Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Fraser Shaw Trust would like to say a big warm thank you to everybody who has supported us in 2017, particularly our event sponsors; The Port Charlotte Hotel, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg, and also Natalie Somerville who raised an amazing £1700 running the London Marathon. We have had an action packed year with the launches of Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw – both album and tune book, as well as our annual festival Shawfest.

The Trust are extremely pleased to be making a donation of £5000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Centre Mid Argyll, which will go towards a complete renovation of the centre in Lochgilphead. Fraser had intended on donating the proceeds of his book here, his local MS Centre, a place he received a great deal of support from during his illness, so it means a lot to the Trust to be able to make this donation on his behalf. A donation of £1000 will also be made to MS Society Scotland, a charity which funds research on treatment of the illness as well as working with MS sufferers, helping them manage their symptoms.

As well as supporting these charities, the Trust aims to promote the arts and culture of Scotland (particularly on the Isle of Islay), along with helping with the advancement of education of young Ileach residents by encouraging and enabling participation in, and the study of all forms of traditional music. For this, the Trust have set £4000 aside for 2018 – more details on these activities to follow.

In other news, Mac Ile: The Music of Fraser Shaw has been listed among Folk Radio UK’s Top 10 Albums of 2017, being described as “… a charming, moving and, above all, uplifting album.” Read about it and all the other chosen albums here!

Keep up with the latest news via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our website, where you can sign up to our newsletter.

From everyone at The Fraser Shaw Trust, Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr!

 


Launch of Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw – Tune Book at Islay Sessions

The 2017 Islay Sessions is done and dusted and what a weekend it was! Music, drams and craic for three days, and most exciting of all – the release of Fraser Shaw’s much anticipated tune book.
The weekend started strongly with an intense gig with Scots Trad Award Composer of the Year nominee Adam Sutherland, and Mark Clement in a guitar/vocals and fiddle duo, blending perfectly a range of musical styles into the traditional, revealing highly honed musical skills.
Saturday opened with a workshop opportunity for both the very young and those less so, under the guidance of Scots Trad Award Tutor of the Year nominee Emma Tomlinson, ably assisted by Adam Sutherland. Appropriately, Emma and Adam chose to use Fraser Shaw’s musical tribute to fellow Port Charlotte Hotel colleague Graham Allison. A slow session afterwards gave more opportunity for those of us practising new skills.
A tour of a few distilleries took place that afternoon, with visits to Bruichladdich, Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain by two bus loads of eager festival attendees. A wee stop at Fraser’s seat, overlooking Lochindaal, for a toast to the man himself was a necessity, with the launch of his tune book taking place that very night.

Saturday night at the Islay Sessions was the big one – a packed Bruichladdich Hall was treated first to a rousing performance of the music learned in the morning workshop. Next up was some beautiful and ethereal Gaelic songs from Joy Dunlop, joined by Mhairi Marwick and Ron Jappy on fiddle and guitar, followed by the guitar and mandolin playing, and lyrical vocals of Jen Butterworth and Laura-Beth Salter.
Finally, the moment arrived for Fraser’s tune book to be introduced: his brother Greig gave a beautiful speech about him and his dream to release a book, after which it’s first few copies were presented to a few people who were key to getting this immense project off the ground. Then, the book was available for sale for everyone!
After a token raffle, fiery young band Tannara took to the stage, finishing off the concert with a pulsing set of contemporary and traditional tunes and songs. At the end of the concert, all musicians in the room got up to finish the night off with a favourite composition of Fraser’s: The C-Side.
A necessarily quiet Sunday ended perfectly with the guitar and vocals of Innes Watson, who seamlessly shared love, laughter and wine whilst creating a potential new tour band from the exuberant and vocal audience!
As as the case for each night at the festival, a late night session in the Port Charlotte Hotel bar rounded off the festival.

Don’t forget that you can still vote for for Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw as Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Awards – voting closes this coming Friday 24th November, and winners will be announced on December 2nd at the Awards Ceremony in Paisley which will be broadcasted live on BBC Alba.

‘…there’s a real sense of joy and celebration of life within the album. Not just a celebration of Shaw’s life, but a celebration of life itself.’ – Bright Young Folk


Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw – Trad Awards Nomination 

We are absolutely thrilled that Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw is up for album of the year in the Scots Trad Awards! The album consists of a plethora of Scotland’s top musicians playing Fraser’s fantastic tunes. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can purchase a copy here.

Heralded as the most prestigious award ceremony in the traditional music calendar, the winners will be revealed during a glitzy award ceremony on Saturday 2nd December, at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre as Paisley bids for UK City of Culture 2021. It would be brilliant if you could take the time to vote for Mac Ìle, and please spread the word – there are also a number of other talented acts up for awards, including some members of the Islay Sessioners! Voting closes on Friday 24th November.

