Going Underground :: Laura Wilkie

“Folk music is learned by ear, its the only form to be learned like that”

As home to many fantastic upcoming acts in the past few months, it is a pleasure to introduce to you another aspiring talent. Laura Wilkie is the latest in a long line of fantastically educated, endlessly gifted and musically sound young violinists who play their trade in the folk and celtic scenes.

The folk and celtic scenes are both interwoven with each other. Their respective roots in traditional music can be dated back centuries when traditional songs and shanties were spread through local communities from word a mouth playing and ability, each of the singers, songwriters, performers and musicians adding their own flavour to the work they received. Thus it has been a constant part of British music since the early 19th century and is still thriving today.

With the advent of the digital age and the ease at which artists and musicians can promote their own unique takes on popular music, it would seem that folk music is about to transcend into a new golden age. As it was in its dawn, the popular method of conveying music has never been so easy, social networking and the invaluable addition of MySpace (My__ as it calls itself these days) making the folk artist more popular than ever.

So without any further ado it is with great pleasure that Going Underground can announce Laura Wilkie, a budding young Scottish violinist with a soothing temperament and level headed approach to an industry that can never be accused of such customs. Hailing from Tain in the far, far north of Scotland, Laura is first and foremost a violinist. Having grown up in a family where music was always important, the up and coming musician found it an almost uncontrollable passion that she could not help but pursue.

Like most who grow up in a rural community in the northern most tip of Scotland, folk music was a very strong and potent influence on her from a young age. With the performance bug biting early it was soon apparent that a life within the musical industry was going to be the way forward with the violin taking centre stage. Thus with her transition from the north to Glasgow’s seething cauldron of musical diversity and “talent” it was inevitable that she should find herself subject to popular demand.

After a chance meeting with then unknown folk artist Rachel Sermanni, the two struck up a fantastic working and personal relationship that has led to a mutual arrangement. Serving as co lead violinist (along with Siobahn Anderson) in the backing band of Sermanni, Laura has taken the transition from unknown to recognisable face within the community with a typically modest and refreshingly polite manner. With recent appearances at the hugely popular Celtic Connections crescendo in Glasgow and its subsequent broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland, it would seem that this talented young woman is on the very cusp of greatness.

Currently in the process of touring and recording new material, Laura Wilkie is a name in which any mainstream folk or celtic fans should watch out for. Once again M&B’s Going Underground has uncovered a hidden gem that is set to sky rocket in the not so distant future.

Jonathan Whitelaw

Laura regularly tours with Rachel Sermanni and her work can be found here: http://www.myspace.com/rachelsermanni

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