A founder member of top folk acts Blazin’ Fiddles, Lau and KAN, fiddler, composer and producer Aidan O’Rourke has also won widespread acclaim for his brilliant solo releases Sirius (2006) and An Tobar (2008), meanwhile featuring on more than 100 recordings by other artists.
Growing up on the Scottish Argyllshire coast with Donegal ancestry, O’Rourke absorbed a variety of traditional fiddle styles, and served a rigorous apprenticeship as a frequent prizewinner on the youth competition circuit. Starting in his mid-teens, he has worked with numerous bands including Tabache, Sunhoney, the Unusual Suspects, Eddi Reader and Alyth McCormack. Moving to Edinburgh in his early twenties Aidan has collaborated extensively within the vibrant Edinburgh jazz scene primarily with sax player Phil Bancroft. He co-founded Blazin’ Fiddles in 1998, followed by Lau in 2004 and most recently KAN with flute genius Brian Finnegan.
Long renowned for his original melodies, O’Rourke is also increasingly in demand as a composer of more extended works, having undertaken commissions for the Celtic Connections festival, the Sage in Gateshead, the Tolbooth in Stirling and Mull’s An Tobar arts centre. He also wrote Mantra Alba, devised with Fife schoolchildren to welcome the Dalai Lama to Scotland in 2004. He is currently writing a piece to be performed during the 2012 London Olympics and is collaborating with renowned visual artists Dalziel and Scullion on a film about the last wolf in Scotland.
In 2006, he was voted Instrumentalist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards while Lau were bestowed the Best Band award at the BBC Folk Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010. With his sublime technical and expressive command, deeply rooted in tradition while audaciously expanding its parameters, O’Rourke is an artist who relishes stretching himself in different directions, and finding new common ground between them.