Steve and Marjorie Gadd in collaboration with Tasmanian Historian Peter MacFie have published "On The Fiddle' The LIfe and Music of Tasmanian colonial fiddler Alexander Laing. Trained in the Scottish fiddle music of his era, in particular the music Of Neil and Nathaniel Gow Laing spent time in Ireland with the British army before committing a crime that led to his transportation to Van Diemen's Land.
Laing became a police constable in his new home colony and from 1812 to the late 1860s was a performer of fiddle music. His vast repertoire featured over 60 original compositions including, Jigs, Strathspeys, Hornpipes, marches, Reels and waltzes.
Many of these were dedicated to local personalities and their titles recall both the historical characters of early Tasmania and trace with their dates, the movement of Laing from one township to another over his career as a constable.
Historian Peter MacFie unearthed a copy of Laing's lost manuscript which he had assembled prior to his death in the 1860s.
This is a very important book for historian and folk music enthusiasts. Dave O'Neil, the Director of the Australian National Folk Festival called it a book of monumental importance which marks the link between the early 19th century Scottish style of fiddling popular in the colonies and the later Australian bush style of fiddling.
Book now available, 49.00 plus 10.00 postage.