Filska are a band from the Shetland Islands, and have built their music on the islands tradition of fiddle playing. The word 'Filska' comes from the local dialect and means 'high spirited'.
The line up includes, Jenna Reid; fiddle, vocals & accordion, Bethany Reid; fiddle, vocals & piano, Gemma Wilson; fiddle & vocals and Andrew Tulloch; guitar & vocals.
From an early age, the girls were playing and performing Shetland music together at local events. Joyce Reid, Bethany and Jenna's mum accompanied them on piano. Throughout their up bringing in Shetland they were taught by the late Dr Tom Anderson MBE and the great Fiddler Willie Hunter, who were great inspirations to them. Following this Gemma, Bethany & Jenna were prominent prizewinners in the Young Fiddler of the Year Competition, an annual event in the islands. _In 1995, Filska released an album entitled 'Harvest Home', and was the band's first recording. This CD included music from Shetland & Scotland and it's success brought Filska to festivals and concerts on mainland Scotland. Furthermore Filska were asked to perform on a television series, 'Ceol na fidhle' recorded live in Coo Cathedral, Aberdeenshire. _In 1998 Filska, still in their teens, returned to the studio for their second album, 'Time and Tide'. This was recorded by Shetland guitarist/Singer, and recording engineer Andrew Tulloch who was soon to become a member of Filska. Their line up of three fiddles, guitar, piano, accordion and vocals introduced Filska to a wider audience as they performed in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, America and Canada. Their trip to the USA came as an invitation to represent Scotland at the Millennium Celebrations held in Disney's Epcot Centre, Florida. _The Band's most recent release ' Thousand Miles Away' is a collection of music that includes many of their own compositions. The title track is a song written by Andrew and showcases the musical development and maturity within the band. This fresh and dynamic approach to Shetland traditional music is what gives Filska their highly unique and innovative sound.
Jenna is one of the leading Shetland fiddlers of her generation and one of the brightest young talents on the Scottish traditional music scene. A protÈgÈ of the greatest name of Shetland fiddling, Dr Tom Anderson MBE and Willie Hunter, Jenna has appeared all over the world with the young dynamic Shetland group Filska, Scottish groups, Dochas and Deaf Shepherd. Jenna has also toured and perfomed with 'Fiddlers Bid', the folk/jazz outfit John Rae's Celtic Feet and 'The Vital Signs'. In 2004, Jenna was a finalist in the Young Scottish Traditional Musician and then went onto record her first greatly acclaimed solo album entitled, 'With Silver & All', a showcase of not only her fiddle playing but her composition skills. Shortly after the release of 'With Silver & All' , Jenna was winner of the 'Best Up and Coming Artist of the Year'. "Explosive fiddle playing.." (See jennareid.co.uk)
Bethany has been playing both piano and fiddle from a very early age.††Throughout school she†recieved tuition from shetland†fiddlers Willie Hunter and Margaret Scollay and† by the age of 12, Bethany went on to win Shetlands Young Fiddler of the Year competition.††She has also won prizes for her compositions in this event.† Bethany is currently studying Music at Strathclyde University where she is involved in various ensembles including the Strathclyde Unversity Orchestra.
Gemma has been playing the fiddle since the age of nine and originally studied under the tuition of the late great Willie Hunter.† Her talents on the fiddle lead her to gain both the junior and intermediate titles in Shetlands Young Fiddler of the Year Competition.† Throughout her years†at high school she was involved in a number of musical projects covering a range of styles from jazz to classical, as well as traditional.† Gemma graduated from Aberdeen University In June 2004 with a degree in Art History, and now lives and works in Glasgow where she continues to expand her abilities in both playing and composition.
Andrew has been playing guitar since a very young age and is self-taught. After playing in numerous rock bands, he found his way in to folk music and joined the well known Shetland group Hom Bru, which allowed him to expand his song writing abilities and develop further his knowledge and love of chords and arrangements so much associated with his mother, pianist Violet Tulloch. Over the years Andrew has toured with various folk line-ups, and feels very much at home in Filska. _Now living in London, Andrew is also well established as a producer and recording engineer, and has worked with some of the world's leading artistes such as Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Beck, Sheryl Crow,. Mose Allison, Brad Mehldau, Bill Bruford, and many more. He was head engineer at the famous Pizza Express Jazz club in Soho for 7 years where he worked with many of the great jazz legends. (See andrewtulloch.com).
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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Our current header image was taken by Nick Bramhall and you can find the original here.