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TMF Newsletter | January 2021
This newsletter is a space for our members, and others active in traditional music in Scotland, to share news, stories and thoughts. Contributions are always welcome.
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FROM THE NETHERBOW
For musicians and music lovers it must feel that someone out there doesn’t like us. The coronavirus pandemic devastates the live music infrastructure. Then we learn that even when touring becomes possible again, gigging in Europe - more of a focus since the US has got too expensive and too bureaucratic an option for many - is going to be circumscribed by visas, work permits and carnets. The UK Government must shoulder a large part of the blame for that because of their rejection during Brexit negotiations of an EU offer to waive work permits for touring musicians*. The market for tangible music platforms (CDs essentially) was largely tied up with sales at gigs, so that’s another revenue stream gone. And gig sales assumed a greater importance because of the minimal revenues coming to the majority of musicians from the digital streaming services. So no money from gigs, little money from royalties. Things like the Self Employed Income Support Scheme and various hardship funds have helped to keep a finger in the dyke, but the situation is parlous for very many, with no prospect of a return to live events, and massive uncertainty over whether audiences will return to those in sufficient numbers when it is possible to do so.
 
However, musicians and music people are nothing if not resilient, and that is particularly true of our community. A look down this newsletter shows the ways in which people are adapting to the less than ideal circumstances to produce concerts and workshops and even festivals. People are still recording against the odds, finding support from fans and parts of the industry like Bandcamp. The creativity and ingenuity on display are heartening, and much of that ingenuity will spill over into the way we perform and enjoy music in the post-pandemic times. Our view is that far from being reluctant to come out when it is safe, very many will be desperate for re-connection and uplift in the company of others, and that music and musicians are the very people to provide it. Hold fast!
 
*Better news on that front today (14 Jan) – responding to a question from Kevin Brennan MP, the Prime Minister has agreed to look again at this.
TMF BLOG:
WHAT A CARRY ON - by Ross Couper


Our first blog of 2021 is well-worth a read. An excellent piece by fiddler, Ross Couper (Peatbog Faeries) about his experience over the past year and brand new album with his brother, Ryan.
TMF BLOG:
THE PARTY LINE - by Andrew Bachell


We are lucky enough to have two fantastic blogs for you this month. Our second blog comes from Andrew Bachell, an organiser of the Blackford Fiddle Group and also TMF Board Member. He recently stumbled across a very interesting story on down-the-wire technology from long ago. Read all about it in this great blog.
TASGADH - TRADITIONAL ARTS SMALL GRANTS
Grants available from £250 - £1000 to support Traditional Arts Projects (Music, Dance, Storytelling).

Application deadline: 29th January 2021

Guidelines and application form: www.feisean.org/tasgadh
HELP MUSICIANS - WELLBEING SURVEY
Your answers to this survey will help Help Musicians to understand what support musicians and people working in the music sector need in order to maintain or regain mental wellbeing and lead happier, healthier lives and careers.

Fill out the survey here.
CREATIVE SCOTLAND
FINDINGS OF COVID-19 POPULATION SURVEY
WAVE 2
Creative Scotland has today published the findings from independent research looking at public attitudes to cultural participation and attendance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more here.
Surveying a representative sample of the population in Scotland, this is the second wave of research, following the first wave which was completed in August 2020. The survey provides valuable insight regarding how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed attitudes towards, and engagement with, cultural activity and also looks at public attitudes towards cultural participation in the future.

A positive key finding is that the vast majority of the population (98%) are engaging with cultural activity from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. A sad finding though, is that only a small proportion (17%) say they are willing to pay for cultural content that has moved online due to the pandemic.
NEW MUSIC
JORDAN HEPBURN - BASS À ALBA
Released 2020
Available from jordanhepburn.com and Spotify

'Bass à Alba: Scotland's First Solo Bass Creative Works' is the new EP from Jordan Hepburn. You can read more about this in the blog Jordan wrote for the TMF in the summer. Check out the recent article in Bass Magazine where you can find videos of Jordan performing some tracks from the EP.
TIM EDEY - FIELDS OF GOLD
Released December 2020
Available from timedey.com

This is the first single taken from Tim Edey's brand new album which will be released in January 2021. The track features Canadian fiddle legend Natalie MacMaster; one of Scotland's most in demand musicians fiddler, Patsy Reid; and Perth based producer and musician Dave MacFarlane who mixed and produced the track.
ROWAN LESLIE - ESCAPING THE DAWN
Released 1st December 2020
Available from bandcamp

