Old South Church Concert Series presents Louise Bichan, currently Maine-based Scottish fiddler and photographer in concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Old South Church, 235 Main St., in Farmington.

Bichan continues her unique musical and sentimental journey, between her native northern Scottish isles and coast-to-coast Canada, in the footsteps of her late paternal grandmother Margaret, née Tait (1925-2008). With a dilemma of the heart to solve, Tait, herself a beautiful singer, spent six months in Canada in 1950, before returning to Orkney to wed.

Growing up in the remote but culturally rich Orkney islands, a place where creativity abounds and playing music has been a part of the social fabric for centuries, gave Bichan a solid grounding in music. She started playing fiddle at the age of 7 after witnessing the magic of live music: “I remember the butterflies in the tummy feeling when watching concerts at the Orkney Folk Fest as a kid, wanting to be a part of it all.” The sense of community and belonging it gave her was infectious; she pestered her parents to let her learn.

In the years since, she has honed her craft, first amongst the cream of Scottish folk at Glasgow’s renowned session scene and performances with talent like Orkney group Fara and award-winning singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni, before a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Boston, where she developed her style further. Bichan uses both her musicianship and photography to tell stories  blending traditional and classical arrangements, her music is thoughtful, and complex, curious and playful. She composes in response to her roots and the world around her; weaving through stories of connection, to people, nature, the past and the possibility of the future.

On “The Lost Summer” Bichan explores new settings for old compositions, as heard in “Adam and Eric’s,” once a fast reel, she was “inspired to slow it down to a lopey strathspey one late-evening, red-wine-fueled jam and recording session in the Scottish Highlands, with my friends Jennifer Austin and Rachel Seramanni, and now I can’t go back.”

She takes to the road with Conor Hearn playing guitar, Brendan Hearn on cello, and Ethan Setiawan on mandolins, to present an evening of lively fiddle tunes from Scotland and beyond, weaving through stories of connection, to people, nature, the past and the possibility of the future.

Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for students 12 and older and seniors.

For tickets visit eventbrite.com or call 207-491-5919. As space allows tickets will be available at the door.


Join the Conversation

Please sign into your Sun Journal account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.