Vincent Campbell, Donegal Fiddle Player, 2010

Vincent Campbell, Donegal Fiddle Player, 2010

Now playing: Earliest memories of the Dohertys, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
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  1. Earliest memories of the Dohertys, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  2. The Dohertys’ travelling routes and tinsmithing, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  3. The back door highland / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  4. Making fiddles from snuff boxes, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  5. Muilleann na maidí, reel / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  6. Bowing techniques used by the Dohertys, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  7. Fáscadh mo léine, reel / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  8. John Doherty staying in his parents’ home, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  9. The repeal of the union, reel / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  10. John Doherty at the All-Ireland Fleadh in Tipperary, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  11. Nora críona, jig / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  12. House dances in his youth, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  13. Cailíní Ard a’ Ratha, highland / Vincent Campbell, fiddle
  14. Making home-made fiddle rosin, speech / Vincent Campbell, speech
  15. Planxty Davis, harp piece / Vincent Campbell, fiddle

Vincent Campbell, Donegal Fiddle Player, 2010

Vincent Campbell, born in Irish-speaking Tangaveane, Glenties, Co Donegal, in 1938, is widely known as a leading exponent of Donegal fiddle playing, one with a detailed knowledge of the instrumental music of the county and of its related lore and dances. He also worked and played from the 1950s in Scotland, London, and Co Meath, but he returned to Glenties in the late 1970s and has lived there since. Vincent learned originally from his father Peter, also a fiddle player, and from his mother Brigid who taught many of the dances known only in Donegal. The travelling fiddle players and tinsmiths John and Mickey Doherty were frequent visitors to the Campbell household, and provided Vincent with tunes and insights into the fiddle practices of the old travelling players.

At the annual Donegal Fiddle Summer School of 2010, organised since 1983 by the Donegal fiddle organisation Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí, Vincent Campbell took part in a public interview on his life, times and music, led by fellow fiddle player Aidan O’Donnell and held in the Oideas Gael centre in Glencolmcille on 6 August. The interview was recorded by Danny Diamond for the Irish Traditional Music Archive and an edited version is presented here. It contains all the tunes played by Vincent on the occasion.

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí has recently published ‘The Purple Heather’, a double CD of the music and stories of Vincent Campbell with an extensive booklet (see www.donegalfiddlemusic.ie).

With thanks to Vincent Campbell for his permission to present this edited interview, and to Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí (especially Aidan O’Donnell, Rab Cherry and Caoimhín Mac Aoidh) for facilitating the recording.

NC & DD, 1 October 2010