Escaping The Dawn is the debut album from fiddler Rowan Leslie. The album is comprised solely of his own compositions and he is joined by Graeme Armstrong on guitar, Andrew Waite on accordion, and David Foley on bodhrán.
EUAN MCLAUGHLIN - SOUTHSIDE
Released 13th December 2020
Available here

Fiddler, Euan McLaughlin's latest single 'Southside' is out now. He is joined by musicians Stephen Henderson, Angus Lyon, and Tiernan Courell.
HAMISH NAPIER - THE SCHAWALDOURIS (WANDERERS IN THE WOODS)
Released 13th December 2020
Available from bandcamp

The Woods are growing. This is an EP featuring several new additional bonus tracks for 'The Woods'.

The Schawaldouris, pronounced "shaw-wall-dow-er-is", is a very old Scots word meaning 'wanderers in the woods'. Humans and the forests evolved together, side by side. We are truly forest creatures.
TIDE LINES - LOCKDOWN MIXTAPE
Released 18th December 2020
Available here

'Lockdown Mixtape' is a 4-track EP from Tide Lines to say thank you for sticking with them throughout 2020.

 
LAPWYNG - HEATHER & COSMOS
Released 8th January 2021
Available from bandcamp

Heather & Cosmos is the brand new single from LAPWYNG. LAPWYNG are Euan McLaughlin, Alasdair Mackenzie, and Ewen White.
MAIRI MCGILLIVRAY - IN MY MIND
Releases 15th January 2021
Available from bandcamp

The debut four-track EP by Gaelic singer Mairi McGillivray will be released on Friday 15th January. She is joined by Séan Gray, Charlie Stewart, Isla Callister, Graham Rorie, and Paul McKenna.
WILL MARSHALL - DESTINATION HOME
Releases 25th January 2021
Available from willmarshallmusic.com

During lockdown, piano and accordion player Will Marshall had time on his hands to compose. With this he decided to record his debut album including 25 of his own compositions. He is joined by guest musicians Ian Muir on accordion, Archie McAllister on fiddle, Rory Grindlay on drums, Ade McKenna on guitar, and Tom Oakes on whistle.
UPCOMING EVENTS
GAELIC SONG CLASSES WITH BRIAN Ó HEADHRA

Learn to sing popular Scottish Gaelic songs with acclaimed Highland based singer Brian Ó hEadhra. The class is very relaxed and the main thing is that you enjoy yourself whilst learning new songs and Gaelic language. It’s ideally suited to post beginner-intermediate Gaelic learners but all are welcome. 

Both Gaelic and English will be used in the class.
The series started on 7th January and will continue on the 14th, 21st, 28th January, and the 4th February 2021.

The class fee is by donation: paypal.me/brianoheadhra
More info and how to sign up here.
CELTIC CONNECTIONS 
15TH JANUARY - 2ND FEBRUARY 2021


The Celtic Connections online festival will begin tomorrow, Friday 15th January. Across 19 days the festival will present over 30 online performances until the 2nd February.

Opening in unparalleled style, the first online concert from the festival will include sets from some of the very best musicians on both the Scottish and international music scenes. With over 12 performances packed into the 90-minute show, the footage has been recorded across many of Glasgow’s venues as well as captured remotely across the world, bringing a true feeling of optimism and connections as it welcomes back so many musicians who have graced the festival stages across the years.

Read all about the festival, check out the full programme, and book tickets here.
HANDS UP FOR TRAD STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY TERM 3
JANUARY - MARCH 2021

The Hands Up For Trad Strathspey & Reel Society Term 3 began on 13th January. It will run every second Wednesday from 7.30pm - 8.30pm until 24th March. Term 3 dates are: 27th January, 10th February, 24th February, 10th March, 24th March.

The HUFT Strathspey & Reel Society is led by fiddler, Claire Gullan and you will play arrangements of great Scottish and Irish tunes. All the tunes will be uploaded to Hands Up For Trad's website where you can download them beforehand and if you have time you can practise them.