‘…there’s a real sense of joy and celebration of life within the album. Not just a celebration of Shaw’s life, but a celebration of life itself.’ – Bright Young Folk

Click here to vote for Mac Ìle


Mac Ìle Launch at Islay Sessions

The Fraser Shaw Trust are delighted to announce that Fraser’s much anticipated tune book will be launched at Islay Sessions, a festival which he played an integral role in setting up. Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw will contain 30 original compositions with chords, 10 pipe settings, stories, tributes and photographs. Lori and Innes Watson have been hard at work putting it all together, and we can’t wait to share it with the world! Get your pre-order here.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in bringing the book to completion: for your advice, images, contributions, stories, revisions, proofreading, and encouragement. This has been a very important project for us: both wonderful and painful in equal measure as we listened to recordings of Fraser playing his tunes for hours to finish the job we started together. We are very proud of him and his brilliant music and hope you enjoy learning and sharing his tunes, and the photos and stories too. Fraser wanted to make this book to raise funds for the Lochgilphead MS Therapy Centre, so please support them by getting your copy and spreading the word to music players and learners, and appreciators of Fraser Shaw. ” – Innes & Lori Watson

The tunes in this collection have a style of their own – a real identity – the hallmark of any great tunesmith. The tunes range from emotive and plaintive to rhythmical and driving, and they will be a joy to play for any instrumentalist. This is a wonderful legacy of Fraser – piper, musician and true gentleman.” – Fred Morrison

 

Special thanks to Creative Scotland’s Tasgadh fund administered by Fèisean nan Gàidheal for supporting this project.

The launch will take place in Bruichladdich Hall, November 18th, 8pm at the big Saturday night Islay Sessions concert. Acts on the night include Tannara, Joy Dunlop and Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth Salter, and the book will be celebrated in style with some fine music, drams and cheer. Tickets will be available on the door, or via www.islaysessions17.eventbrite.com

The Trust are also honoured to sponsor the Islay Sessions workshops, in line with one of their purposes which is to help with the advancement of the arts and culture of Islay. Workshops will be led by fiddler Emma Tomlinson (The Routes Quartet) and can be booked by emailing islaysessionseducation@gmail.com


Mac Ìle: The Music of Fraser Shaw – Tune Book

We’ve had an incredibly exciting few months launching Fraser’s CD on Islay and in Glasgow, raising funds for the Trust and celebrating the life of the man himself through music.

We also ran our annual fundraiser, Shawfest in September, which took place in Partick to huge success, raising £1200 in total.

The Trust are absolutely thrilled that the much anticipated Tune Book is nearly finished, and will be ready for launch at The Islay Sessions, a festival that Fraser played an integral role in setting up six years ago. Pre-order your copy of the book here!

Lori and Innes Watson have been hard at work putting it all together, and we can’t wait to share it with the world! The book contains 30 original compositions complete with chords, 10 pipe settings, and lots of stories, tributes and photographs.

“We’d like to thank everyone involved in bringing the book to completion: for your advice, images, contributions, stories, revisions, proofreading, and encouragement. This has been a very important project for us: both wonderful and painful in equal measure as we listened to recordings of Fraser playing his tunes for hours to finish the job we started together. We are very proud of him and his brilliant music and hope you enjoy learning and sharing his tunes, and the photos and stories too. Fraser wanted to make this book to raise funds for the Lochgilphead MS Therapy Centre, so please support them by getting your copy and spreading the word to music players and learners, and appreciators of Fraser Shaw. ” – Innes & Lori Watson

Special thanks to Creative Scotland’s Tasgadh fund administered by Fèisean nan Gàidheal for supporting this project.


Mac Ìle – Glasgow Launch at Piping Live!

On Monday 7th August, the Fraser Shaw Trust was delighted to celebrate the Glasgow Album Launch of Mac Ile. The event took place in the beautiful venue of St Luke’s, in Glasgow’s East End, as part of the internationally acclaimed music festival; Piping Live!

The launch took the form of a gig, with an enormous amount of talented musicianship on show. The first half included a combination of solo, duo and group performances from musicians who recorded the album, as well as a couple of Fraser’s close pals. Musicians took the opportunity to talk about some of their times with Fraser – unsurprisingly often including a few drinks, a good laugh and a touch of calamity!

The second half was a full live performance of the album. It was an outstanding, uplifting and moving display and, for those who had heard the recorded version, a chance to enjoy the power of the live performance. Perhaps the most emotive of the tracks was Air Chall, a stunning piece including an old recording Fraser had sent to his pal a few years back.

