Nov 032011

Britt Pernille Frøholm is touring the UK this Autumn and will play three venues here in the North East, including a fund raising concert at 7.30pm on Saturday 19th November 2011 at The Howe Trinity Church, Alford, in aid of The Alford Heritage Centre and Museum. Jim Talbot encourages Aberdeen Voice readers to attend.

Britt is a leading hardanger fiddle player from Hornindal on the west coast of Norway.

She has a MA degree in Traditional Arts from 2006 where she worked with contemporary music and researched new techniques for the hardanger fiddle.

She is a versatile musician who has released several critically acclaimed cd’s in a number of genres, ranging from traditional folk music to free improvisation with jazz musicians.

The concert will include Christmas music from Norway and will be a showcase for this talented musician and her beautiful instrument.

In  addition to her solo projects, she plays in the groups LuckyLoop, Friensemblet,  Ensemble Epoché, arcticaEclectica, Frøholm/Tillung, BOREAS (Scotland/Norway),  FACE THE BEAR (Norway/Sweden), and  the Talay&Knutsson Project-Nye Toner i Nord (Norway/Sweden/Denmark).  Currently she’s also collaborating with the Indian fiddle player Sharat Chandra Srivastava.


Busi Ncube-Salulandela, (Etnisk Musikklubb 2010)
Frøholm/Tillung, ”EINS”, (Ta:lik 2009)
Friensemblet, ”Come Closer”, (Giraffa Records 2009)
LuckyLoop, “Big, Fat and Beautiful”, (Grappa Musikkforlag 2008)
Britt Pernille Frøholm, “For Allje Dei”, (Ta:lik 2008)
Folkelarm promo cd, (Etnisk Musikklubb 2008)
Christian Borlaug, “Austmannsspel- slåtter under Norefjell, (Etnisk Musikklubb 2008)
Ramstadlaget, “I gamle spor”, (Lærdal Musikkproduksjon AS 2008)
Honndalstausene, “Frie Former”, (Grappa Musikkforlag 2000)


Jan 212011

‘Voice’ reader Jim Talbot responds to an article published in last week’s issue and offers an alternative view on the value of Donald Trump’s investment in the North East.

There is much to admire in Stephen Bremner’s article, most notably, his clear loyalty and commitment to his native land and his dislike of Mr Trump’s alleged bullying tactics.

Unfortunately, I cannot claim a birth origin in the North East, although my wife originates from these parts, nevertheless, I do feel a sincere loyalty to the area and a great love of the area itself, its history, culture and people.

I take issue with Mr Bremner’s assertion that only a small minority oppose The Donald’s great plan for the Great Dunes of Scotland. ( see Aberdeen voice article published 14th Jan. ) Certainly, if you believe all that you read in the local commercial press, then you might be led to that conclusion. The local newspaper reporting on this issue has been abysmally biased and at times quite inflammatory, particularly in the way in which certain elected representatives have been the target of tabloid character assassination.

I have a wide circle of friends here in Aberdeenshire, from all walks of life, and it is my experience that the vast majority are either disinterested or cannot see the relevance of the affair to much more fundamental issues, or do indeed oppose the development, even if they do not choose to give voice to their opposition. I have to say that such opposition has, within my earshot, even been expressed by ardent members of the golfing fraternity.

“Fit dae we need anither golf course fer, ye cannae fill the eins we hae” was one comment made, borne out by the fairly frequent and fervent recruitment campaigns and special offers run by many local golf courses, not to mention those golf courses which are under threat of closure or the golf developments which have been shelved…..but then perhaps The Donald’s real agenda was never just golf?

Absolutely crucial human rights are being ignored

What about spin off investment from The Donald’s scheme? Jobs in construction, outfitting, sales, catering and other service activities, not to mention the supply of materials during and after?

Friends in America have highlighted the trend for such egotistically grandiose developments to create very few jobs within a specific area, and for materials as well as labour to be sourced at the cheapest rate going from whatever source available –  not to mention that even Mr Trump has had to scale back his operations during the current recession, with projects axed!. There will probably be no loyalty to local people and the local economy to be found in such a development. The rhetoric spouted by those members of the local business community concerning the amount of trade such a development will bring to the area is largely pie in the sky, mere wishful thinking. There are no such guarantees given by such hard nosed businessmen as The Donald.

In many ways, Donald Trump, and men like him, are to be admired for their drive and obvious enthusiasm, however, all too often the people who are forgotten are the ‘little people’ – the Michael Forbes and David Milnes of this world.  In other words, you and I. Absolutely crucial human rights are being ignored and appallingly dangerous legal precedents are being set in this affair – and all because local business leaders are scared to death that the major local industry, the oil industry, is about to fold.

Climate warming scaremongering (and part of my research background was in aspects of climate change) together with an anti-global anti-oil lobby are driving the western world towards the brink of an energy supply disaster which will bring down governments and lay waste to otherwise prosperous countries. Contrary to what some would have you believe, the oil industry in the North East of Scotland is flourishing. As the traditional oil companies shrink, change direction or consolidate after major pollution incidents (due to sheer incompetence?), other “new boys” are taking their place.

The oil industry… can act as a springboard for the development of other industries.

These new oil companies are often locally based and more firmly rooted in the area. They have drive and enthusiasm for what they do – and there is plenty of oil out there with new fields being discovered on a regular basis.

Oil is an essential part of our economy and, despite the pessimistic predictions of some, could potentially be with us for the foreseeable future. Even if oil based energy and industry were to collapse, there would be generations of jobs involved in decommissioning, unless we were to leave unused plant to fester and pollute. No, the truth is that the oil industry here in the North East of Scotland, as highlighted in the Council’s own Structure Plan, is alive and well and has a potentially healthy future. Most importantly, it can act as a springboard for the development of other industries such as biotechnology, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals, scientific research, and many more.

As for tourism, well as long as it is overseen by quangos such as Visit Scotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board), what hope? So many friends in the tourist industry locally, at best express disappointment with the support they receive from such sources, and at worst state that it is a total waste of money.

Perhaps The Donald’s great scheme  – and a few others from other notable individuals – should be seen for what it is. Castles in the air!