Jim McKillop
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This review by FolkWorld appeared in their April 2004 revew list, found at http://www.folkworld.de/28/e/cds3.html

Jim McKillop "The Floating Bowhand" [Video DVD]

Label: The Online Music School; OLMSDVD22; 2003; Playing time: ca. 105 min

Traditional art, modern technology! Jim McKillop is a highly skilled fiddle player, instrument maker and teacher based in Dundalk. He was born in Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland. Starting on the accordion, he became interested in the fiddle not until the age of 26 in 1972. But just four years later without any formal tuition, he won three of the most important fiddle competitions, namely The All Ireland Fleadh Ceoil, The Fiddler of Aileach and The Fiddler of Oriel competitions.

Jim's interest in the music and technique of Fritz Kreisler (whom he first heard on tenor Count John McCormack's recordings), led him to explore both fingerboard positions other than first position, and the technical requirements necessary for good tone production. A trained marine engineer, he gradually developed a unique system of violin tuition designed to produce a full and colourful tone, known as the "JMcK method". The result is that Jim's performances and recordings have been described: He's a fiddler and a half.

The "Floating Bowhand" video is a musical documentary of Jim McKillop both as a firstclass musician and fiddle maker. Jim is shown playing at All Ireland Fleadhs, in pub sessions, in the studio, manufacturing violins, teaching etc. Its central theme however is "The Musical Giants" concert in Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford City, featuring Gerry O'Connor (banjo, mandolin), Bobby Gardiner (accordion), Zoe Conway (viola), Garry O'Briain (mandocello, keyboards), Dick Farrelly (guitar), John Cunningham (bouzouki), and James Blennerhassett (double bass). Altogether 58 different Irish, Scottish and American tunes; a large selection of slow airs and five of Jim's own compositions. Delivered by an impressive fiddle maestro, e.g. on his "Full Moon Waltz" Jim's fiddle is tuned to an A minor chord, and he's picking pizzicato. "The Floating Bowhand" is a very professional production, available as DVD video and VHS both in PAL and American NTSC versions from The Online Music School Ltd. Walkin' T:-)M
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