Scottish Orkney Island radiates with a double strength
Who did actually say that we live in a global village? The times we live in love everything what’s big, noisy and full of movement. We need motion to feel emotion. We need chaos to feel at home. Have you ever seen so many crossroads in the countryside? Have you ever experienced so much fuss there? Our century is a century of a global conurbation. But there must always be an exception to confirm the rule. The exception is The Wrigley Sisters: Hazel and Jennifer Wrigley made their homeland so famous in the world that with no doubt Orkney of the Orkney Island can be called a global village.
The twin sisters started their musical career as teenagers and since now they have visited dozens of countries and hundreds of cities. There is nothing easier than forgetting about ones roots while traveling to the most peculiar and distant places as one of the top young acts in the international folk circuit. There is nothing easier, but also nothing more dangerous. If Hazel and Jennifer forgot about Orkney they would never be able to play with such passion and devotion. They would probably stop playing at all, because they would loose their most precious inspiration and shape for their music. Strong sense of place and identity gives their music freshness and potency, as they say.
Her first guitar Hazel got when she was in the same age as Jennifer when she was gifted with her first fiddle: they were eight when started using their child’s energy to practice playing. Another eight years took them releasing the first album, ‘Dancing Fingers’, that was also the first step on the road of musical career.
1994 was an important year for both sisters – ‘The Watch Stone’ was their second album, Edinburgh was a city they moved to and Seelyhoo was a group they have started fronting in.
Although the dynamic mixture of folk, jazz and pop music performed by Seelyhoo was very well received in 1995 Hazel and Jennifer decided to come back to the duo while taking part in the prestigious Envolving Tradition festival in London Barbican Centre.
Till 1997 they have toured Great Britain along so the time for beating the world came. Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ball, Canada and America were astonished with the perfect precision of both sisters. Hazel’s guitar and keyboard harmonious background gives space for Jennifer’s imaginative fiddle improvisations. With no doubt technical mastery and playfulness combined with depth of feeling and inventiveness made The Wrigley Sisters recognizable in the world of folk music. Hazel’s and Jennifer’s understanding of folk in not only constrained to the Orkney tunes; their music is filled with Orkney legends and heroes. It’s a selection of stories moved from a local library into the international mythology. What makes The Wrigley Sisters’ music so valuable? Uniqueness described by the strong sense of identity on one hand and the universal motives on the other.
Author: Aleksandra Halicka
Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, the twin sisters from the Scottish Orkney Island have started plying when they were eight: Jennifer on fiddle, Hazel on guitar and piano. After years of heavy training and multigenre experience of playing pop, jazz and blues with Seelyhoo formation they have come to the top of today´s international folk circuit. In the past years the Wrigleys´ have taken part in the Scottish Folk Festival Tour of Germany, the North American Folk Alliance, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Calgary Folk Festivals, the San Francisco Celtic Festival, the California World Music Festival, the Evolving Tradition festival in London, several times in the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow and many others world’s famous festivals. Extended world tours in 1997, 1999 and 2001 took them through Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Australasia and North America
1996 - Jennifer prized with BBC Young Tradition Award
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
(04 August 05 - 07 August 05)