Voyager Recordings & Publications

Traditional Fiddle and Acoustic Music From the Pacific Northwest & Beyond

Dear customers and fans of Voyager Recordings: In 2020, Voyager Recordings was acquired by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The Voyager catalog of fiddle music will be available for purchase at Smithsonian Folkways beginning some time in 2023/2024 at This website will remain archived and available to the public.

Vivian & Phil Williams & Voyager

We are sad to inform you that Phil Williams passed away in February, 2017. Vivian will carry on with Voyager for the time being.

Fiddle and Music Articles RCA 44DX

Northwest Fiddle Field Recordings Selections
MP3 Format

Voyager Recordings & Publications is an independent recording and publishing company founded by Phil & Vivian Williams in 1967 to issue recordings, tune books, and instructional materials of traditional acoustic fiddle and string band music from the Pacific Northwest and throughout North America. Presently, we have over seventy CDs in press presenting over eighty fiddlers from throughout North America. Our goal is to put out music that we like and that we think other people will enjoy, and to help share and perpetuate traditional fiddle and string band music, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest and Far West of North America.

Articles - This page links to many articles of interest to fiddlers, musicians, and dance players.

gifgifWashington Fiddlers Project Panel Discussion - A transcript of the panel discussion at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunesl, Port Townsend, Washington, July 2, 1986, as a part of the Washington Fiddlers Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This panel discussion includes a selection of some of the most prominent Washington State fiddlers at that time, moderated and conducted by Washington State Folklorist, Jens Lund; Alan Jabbour from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress; Frank Ferrel, Director of the Festival of American Fiddle tunes; and Vivian Williams, chief field researcher for the project. This is a long article, but well worth reading to get an insight into the traditional fiddling in Washington and where it came from. There are some great stories and funny anecdotes in this transcript!
gifgifNorthwest Pioneer Fiddlers by Vivian Williams- A compilation of known 19th century fiddlers in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia, with histories, tunes played,and photos. This is a work in progress.
gifgifEarly Bluegrass in Western Washington and the Pacific Northwest - A personal account by Phil Williams
gifgifThe Essential Fiddle Tune Books, by Vivian Williams
gifgifSo You Think You Can't Play by Ear, by Vivian Williams
gifgifThe Circle of Fifths, by Vivian Williams
gifgifJam Session Etiquette, by Vivian Williams
gifgifRelaxed Picking on Guitar and Mandolin, by Phil Williams
gifgifTendinitis Problems of Musicians - Identification, Prevention, Treatment, by Phil Williams
gifgifPlaying For Old Time Dances, by Vivian and Phil Williams
gifgifVoyager Recordings - Article in The Devil's Box, Summer 1994
gifgifLewis Clark Expedition Journal Quotes About Fiddling and Dancing, by Phil and Vivian Williams
gifgifMaking Gut Fiddle Strings, by Heron Allen
gifgifThe Sound Post, by Heron Allen
gifgifThe Origin of the Jim Crow Tune From the New-York Mirror, 1841 (as published)

Click on "Northwest Fiddle Field Recordings Selections" to play selections from our field recordings of fiddlers made in the Pacific Northwest, in mp3 format, and to learn something about the fiddlers and the many types of fiddling found in this region. This is an ongoing project and will be added to as we continue to go through our extensive field recording archives. There is a link from this page to a "Fiddler Histories" page where more extensive information about some of the fiddlers can be found. There are currently 325 tunes from 110 fiddlers recorded in the Pacific Northwest, including recordings of some fiddlers from elsewhere who came to this region. All are freely downloadable.

Jam Sessions at the Williams, Seattle - The Williams house in Seattle has seen many fiddle jams sessions, some of which have been recorded. Starting in 2002, there has been a regular monthly jam session on the first Wednesday of every month, open to all who show up. The fiddlers range from beginners to experts. All fiddle styles are welcome. The jam is completely non-competitive, with a focus on supporting and encouraging each other. As of about five years ago, over 1,500 different tunes have been played at this jam session. Some of these jam session have been recorded. There are mp3 music files of 76 tunes from some of these jam sessions at the Williams house, Seattle, freely downloadable.

Vivian and Phil Williams, proprietors of Voyager Recordings, for information about them and the history of Voyager Recordings, and the recordings they have made.

Video Links - Videos online of Voyager artists and other fiddlers.

Links - Other traditional fiddle and related music web sites. There are links to 215 videos as of March 21, 2012.

Contact Us! - How to reach us by email, mail, telephone, or fax.

We keep the names, addresses, and other information about our customers confidential (see our Privacy Statement.)

Voyager Recordings & Publications

Last updated December 4, 2021