More info and tickets here.
MAIRI CAMPBELL - CLASSES, COURSES & SESSIONS
JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

Make sure you check out these fantastic online classes, courses, and sessions brought to you by award-winning musician, Mairi Campbell.

www.insideoutmusician.com/mairi-campbell/
SCOTTISH CULTURE & TRADITIONS
ONLINE MANDOLIN WORKSHOP WITH LAURA-BETH SALTER

23RD JANUARY 2021, 1PM - 4PM


In this relaxed workshop over zoom, Laura-Beth will teach a few new tunes, using each one to demonstrate a bit of technique and some approaches for accompaniment, gradually getting a little more in depth as the workshop goes on. Expect fun tunes from America, Scotland and beyond.

Price: £25
More info and booking
here.
RSCDS BURNS NIGHT CELEBRATION
23RD JANUARY 2021, 7.30PM

Join the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society online in music, song and dance to celebrate the Bard’s birthday with contributions from Pete Clark, Roddy Johnston, Seonaid Lynn and Ewan Galloway. This is a free online event via Zoom but you need to register in advance via Eventbrite.
THE WARLD O'ER ... HOWTH BURNS NICHT
23RD - 24TH JANUARY 2021

The World’s Room has been shuttered and dark this past while, but we’re delighted to announce a collaboration with the Howth Singing Circle near Dublin and Edinburgh Folk Club to bring you a night of words and music (and haggis) in virtual celebration of the bard. On the Scottish side we have contributions from Paul Anderson, Mairi Campbell, Shona Donaldson, Morag Dunbar, Scott Gardiner, Gilly Hewitt, Jimmy Hutchison, and Gary West, while Ireland offers Niamh Parsons and a host of fine musicians and singers.

23rd January, at 8pm. Hosted by Francy Devine and David Francis. Followed by a singing session on Sunday 24th, hosted by Niamh Parsons and Scott Gardiner.

More info on the World's Room Facebook page.
JANEY GODLEY'S BIG BURNS SUPPER
25TH JANUARY 2021, 7PM

Scotland’s largest contemporary Burns celebration joins forces with Scotland’s much loved comic hero of 2020, Janey Godley as Big Burns Supper goes digital for 2021. Marking the festival’s 10th anniversary, Janey Godley’s Big Burns Supper dishes up a very special broadcast connecting Scotland to the world with contributions from local, national and international artists to help celebrate Burns Night in a way that helps give everyone a much-needed lift and a laugh.

More info here.
BURNS NIGHT CONCERT WITH CLAIRE HASTINGS
25TH JANUARY 2021, 8PM

Claire Hastings, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2015, sings the songs of Robert Burns live on Facebook on Monday 25th January. Settle in for a cosy evening of live music and a celebration of Robert Burns.

This event is free, donations welcome: paypal.me/clairehastingsmusic
OOR VYCE BURNS NICHT
25TH JANUARY 2021, 8PM

Jyne Oor Vyce as we celebrate the life o Rabbie Burns wi an eon o entertennyment wi speeches, poems, sangs an tunes, presentit by Iona Fyfe. Featurin Billy Kay, Margaret Bennett, Len Penni an Jack Capener. Wi pipin, fiddlin an sangs fae John Dew, Cameron Nixon, Iona Fyfe an Michael Biggins. Hae a keek fir free at Oor Vyce’s Facebook and Youtube live on 25th Januar at 8pm.

Keek at: 
www.facebook.com/oorvyce
www.youtube.com/oorvyce
WINTER ONLINE PIPING GATHERING
25TH JANUARY - 28TH FEBRUARY 2021

The National Piping Centre is bringing you four online Adult Gatherings in 2021 for pipers aged 18+, which have been designed to give a fantastic social learning experience. These events are:

Winter Online Adult Gathering – Monday 25th – Thursday 28th January 2021
Spring Online Adult Gathering – Monday 26th – Thursday 29th April 2021
Summer Online Adult Gathering – Monday 26th – Thursday 29th July 2021 
Autumn Online Adult Gathering – Monday 1st – Thursday 4th November

The first school of the year begins on Monday 25th January and will feature individual lessons, workshops, masterclasses, practice time and more, all from the comfort of your own home. The World Class piping teachers of the Winter Online adult Gathering will be: Finlay MacDonald, Connor Sinclair, Margaret Dunn, Wilson Brown, Andrew Bova and Ross Ainslie.

More info and booking here.
HANDS UP FOR TRAD MUSIC CLUB PRESENTS MALINKY
26TH FEBRUARY 2021, 8PM

Malinky perform a live set for Hands Up For Trad Music Club straight to your living room!

