The musical partnership between Fraser, long regarded as Scotland's premier fiddle ambassador, and sizzlingly talented young California cellist Haas may not seem to be an obvious one. But this partnership fulfills a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music. As a follow-up to their award winning 2004 release Fire & Grace, Fraser and Haas are releasing a new album in March titled Highlander's Farewell.
"Going back to the 1700s, and as late as the early 20th century," Fraser says, "fiddle and cello made up the dance band of choice in Scotland, with the cellist bowing bass lines and driving the rhythm. Pianos and accordions elbowed out the cello, relegating it to an orchestral setting. I've been pushing to get the cello back into the traditional music scene for years, always on the lookout for a cellist with whom I could have a strong musical conversation, one that incorporated not just the cello's gorgeous melodic tones, but also the gristly bits-the rhythmic, percussive energy that makes the wee hairs on the back of the neck stand up."
Fraser found that long-sought partnership with Haas, who has performed with him in Scotland, Spain, France, and throughout the U.S. "People may be familiar with the gorgeous, melodic cello sound," says Fraser, "but...Haas unleashes textures and deep, powerful rhythms that drive fiddle tunes. We can 'duck and dive' around each other, swap melody and harmony lines, and improvise on each other's rhythmic riffs. She has such a great sense of exploration and excitement for the music; it's a joy to play with her!"
Advance tickets are only available online through the website http://www.communitychurchconcerts.org. Additional information is available at http://www.pinecone.org. Reserve your tickets to hear these amazing artists share a magical night of Celtic music!
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PineCone—the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, is a private, nonprofit, charitable membership organization dedicated to preserving, presenting and promoting traditional music, dance and other folk performing arts.