . During performances, Fraser said, the musicians “are not reading music, they’re watching me. We can be halfway through and decide to play the tune again. We’re living the moment when we play,” he adds. “Mostly they’ve all memorized it, and they’re all investigating their own ornaments and ways of bowing.”
“You haven’t heard anything until you’ve heard 100 fiddlers on stage together [said club member, Howard Booster]. Most everybody has a day job—there’s a cardiologist, a mathematician and engineers like me—but rehearsing and playing with Alasdair pulls the group up to a certain level." —Diane Peterson, “Fraser Lends Music a Scottish Accent”, Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
"... The evening is probably a lot like what communities experienced before television and films displaced music as community glue," —Chris Watson, “California Scot”, Santa Cruz County Sentinal.
“I love the way you can take this music anywhere and find kindred spirits resonating in just about any country in the world,” Fraser said. “The music itself is broad-ranging, from ancient-sounding to things that are harmonically quite complex,” —Christy Shauck, “Musicians Fiddle Around At Fremont High School”, Sunnyvale Sun.
“When you get a bunch of fiddlers together, the sum is greater than its parts. It’s not reading music. It’s a bunch of independent spirits getting together. The temperature gets pretty hot when they all get going,” said Alasdair Fraser. “The main thrust of this group is about community—living the music,” he explained. “The performance is very honest ... We’re saying, 'We love this music—what do you think?’” —Paul Harrar, “Fiddlers Exemplify the Power of the Jam”, The Union Prospector.
“The intensity of the music is wonderful,” [says SF Fiddle Club member and concert coordinator, Shelly Romalis], “but more than anything it’s the community that matters. Music off the printed page means nothing to me. When you’re together with a group of people who get such joy out of the music, that’s what’s exciting," —Emily Wilson, “Aw, Fiddlesticks!” San Francisco Examiner.
$19-$29; Premium $39
$12 Students with ID and Children Under 12
1 hour, 30 minutes; with intermission