Whilst of course a special night for all Fraser’s family and friends, it was a delight to see people who didn’t know him or his story come along and enjoy the evening so much. A truly gorgeous evening of music and friendship: a fine tribute to a very fine man.

The Trust would like to thank our sponsors; Ardbeg and McCallum Bagpipes. Also thanks to Frankie Burr for her wonderful backdrop!


Mac Ìle – Islay Album Launch Party

The village hall of Bruichladdich opened its doors to friends and soon-to-be friends of Fraser Shaw’s music, for it was the night of the Mac Ìle album launch. The first launch that is, which took place on June 27th on the Isle of Islay. A second launch is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in August. The fact that it was a Tuesday night did not hinder the audience attendance, with a buzz of excited chitter chatter encompassing the hall awaiting an evening on enthralling music. It was an evening of two halves; of drams and gin provided kindly by Bruichladdich Distillery, of incredible music and musicianship and of a term you are likely to hear frequently regarding Fraser, that term being friendship.

The evening was kicked off to an enrapturing start by pipers Calum MacCrimmon and Angus MacKenzie, a traditional start to any concert or ceilidh. This was followed by a different blend of musicians for each set, all delivering snippets of their tales and time with the man in title and offering heartfelt performances. Local singer Alasdair Currie also delighted the crowd with a beautiful collection of gaelic songs, setting the equilibrium number of songs to tunes. After a short interlude allowing both listeners and musicians to refresh their glasses it was on to the second half, during which sentiment grew with every set.

The emotion emanating from the stage, I’m sure could be felt by each person in the crowd familiar with Fraser’s story or not. Music has an inconceivable way to convey emotions, perhaps emotions that wouldn’t be visible to a passing stranger but in this context they can be felt very nearly first hand. The busy audience was filled with friends of Fraser’s and also many people that wouldn’t have had the pleasure of knowing him. It is most likely the latter were visitors to the island discovering this little pocket of first class traditional music unexpectedly. As the musicians closed the concert it was the end of an incredible nights music, but to these perfect strangers who happened upon ‘A night for Fraser’, it is just the start of a new journey discovering his music, introducing it to friends alike and being almost ‘passengers’ of his legacy.

The Islay Sessioners hosted an evening Fraser would have reveled in – an evening of music, friends (old and new), drams and these fine things in life continuing into the night at the much cherished Port Charlotte Hotel. I think it is safe to say the Fraser Shaw Trust is doing exactly what it set out to do, if not more.

– Ciara MacTaggart

Sunset on the eve of Fraser’s album launch matched the artwork perfectly.


Fundraising

The Fraser Shaw Trust have been overwhelmed with support the past two years, and would like to extend a grateful thank you to all our donators. The work put in to making our work possible still continues, and we are extremely proud of Natalie Somerville, one of our Trustees, who recently ran the London Marathon in aid of the Trust. Speaking to us about her experience Natalie says, “It was my first time at the race and it has to be said that everything they say is true! It really is a phenomenal affair. The scale of the event is mind-blowing with thousands upon thousands of volunteers and almost 40,000 runners. The support from the Londoners was also superb – really showcasing the best of what the city has to offer in terms of hospitality, music and humour. For me, the hardest thing about the marathon was the training. Lots of long, cold, dark runs on my own around the streets of Glasgow – often a mental struggle just to get out the door! However, the race itself was amazing and the miles seemed to pass relatively quickly (until mile 23…!). If you ever find yourself questioning humanity – go and watch the London Marathon. The strength of some people, particularly those participating with disabilities, is just incredible. I laughed and I cried – and, of course, I thought about my mate, Fraser. A fabulous £1870 has been raised so far, and those funds will go towards supporting people living with MS as well as musical projects for young Ileachs. Thank you to everyone who sent support and I look forward to seeing who will run the London Marathon next for the Fraser Shaw Trust!”

Natalie is greeted at the finish line by her husband John and son Findlay.

Natalie is not the only one accomplishing a great feat to raise money for good causes – Lesley Shaw, another good friend of Fraser’s has decided to take on the challenge of the Ben Nevis Night Hike this August, to raise money for MS Society Scotland in memory of Fraser. Lesley says, “Training for the challenge has been good fun. I’ve started going back to the gym, running, trying some circuits and yoga and of course lots more hill-walking. The better weather definitely helps and over the past wee while I’ve climbed Schiehallion, Ben Narnain, Ben Chonzie, Ben Luibhean and the local smaller Donald, Tinto a few times. Nothing beats a flask of tea and sweet treats with an amazing view when you get to the top. The support so far has been amazing and I can’t wait to join the rest of the team at the MS Society Scotland for the challenge. I’m almost at 75% of the target donations so massive thanks to everyone who’s sponsored so far.” You can sponsor Lesley’s hike at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LesleyShaw2017