Unique festival to celebrate 'free reed' instruments

Unique festival to celebrate 'free reed' instruments

A unique festival celebrating small 'free reed' instruments from Scotland, Ireland and England will be held in Aberdeen from November 6-8.

The ‘Button Boxes & Moothies Festival’ is organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and brings togetherinstrumentalists who play mouth organs, concertinas, melodeons, Jew’s harps, and diatonic button accordions.

It will be the fourth year of the Festival and organiser Dr Frances Wilkins, a lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen, says it will offer ‘the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fantastic selection of music by some of the brightest talents from Scotland and further afield’.

“Festival-goers will have the chance to find out more about the instruments and their music and to take part in workshops, sessions and ceilidhs. The workshops cater for all abilities, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced player,” Dr Wilkins added.

The ‘Button Boxes & Moothies Festival’ will include concerts, ceilidhs, and workshops, with mixed instruments and taster sessions. There will also be opportunities to meet the artists and to take part in informal sessions which will be happening in local music-friendly pubs.

Co-organiser Ian Russell said: ‘‘There will be some superb musicians coming to the festival, from as far away as the south-west of Ireland, the English midlands, and the northern isles of Scotland.”

To launch the Festival, on Friday November 6 the Elphinstone Institute will be holding an academic study day, with a keynote lecture from Northumbrian concertina maestro Alistair Anderson. Sponsored by the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, the study day aims to bring to light some of the groundbreaking research taking place into free reed instruments.

Sessions throughout the weekend will take place in the MacRobert Building, at the University of Aberdeen’s King’s College Campus and at venues around the city. For full details visit www.buttonboxesandmoothies.com