Congratulations to Fara who have been nominated in Up and Coming Artist of the Year sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2015. Vote now!
We asked Kristan Harvey of Fara the following questions.
Tell us about yourself:
Fara brings together five emerging musicians at the forefront of today’s young Scottish folk scene, Jennifer Austin, Louise Bichan, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s four fiddles and a piano, produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in their upbringing among the music of Orkney. Having established themselves in the Scottish music scene as musicians in their own right, the girls have gathered several accolades between them including the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, The Deutsche Bank Award in Performance and Composition, and the Danny Kyle Award.
Now, joining forces as Fara, the group promises a mixture of self-penned and traditional Orkney tunes as well as beautiful haunting songs, all vibrantly arranged with rich harmonies, energetic fiddle playing and driving piano.
Why are you involved in Scottish music:
Each and every member of Fara is involved in Scottish music thanks to the rich musical heritage in Orkney. Having grown up surrounded by folk music due to organisations such as the Orkney Traditional Music Project, and through having been fortunate enough to be taught by some of Orkney’s finest musical exponents including The Wrigley Sisters and Douglas Montgomery, the girls have almost always been immersed in music.
When they came together to create Fara, the band’s ambition was to help promote the traditional music of Orkney to new audiences. Through writing new music, arranging old tunes and putting a fresh slant on an already well established tradition, Fara are hopefully playing their small part in keeping the music of Orkney, and Scotland, alive.
The whole first year of Fara’s existence has been a highlight for us really! Since the band’s first gig at Orkney Folk Festival, we’ve been lucky enough to play the likes of Shetland Folk Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and most recently, Tønder Festival in Denmark, and we’ve loved every second of it. I think the most memorable moment for us was our final gig at Tønder Fest, having a few hundred people in a tent singing along with us to our version of the song ‘Games People Play’. What a lovely thing!
Plans for the future:
Having enjoyed a whirlwind first year, Fara hope to continue to build on their early success. With fiddler Louise leaving the UK to pursue a degree at Berkeley College of Music in Boston, the girls are now looking ahead to the next chapter of the band. Plans are underway to release a debut album in 2016, and so Fara are very excited to be creating and arranging more new music, meeting new audiences and helping to showcase traditional music, both old and new!