Gordon Hotchkiss’ Hotchkiss Hotchpotch has been nominated in the Trad Music in the Media category of this year’s MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.
The Scots Trad Music Awards asked Gordon Hotchkiss of ‘Hotchkiss Hotchpotch’ – Celtic Music Radio 95FM the following questions:
Tell us about yourself
Celtic Music Radio has a mission to be a strong cultural voice for traditional and contemporary Scottish / Celtic music, arts and culture, pioneering new frontiers in communication and broadcasting by including people that do not have access to mainstream media.
The radio station is a community station with around 30 – 40 dedicated volunteers who have an interest in the broad spectrum of Scottish / Celtic Music. At present outwith London it has the highest number of listeners for any Community radio station in the UK.
As part of the overall programming Hotchkiss Hotchpotch presented by Gordon Hotchkiss concentrates mainly on the traditional aspects of Scottish music and culture. The emphasis is on featuring a mix of both young emerging talent and established artists.
This can cover the whole spectrum of artists currently recording and performing and older artists and Tradition Bearers who have contributed so much to the preservation of the Scottish musical and cultural tradition.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Scottish traditional music has been the main interest in my life for many years.
Playing the music has brought me into contact with some great musicians and being able to share the rich diversity of the music has brought me immense satisfaction. This, in the past has included playing with bands such as the Whistlebinkies and the Auld Howff Band.
I consider however that apart from the concert scene the main strength of the music lies in the informal ‘session’ scene . This, I consider, is where the real preservation of the old and learning new music is to be found in an informal yet educational environment with both old and young musicians sharing our culture.
Any particular career highlights?
Apart from having a great time playing all over the country and Europe with the Whistlebinkies and Auld Howff Band winning the All Britain Fleadh Ceol and the TMSA competitions a few times for playing Concertina have been highlights.
In broadcasting terms my involvement with Radio Clyde in the eighties saw me gaining a National Sony Award and a Television and Radio Industry Club of Scotland commendation.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to broadcast and play Scottish music to help maintain an appreciation of our national culture.
I have always had a great interest in history in which of course traditional music plays such an important part.
In the past few years with Celtic Music Radio, I have been able to investigate this relationship and produce and broadcast musical programmes with relevant historical commentaries on subjects such as the Spanish Civil War, the sinking of the Titanic, May Day, the Battle of Flodden, the Scottish Wars of Independence and more recently a six part series of some fifteen hours with around 200 songs concerning the Great War to commemorate the start of World War 1.
At present I am conducting research into the Jacobite Risings for a series next year on the anniversary of the 1715 Rising. I am also looking at presenting a series on Irish songs of rebellion in 2016 marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916. This will look at the ‘Irish question’ from both sides in history as of course there is a great crossover between Ireland and Scotland in music and historical involvement.
Also in the future the station is investigating the possibility of presenting live broadcasts from festivals in Europe, the USA and the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton which of course has a rich Scottish heritage.
Buy a ticket for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards on Saturday 13th December 2014 at Inverness Leisure, start time 7.00pm. You’ll have a great time!