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Shona Mooney is a fiddle player and composer from Scotland.
Since winning the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2006 she has appeared at international festivals such as Tønder (Denmark), gone on tour with Scottish Folk orchestra The Unusual Suspects and recorded two albums (Heartsease and Sensing the Park).
‘Heartsease (viola tricolour)’ was released on Footstompin’ Records in 2006. It fuses musical agility with thematic concept, traditional Borders style with contemporary flair, and it’s no surprise that it has gone on to have plenty of positive feedback, including ‘Top of the World’ (editor’s choice) in Songlines magazine, 5-star reviews in The Herald and multiple broadcasts on BBC’s Late Junction.
- “From solo fiddle to full band, the fiddle dances and sings through beds of flowers to end in an astonishing collaged séance with past Borders fiddle masters in a hymn to her homeland." — Norman Chalmers, Scotland on Sunday
Shona began playing in O’er the Border with her parents Barbara and Gordon Mooney, bowing a tiny second-hand fiddle bought for her in a junk shop in Peebles. During a peripatetic childhood moving between Newstead, Newtown, Westruther, Maxton, Eildon and Lauder in the Borders, she studied classical violin and traditional fiddle styles with the prominent Borders-based fiddler Lucy Cowan before joining the vibrant traditional musical scene fostered by Harris Playfair and John Mabon at Kelso High School.
In 2001, aged 17, Shona enrolled upon Newcastle upon Tyne’s newly founded degree course in Folk and Traditional Music. Here she continued researching music of the Scottish Borders, stemming from her father’s contribution to the world of Borders piping. Along the way she had tuition from fiddlers - Catriona MacDonald, Chris Wood and Aidan O'Rourke – who supported her desire to take Borders fiddle to a new level by making new interpretations and blending the style with more contemporary influences.
She graduated with first class honours and began by recording albums with her fellow degree course friends, including Crosscurrent’s ‘Momentum’ and Border Young Fiddle’s self-titled debut and went on to perform and teach at major events including Cambridge, Warwick, Dranouter Folk festivals and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. She performed alongside Capercaillie's Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson at the BBC Proms in the Park and appeared on Howard Goodall's How Music Works for Channel 4.