Turun Ydinkeskustayhdistys

Turku People & Places päivän henkilö: Billy Horne

Kuva: Heikki Ojanen

Billy Horne

Can You tell me a little bit about yourself?

That is a difficult question in a way to answer. Well, the history how I ended up in Turku was that I was very unhappy at England. Then a friend of mine offered me a chance to come to work with him on his farm. But that didn’t work out as we planned. But on the other hand I ended up here in Turku because I came here for the Down by the Laituri- festival in 1991 or 1992, I can’t remember the exact year. Then I met my wife with whom I live with now, and we sparked up a relationship.  And when the things didn’t work out with my friend as planned, though we are still very good friends, I asked Anneli  if I could live with her because I didn’t want to go back to England. So, I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do- all I knew was that I didn’t want go back to England. But how to stay here was a little bit more… it wasn’t complicated because I could stay here, and I had the ability to perform singing and playing guitar. I said to people that this is not a joke, but I have two options: I could go and rob a bank or I could go on the street and sing, Horne said with a laugh.

So Horne spent ten years in the street as a streetperformer and coped with that. At the same time he joined Turun kansantanssiseura in which he is still a member. But one thing that made Horne known was his historical instruments, like hurdy-gurdy, that he started to build.

In the process of sharing this workshop I had an idea that I would like to actually make an instrument. I had a friend that was an instrument maker who was making violins and I asked if I could go and sit with him and learn how to make a violin or help him. But no no, that was out of the question. Then I thought that I don’t want to make any instruments… well I got guitars and banjos and all the other instruments, so I thought what shall I make that is also interesting and what would benefit me both to perform and be like one only and unique. And only instrument that popped was this kampiliira, hurdy-gurdy. So I searched and I met Rauno Nieminen and asked him if there were any information, but there were only very little. So I contacted England and got some plans and materials to make my first one from the set that I got from England. The year was 1994. So in the process of making the first one I started to make second one. Then I got one (kampiliira) to Kaustinen and I could basically show them how it worked and how to get a sound of it and all that kind of things. So it started to get a little bit of interest.

At that moment Horne started to build more and more instrument and be less on the streets. Also the instrument building started to be more complex. Several people started to be interested, so Horne continued making the intstruments.



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