Ewen Baker on his musical children, his fascination of sounds and sharing the stage with his parents

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Ewen Baker on his musical children, his fascination of sounds and sharing the stage with his parents

For someone like Ewen Baker, who has spent over 25 years as a touring musician, crafted a massive career as a solo violinist, as well as sharing stages worldwide with the likes of Archie Roach and many other esteemed musicians, one of the greatest joys is seeing that your music won’t stop when you do.

As Ewen is now tackling the duties of fatherhood with two girls, a six and an eight year old, he has been most impressed with their commitment to learning instruments at such a young age.

“They are well into it. My eldest daughter plays violin and my youngest just started the tin whistle actually, but there is also a keyboard at home. We are playing music all the time, it’s kind of a madhouse – there is minimal screen time for the kids, but it helps to keep them active,” he says.

“Something I know about myself is that I am always fascinated by sounds. I am okay with hearing the scratchy fiddle and tin whistle over and over again. I am more fascinated at the fact that a little kid can have the motivation to keep practising something, or that the other little girl can complain about having to practise her violin, but she will then pick it up and practise for half an hour. I’m happy with the sounds, I just block it out.”

During his childhood, both of Ewen’s parents played instruments. With his father being a jazz guitarist, and his mother being a pianist, music was always an embraced aspect of his upbringing. Now for the first time, Ewen will be sharing the stage with his parents, bringing them out as feature guests for his jam-packed set at Port Fairy Folk Festival. Along with his parents, his set will also feature seven of the nine guitarists Ewen used on his most recent album.

“I have my folks coming down to play the show – they didn’t get on the record, which was a very, very tough call, and I’m not too sure what the ramifications will be down the track. But they will be coming to play which I am actually excited about – they are in their 80’s now and dad is a fantastic guitarist and mum on the keyboard is just as fantastic!

“I have about 10 people accompanying me on stage, so the hardest thing is trying to work out how to run it all smoothly; it’s a lot more chaotic this time around. But I am really excited; it will be a fantastic weekend as it always is!”

As Ewen said of the show at Port Fairy: “I have played there a lot of times over the years and played some really fantastic gigs with people. Sharing some spectacularly big stages with some even bigger acts, but going there on your own steam is completely different.”

When & Where: Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy – March 10 – 13 2017

Written by Alex Callan