This is a live concert on Friday 26th February at 8pm that will be available to watch and buy tickets for 7 days after.

Malinky is a Scottish folk band specialising in Scots song. Their current four-piece line-up, centred on the outstanding voices of Fiona Hunter, Steve Byrne, and Mark Dunlop also features award-winning composer Mike Vass, with instrumentation including bouzouki, guitar, fiddle, whistle, bodhrán and cello.

2019 was the 20th Anniversary of the band and they released their double CD Handsel on Greentrax to celebrate the occasion.

More info and tickets here.
HANDS UP FOR TRAD TINTO SPRING SCHOOL ONLINE
19TH - 21ST MARCH 2021

Tinto Spring School is the third online music school from Hands Up For Trad for participants aged 11-18 years. The spring music school will offer online classes in:

Guitar / Song / Song arranging (Jenn Butterworth)
Fiddle / Mixed instruments and more (Adam Sutherland)

More info and tickets here.
OPPORTUNITIES
FÈIS ROIS OPPORTUNITIES
MUSICIAN IN RESIDENCE | MUSIC GRADUATE PLACEMENT


Fèis Rois is currently recruiting for two opportunities:

They are looking to appoint a musician in residence based in Dingwall Academy. Additionally, they are offering a paid graduate placement for a young musician aged 24 or under who has graduated from a music degree course in the last three years.

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Monday 18th January 2021
Read more about the roles and how to apply here.
BANDCAMP FRIDAYS TO CONTINUE INTO 2021

It is fantastic to see that Bandcamp are continuing to support artists by offering Bandcamp Fridays in 2021, where they waive their fees and all the proceeds go direct to the artists. Support musicians by buying their music and merch on Bandcamp Fridays:

5th February, 5th March, 2nd April, 7th May
RESOURCES
ISLAY SESSIONS

The Islay Sessions took place online on 9th January 2021, presented live from Islay. All of the content has now been uploaded to YouTube for you to enjoy. Amazing!
TMSA YOUNG TRAD TOUR
WORKSHOP VIDEO SERIES

The TMSA Young Trad Tour Workshop Video series is now launched!

You can now watch all seven workshops for free on the TMSA Facebook page or on the TMSA Youtube channel.
JOHN MCCUSKER - THE COLLECTION
TUNEBOOK

101 original tunes by John McCusker composed over the last 30 years as a professional musician. The book also features chords with every tune, plus stories and photographs from McCusker's tours and travels around the world.

Available from johnmccusker.co.uk
KARAFOLKIE

karafolkie.com

Karafolkie is a musical companion and practice tool for trad tunes.

Whether you're learning an instrument or a seasoned pro, Karafolkie provides an eclectic library of trad music backing tracks by award-winning guitarist, Jenn Butterworth.
Memberships giving access to the growing selection of backing tracks start from £7.99 per month. Bundles of sheet music, guitar tab, mandolin tab and audio guides are available to download too. Check out the website above for full info.
CODIGO

www.wearecodigo.com
 
Codigo is a new website that helps people to learn tech skills. All courses are built with short video tutorials so you can move through it at your own pace when you have time. There are courses on the basics of building a website which have gone down well with musicians. By the end of the month Codigo hope to have a course on building a site on Wordpress as well.

If you are a member of the Traditional Music Forum you can access the courses for a 50% discount. Check your weekly bulletin email from TMF Director, David Francis to get the code for the discount.
PODCASTS
FOOT STOMPIN' FREE SCOTTISH MUSIC PODCAST
No. 212

With music from Mec Lir, Trail West, Adam Sutherland, Abigail Pryde and Cathal Murphy, Will Marshall, Fraser Fifield, Nigel Richard, Treacherous Orchestra, The Oh Hellos, LAPWYNG, Skerryvore, Ron Jappy, Benedict Morris.
GET INVOLVED
Do you have an event or news item you'd like us to promote? Would you, or anyone in your organisation, like to write a blog for us? We welcome submissions! Please contact us.

Not a member yet? Join us for just £20 a year and benefit from being round the table, receiving support and access to our services.

The more organisations that join us, the louder and stronger our voice. Membership is open to organisations and individuals working in the field of traditional music in Scotland.
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TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland) is an organisation that brings together three forums: The Storytelling Forum, The Dance Forum and The Traditional Music Forum in a collaborative alliance designed to improve the knowledge, practice, development and advocacy of Scotland’s traditional arts in a contemporary world.



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