Fraser Fifield

about

Fraser Fifield

One of Scotland's most compelling instrumental performers. Described by the Sunday Herald as having “emerged as one of today's outstanding talents” and by Jazzwise magazine as “an outstanding product of the Scottish jazz-folk scene who at one moment can blow a low whistle like Charlie Parker steaming his way through ‘Ko-Ko’ and at the next knock out an air on a sax like a Highland traditionalist”,  he's consistently been guesting and collaborating as a whistle/sax/bagpipe player with a long list of bands and artists at the forefront of the Scottish music scene for more than 20 years.  

He has released 5 albums of original music on his own Tanar label, to date, with two more queued for release in 2017. Songlines magazine commented upon on, 'Stereocanto' in 2009; “ it’s the interplay between intellectual construction, fleeting modal improvisations and sheer emotional sensuality of the music that makes this such a satisfying, and strikingly unified, piece of work”.  Other recordings are Honest Water, 2001, Slow Stream, 2005, Traces of Thrace 2008 and Esotero, 2013.

As a composer, Fraser is also responsible for a eclectic range of pieces including commissions for Mr McFall's Chamber, National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, Orchestra of Combined Specialist Music Schools in Scotland, Celtic Connections Festival, Highland Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival, Dancebase Edinburgh, Scottish Arts Council/Creative Scotland, soundtrack and incidental music for television (BBC Natural World, BBC Alba, ITV) and was nominated 'Composer of the Year' in the 2010 Scots Trad Music Awards and also nominated for an Arts Foundation Fellowship 2010 and as 'Instrumentalist of the Year' at the 2009 Scots Trad Music Awards.  

As a multi-instrumentalist Fraser performs an uncommon combination of instruments which perhaps goes some way to explain his music: Highland Bagpipes, Border Pipes, Low Whistles, Soprano Saxophone, Bulgarian Kaval and percussion. In addition his interest in music technology, which also started at school using an Atari sequencer and a four track cassette recorder has never been far away, leading to a variety of work composing for media and producing other artist's recordings. Processing live instruments with a variety of electronics, has increasingly become a feature of his live concerts. Recording studio techniques have also influenced Fraser's music, self taught, engineering/mixing/producing recordings to date including 'Sark O Snaw' by singer Mick West, nominated Best Album in the 2010 Scots Trad Music Awards.

Fifield has led groups for many years experimenting with a variety of instrumentation and approaches; trio, sextet, acoustic, electric, laptop...regularly in Scotland but also England, Wales, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Sardinia, USA, Hong Kong, Azerbaijan. Argentina and India..

Fraser's unique style of playing is in part thanks to being allowed to experiment and learn in the company of many great artists including Zakir HussainSalsa Celtica, Old Blind Dogs, Afro Celt Sound System, Capercaillie, Hidden Orchestra, Mr McFalls Chamber, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Nordanians, AleMoller/Aly Bain/Knut Riersrud/Eric Bibb , Red Note Ensemble, Inge Thomson, and many others.

'Hands Up for Trad' awarded the 2nd of the newly introduced 'Ignition Award', for innovation in the field of traditional Scottish music, to Fraser in Feb 2015.  

Creative Scotland awarded an Artist Bursary to Fraser in Nov 2014 - the recorded results of which, including albums recorded in Buenos Aires and Mumbai are releasing soon, in 2017.