THE ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO 2019
The article below appeared in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo programme and media coverage.
Hjaltibonhoga - The Shetland Fiddlers
Hjaltibonhoga, translating to "Shetland, my spiritual home", have featured in the Tattoo since its inception in 2014. It was developed by The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as the ideal platform to showcase the best of Shetland Fiddling on a scale hitherto impossible to achieve.
With the core of fiddlers hailing from the Shetland Islands, Hjaltibonhoga welcomes a national and international element with players from across the UK, Canada, USA and Australia joining them this year at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The indigenous music of the Islands is a unique style of fiddle playing that is internationally revered in the world of fiddle music.
The blood line of the people of Shetland can be traced back to a Viking heritage that is still distinguishable today in the Islands' traditional music and folklore. The Islands' Norse history is celebrated each year with the Viking Fire Festival of Up Helly Aa welcoming the return of light after the winter months.
The Shetland Islands in the North Sea have a barren landscape that is windswept and misted with salt sea spray. This hardy landscape bares no trees but proudly stands out of the sea with immense cliff scenery.
Dark evenings lend themselves to time focused on learning an instrument, which has led Shetland to boast a proud tradition of fiddle music, and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence when it comes to performing.
Tonight, the band will celebrate the forests of the sea surrounding Shetland by performing 'Sea Sway' - the dance of the seaweed in the motion of the water.