Young Trad Finalist: Tina Rees

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Age: 23

Hails from: Glasgow

Instrument: Piano


What do you love and what do you hate about your instrument?

I love that I have 88 keys on my instrument. I hate that it's not so practical to carry around! I love how I can play in any key imaginable. I love how I can play tunes whilst accompanying myself or I can just accompany others. I hate how I have to play a different piano for everywhere I go but I sometimes love that as well. I hate it because sometimes you don't have time to get used to it but I love it because how many fiddlers will get to try 10 pianos in one day? I love how small or big a sound I can create with my instrument.

What keeps you in practising while you could be out having a laugh?

I try not to use the word "practice" as this makes it suddenly seem like hard work. As long as I'm just playing the piano and enjoying it then I don't mind. Sometimes I might get an idea in my head for a tune or an arrangement and I'd much rather have a go at messing around with it as soon as I've thought of it rather than going out somewhere and then not being able to think of it again.

Has anyone in particular inspired you as a musician?

A big inspiration for me on traditional piano is Annmarie Acosta Williams. I first heard her play the piano in Limerick about four or five years ago and I was taken aback by it. I'd previously only learned classical music on the piano and hearing Annmarie was what inspired me to learn trad on piano.

What music do you listen to when you're not practising (not necessarily folk music!)

I actually do listen to mainly trad stuff. I'm an Irish dancer as well and it's sometimes embarrassing when I have my mp3 player on shuffle somewhere and suddenly what some people might see as hideous Irish dance music comes on, but I admit I do like to listen to that.

Is there a piece of music that you always like to play/sing and why?

I wouldn't necessarily say I'd like to perform this or anything but I always seem to slip into playing Jean's Reel on the piano. I guess I just really like the tune and I like to put it in different keys. It's one that I grew up dancing to from a young age so I guess it's just been embedded in my brain for a long while and it always seems to pop into my head when I sit down at the piano.


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