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Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Showcase for early Scottish music
Simon Chadwick playing the clarsach (pic: Alan Grant)
Simon Chadwick has a replica of Mary Queen of Scots medieval harp
A festival inspired by the world's largest collection of early Scottish music has been launched in Dundee.

Sheena Wellington, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Peat Bog Faeries are among the artists performing at Fest 'n' Furious 2007.

The four-day event will also feature concerts by community choirs, live music workshops and ceilidhs.

The festival has its roots in the Wighton Collection, which was bequeathed to the city in 1866.

The collection was compiled by a Dundee grocer and has been described as the foremost collection of early Scottish music anywhere in the world.

Enormous energy

David Kett from Dundee library said it was inspiring to hear some long-forgotten pieces performed.

He said: "The whole thing's been taken over in a very good way by the Friends of Wighton.

I've been looking through the old books in the Wighton Centre trying to find the really old Scottish harp music, a lot of which has never been played for 200-300 years
Simon Chadwick
Friends of Wighton

"They are putting enormous energy into producing the music, performing it, singing, fiddling, bringing the music to life and generally making the Wighton Collection what it should have been."

The group's secretary, Simon Chadwick, said the collection was a goldmine of early Scottish music.

He said: "I play the early clarsach so I've got a replica of the medieval harp of Mary Queen of Scots.

"I've been looking through the old books in the Wighton Centre trying to find the really old Scottish harp music, a lot of which has never been played for 200 to 300 years."

Fest 'n' Furious 2007 creative director Sheena Wellington said the festival had expanded to include a wide variety of music genres.

She said: "We have blue grass, we've unaccompanied singing, we have workshops, we have ceilidhs, we have sessions, we have the Red Hot Chilli Pipers strutting their funky stuff at the Caird Hall, we've the Peat Bog Faeries, we've got loads of community choirs."

"I love the title. It wasn't quite my idea, it was kind of a collaborate effort, but it just sums it up; it's exciting, it's lively."


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