If music and arts are, as I believe, the best way to feed the soul, Liza Mulholland’s beautiful writing about her musical adventures - with warmth, laughter, memories, knowledge and a deep love of music – will help fill yours to the brim. Monica Neeling
Packed with humour, anecdote and thoughtful observation, Notes from a Scottish musician's year is an entertaining exploration of Scottish music. Whether ceilidhing in the hollow trunk of a giant tree at Alasdair Fraser’s Scottish Fiddle School, tutoring with Fèis Rois or Stripping the Willow in Castlebay hall, Liza dances us through a year of her musical life, as well as many past adventures.
Although Liza's writing has previously featured in newspapers, journals and in a regular online news site column, Inside Folk, Volume 1: Notes from a Scottish musician's year is her debut book. The first in her Inside Folk series, this collection of vignettes charts a year of music, and offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the everyday business of making and enjoying music.
In sharing an insight into her experience as a contemporary Scottish musician, she reflects on elements of a typical year - performing, teaching, travelling, launching an album, juggling gigs and children, listening, composing - and offers a heart-warming illustration of the joys, delights and challenges of playing music for a living.
With a background of a large Glasgow-Irish family of musicians and singers on her father's side and the Gaelic song tradition of her mother's Hebridean heritage, it was perhaps inevitable she would feel the strongest pull towards folk music. Learning piano from a young age, and later accordion, playing and writing music have been life-long passions, and her love of her subject sings off every page.
Liza Mulholland is ideally placed to give the low-down on the travels, trials and (sometimes) triumphs of a musician's life. Light-hearted and pacy, she captures the hard work, diversity and transendence of a folk artists' environment. Informative and inspirational.
Living Tradition magazine
Liza writes from a place of extensive knowledge and insight, with the kind of warmth, heart and infectious enthusiasm that is sure to chime with music-lovers.
Also available in print and ebook formats at all online book retailers, as well as High Street bookshops.
Look out for Volume 2 coming soon!
Whether California dreamin’ under giant redwood trees, busking in Paris or making music with worldwide celtic connections in Scotland, Liza Mulholland is a wonderful native guide to our national music, writing with great sensitivity and passion for her subject.
Her writing is also imbued with a kind of Sehnsucht, a German world meaning something more than longing – perhaps a longing for a collective unconscious which is in us all through the music she loves.
Here she encounters legends like Martyn Bennet, Karine Polwart, Phil Cunningham and Alasdair Fraser and places them all in the gathering stream of the great tradition of Scottish music and song.
Writer and broadcaster