I recently heard the sad news of the passing of Scots fiddler & composer Ian Hardie at the the age of 59. Once resident in the Borders, Ian was a prolific composer of tunes and many have been borrowed over the years by Northumbrian musicians. I’ve been playing the magnificent Sutor’s Waltz for many years and it was an easy decision to put that on my CD. The late, great Joe Hutton recorded Snow on the Ben & The Grand Slam, while Kathryn Tickell’s early recordings included Catchapenny Fox, Bowmont Water and The Bonnie Lass O’Wark.
Ian recorded a number of solo albums and they’re well worth getting hold of – the first ‘A Breath of Fresh Airs’ is probably the hardest to find since it dates to the LP (and cassette!) era. His compositions were published alongside each recording and I always made a point of getting hold of them; the well thumbed copies are still on my music shelf. A few years back, as the early books went out of print Ian took the decision to simply publish all of the music directly and all of his tunes are up there waiting to be discovered.
Ian moved out of the Borders and up to the Highlands around the time I started playing – his tunes were handed on to me by other musicians and I had always hoped to meet up with him one day, play some tunes and thank him for them. The opportunity has sadly now passed so I’ll do what people did for me and pass his tunes on.