I don't know if you know, but as well as writing about folk music, putting on folk music and holding down a full time job, I also play the violin. I mainly play with Air Cav, a Manchester-based indie / psychedelic band, but over the years have had the fortune to play with lots of interesting musicians. I've recently had the pleasure of contributing some sounds to Junkboy's latest album, Koyo, which received 4 stars in Mojo. I'm not at all surprised as the album's really gorgeous, saturated with intricate melodies but not so over-the-top that it feels like arrangement and orchestration and nothing else. You know what I mean.
And the violin has crept into my latest round of book proposals. Now, I'm always thinking up book proposals - I could write a list of my ideas I've had since I was a small child - but I rarely get on with either proposing the book in question or writing the thing. But I was thinking - would a book about the violin, more importantly playing the violin, make a good book? I've interviewed loads and loads of violinists - mainly folk fiddle players - over the years, many for the inimitable FiddleOn magazine.
And I love the idea of collating some of these themes that come up time and time again into a book: why the violin attracted them in the first place, how they learnt, when they learnt, classical learning vs self-taught, etc, etc. I'd hope it'd be a nice, fat compendium focused on giving fiddle players the recognition they deserve whilst simultaneously exploring more about the role of the violin in folk and popular music. (I've recently interviewed Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre, and I'd kill to interview The National's violinist... I'd definitely have to branch out more to that side of the spectrum)
Anyway, the bottom line is - would anyone, save the fiddle massive, want to read such a book? Would it make for interesting reading? Or is this a case of my rather nice interests fuelling my book proposal list again?