Tell us a little bit about yourself, your music-making, and your life.
I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2018 and have begun my career as a freelance musician: performing, teaching, and doing community music projects. I’m a friendly and inquisitive character; I like to learn new things and explore new places. I’m a sociable person who likes to meet new people; spend time with family and friends; and play/create music with others. As well as playing in Nevis, I also play with a 9-piece pop-jazz collective called Rubix that fuses the sounds of jazz with pop, rock, folk, D&B, and house etc. I also create my own music using my violin and a loop pedal.
What are your favourite things?
- One of my favourite places is Bowling Harbour, in Bowling near Old Kilpatrick. When I lived in Clydebank I used to ride my bike there in hot summer days and sit for hours at the harbour looking out at the water and journaling (I’ve also composed a piece of music inspired by doing just that).
- My favourite food is probably pizza or pasta.
- My favourite all time scene in a film is in Matilda when Bruce Bogtrotter eats the chocolate cake in assembly and Miss Trunchbull clatters the plate over his head.
- My favourite season is autumn, but I also really like summer.
- My favourite show on Netflix is RuPaul’s Drag Race.
How did you first get into music?
I began my musical journey in Primary 4 (at the age of 8) when I was very fortunate to start learning the violin through the West Dunbartonshire Council schools music service. This experience changed my life and I am very grateful to have had that opportunity in my primary school.
What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?
I have always had a strong connection and passion for music which has grown and developed through the years. I decided that music would play an important role in my life when I discovered the power it holds. For instance, I love how music brings people together from different walks of life with their shared love for it; I love the healing properties of music and how it can bring joy, and be soothing, in the hardest of times; I love how you can connect/communicate with people when performing music without using any words, especially with those who find it difficult to express themselves through words.
What has been your Nevis Ensemble highlight so far?
The time when myself and a few of my friends from the violin section gave an impromptu performance of Pachelbel’s Canon in the foyer of a venue when waiting on the concert to start; it was just so spontaneous and lovely. Of course another highlight is going to St Kilda on a speed boat on the summer tour in 2019 and playing on Hirta, the main island.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
I listen to a real variety of music. As I consider myself to be more of a fiddle player (kind of) than a violinist I listen to a lot of trad/folk musicians and bands such as: Adam Sutherland, Martyn Bennett, Niteworks, Lau, Elephant Sessions, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Väsen, Noah And The Whale, Arcade Fire, and so on.
But I have also always been drawn to pop/rock/metal music with artists and bands such as: Regina Spektor, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Hole, Misfits, The White Stripes, Green Day, Blink 182, Rancid, Ramones, The Distillers, SWMRS etc. However, more recently I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic/rap music with bands and artists like: Die Antwoord, The Naked And Famous, Marshmello, Daft Punk, Yoko Pwno, Lizzo…
How would you describe Nevis Ensemble to someone else?
We are an orchestra that smiles. It is the most fun, crazy, exciting, joyous, orchestral performance you will probably ever experience. Every concert is like a party (there is dancing and choreography!) and it’s so moving to see how much the audiences appreciate the performances. It is an orchestra made up of fantastic musicians from all over the world and we play to audience members from all walks of life. We also play a very varied programme of music: from Rage Against The Machine to Mozart, from banging fiddle tunes to cutting edge contemporary classical pieces, so there really is something for everyone!