Sam Sweeney – The Unfinished Violin, Violin music inspired by a truly incredible story…as seen on BBC Breakfast & Antiques Roadshow.
Inspired by his violin, carved but never finished by Richard Howard in 1915, Sam Sweeney has created a live show and album of instrumental music inspired by the Great War
Sam Sweeney signed with Island Records to release his first solo album, The Unfinished Violin last November, an expansion and development of his acclaimed live show, Sam Sweeney’s Fiddle: Made In The Great War, which toured to great acclaim from 2014 to 2017. The show centred on a fiddle the 19-year-old Sweeney came across in violin maker Roger Claridge’s shop in Oxford, made but not assembled by one Richard S Howard of Harehills, Leeds, in 1915. Claridge had come by it at auction, in pieces, in an old manilla envelope, and put it together and put it on sale. It’s the instrument Sweeney has used for numerous albums and countless gigs, and in time he set about digging into its history, and uncovered the fateful tale of Richard Howard, a music hall performer called up in 1916 to the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment to fight and lose his life in the Battle of Messines on 7th June 1917.
Following Sam’s appearance on Radio Four, to talk about Made In The Great War. Island Records subsequently invited Sam to create an album of the kind of music Richard Howard’s violin would have played had it been assembled at the time of its making.
“I said, give me a few days to think about it, because I really didn’t want to create a jingoistic, patriotic album,”
he says, “
but after some research, it was very clear that there would be loads of great tunes, and great stories.”
He is very much looking forward to sharing these on the tour.
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