For hundreds of years, on a forested hillside on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, there grew a giant old sugar maple tree. In October of 1994 it was brought crashing to the forest floor. Over the ensuing years, it was transformed into a set of musical instruments — including violins, harp, guitar, mandolin, viola and cello — in the nearby workshop of luthier Otis A. Tomas.
In 2009, the first performance of the Fiddletree took place in Cape Breton, at the Celtic Coulours International Festival. After an enthusiastic reception, it has now gone on to become a book and full length recording with musicians Otis Tomas and Sarah McFadyen - fiddles, Laoise Kelly - harp, Abby Newton - cello, Mairi Campbell - viola, Paul MacDonald - guitar, and Claudine Langille - mandolin. Excerpts from the original Celtic Colours concert can be heard on the CBC radio website here: Concerts on Demand - the Fiddletree
The Fiddletree tells the story of this project through text, pictures and music in the form of a book and recording of original music composed by Otis for the instruments of the Fiddletree.