Album of the Week for weeek beginning 7th May is Mike Vass’ String Theory
Listen to Mike Vass chat with Ross Macfadyen from 12 noon and 12 midnight on Saturday 7th May and from 6pm on Monday 9th May.
Winner of the inaugural Neil Gow International Composition Award, Mike Vass is fast gaining a reputation as one of Scotland’s foremost tunesmiths. His compositions frequently appear in the recordings and performances of some of the UK’s top name acts; most notably luminaries such as Brian Finnegan, Corrina Hewat, and Mairearad Green.
Mike is regarded as one of Scotland’s finest fiddle players, in great demand as a performer, composer and teacher. He has toured extensively in the past few years with leading Scots Song band Malinky, in a duo with twin sister Ali, and with International super group Fiddle Rendezvous, featuring Bruce Molsky, Mary Ann Kennedy and Gerry O’Connor.
Mike’s New Voices Commission String Theory debuted last year at Celtic Connections, and was described as ‘the most direct and honest since the idea was first conceived … precision, subtlety and attention to detail’. One of the highlights, the avant-garde piece ‘Man’s Search’ inspired by Viktor Frankl’s best-selling book, was described as ‘utterly compelling’ and was subsequently featured by the Victor Frankl Institute in Austria to commemorate Frankl’s birthday.
Mike’s band, String Theory are a force to be reckoned with: An impressive seven piece featuring some of Scotland’s top young musicians including Anna Massie (Blazin Fiddles), Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach, Unusual Suspects) and Megan Henderson (Salsa Celtica big band). The breadth of talent is magnificently showcased in high octane arrangements which are deftly handled and sympathetically orchestrated in an invigorating and lively performance.
Mike was nominated as ‘Best Up and Coming Act’ in the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards, along with pianist/singer twin sister Ali, and as ‘Best Folk Band’ with Malinky in 2009. A runner-up in the 2007 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, Mike was subsequently invited to tour with the 2008 finalists as an accompanist. Although barely 5 years into his career, Mike has already featured on more than a dozen recordings, including Volume 1 of The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill, produced by Dr Fred Freeman, and Malinky’s acclaimed fourth album Flower and Iron.