Live Music

WOMEX 2024 – Call for Artists applications now open!


Post content courtesy of Hands Up For Trad. See the original post here.

WOMEX 2024 will be held in Manchester 23-27th October.

Proposals can be submitted in four categories:

  • Showcase – for artists
  • Club Summit – for DJs and Producers
  • Film – for filmmakers
  • Conference – for music professionals

You can apply through Applications close on the 1st of March.

Recognised as one of the most important gatherings in the global music scene, WOMEX is the most diverse music meeting worldwide. Its musical spectrum spans from the most traditional to the cutting-edge global local underground, embracing folk, roots, jazz, local and diaspora cultures, and urban and electronic sounds from across the globe.

The music showcases will offer two high-profile opportunities to perform in Manchester, as part of the official WOMEX programme and on the Horizons Stage, a platform for showcasing the best musical talent from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There is no separate application process. Artists from the Horizons nations who are not selected for showcase by the WOMEX jury, will automatically be eligible for consideration for the Horizons Stage. This is a collaboration between Arts Council EnglandCulture IrelandArts Council of Northern IrelandCreative ScotlandWales Arts InternationalArts Council of Wales and British Council – coordinated by British Underground. Visit for more information on the selection process for the HORIZONS Stage.

Manchester Music City will be hosting the first in a series of online Zoom events on 12 February to offer advice to people interested in applying to perform at WOMEX. For more information about this, and for regular updates about WOMEX 24, subscribe to British Underground’s monthly newsletter.

Delegate tickets will go on sale in April, with general public and gig tickets released shortly after. Find out more about attending WOMEX 24 as a delegate here.

Scottish artists have had a good deal of success showcasing recently. Talisk performed at WOMEX 2017 in Katowice and band member Mohsen Amini said “WOMEX gave us some incredible opportunities that we never knew would be possible. Took us all over the world and we would urge anyone thinking about it to absolutely go for it!”. Saxophonist Matt Carmichael showcased in October 2023 and said Womex was an amazing opportunity to share my music internationally and perform in front of the industry. It was a great profile boost and has led to more performing opportunities in Europe. It was also great to hear so many other showcase artists at the event too and I left feeling inspired.”

You can apply now through Applications close on the 1st of March.


Tasgadh Funding Application Deadline – January 26th


Courtesy of Tasgadh

Tasgadh is a fund devolved from Creative Scotland, managed by Fèisean nan Gàidheal and open to organisations and individuals. Tasgadh is designed to provide support for traditional artists and organisations to create, perform, tour and showcase work. The fund can also support professional development and learning projects. Tasgadh cannot support the purchase of equipment nor can the fund be used to match other Creative Scotland funds.

Tasgadh is a fund devolvit frae Creative Scotland, mainaged by Fèisean nan Gàidheal and open tae organisations and indiveeduals. Tasgadh is designit tae gie an upheeze tae tradeetional airtists and organisations tae mak, perform, tour and shawcase wark. The fund will uphaud professional development an learnin projecks as weel. Tasgadh canna support the purchase o graith and canna be yaised tae maitch ither Creative Scotland funds.

The remaining 2023-24 deadline date for applications is:

26 January 2024
Guidelines and an application form may be downloaded from the right hand side of the page. The form may be completed, saved and sent to

Or, you can fill in your application online by registering here. Once you regsiter you will receive a link by email and you can then proceed with your application.

As a guide to assist applicants, some case studies of projects funded previously may be downloaded on the right-hand side of the page.

The following people, with relevant skills, have agreed to assist in reaching decisions on grants:

  • Arthur Cormack
    Catriona Hawksworth
    Dave Francis
    Fiona Campbell
    Martin Hadden
    Joanne Urwin
    Ilyana Nedkova

A register of their interests is available here.

Further information is available in video from a live, online session by Arthur Cormack with guidance to potential applicants for Tasgadh and Maoin nan Ealan Gàidhlig. Access that video here.




Courtesy of Glasgow Jazz Festival

Funding for bursaries to attend jazzahead! 2024

Bursaries are available for Scotland-based artists or their Scotland-based representatives to attend jazzahead! 2024 in Bremen, Germany (Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 April 2024). The bursaries are funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and administered by Glasgow Jazz Festival.

The deadline for applications is 6pm, Monday 15 January 2024.

What is jazzahead!?
jazzahead! is the largest gathering of world-class professional delegates working in jazz. The event features a trade fair, showcases and conference sessions. It is a professional and career development opportunity to expand awareness of the international jazz sector, and to network with industry professionals from all over the world: programmers, promoters, record labels, publishers, distributors, artist managers, broadcasters and journalists.

How to apply for a bursary
If you are interested in applying for a bursary to attend jazzahead! 2024, please download and read the guidance.

You can submit your application via the online form until 6pm, Monday 15 January 2024.

You can also apply with a six-minute audio or video recording.

To download the list of information you need to provide in your recording, please see the original post on the Glasgow Jazz Festival’s website.

Please send a link to the completed recording to by 6pm, Monday 15 January 2024.


VOTING OPEN NOW – MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards


Public voting is now open for the 21st MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards! This year’s awards sees 110 artists and organisations nominated across 22 categories, a strong reminder of the vibrance and variety at play across Scotland’s folk and traditional music scene.

Voting is open now and closes on Sunday 19th November. To vote, please head to:

The nominees are:

Album of the Year, sponsored by Birnam CD
– Dialogues by Su-a Lee
– Awakening by Ìmar
– Haar by Lauren MacColl
– DIAD by Tim Edey & Ross Ainslie
– Tempus by Skerryvore
– Decemberwell Decade by Mike Vass
– Fàs by Breabach
– Dusk Moon by Rura
– I See A World by Peatbog Faeries
– Black Cuillin by Duncan Chisholm

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year, sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland
– Iona Fyfe
– Arthur Nicolson
– Claire Hastings
– Chloe Matharu

Club of the Year
– Edinburgh Folk Club
– Glassel Gigs, Aberdeenshire
– Letham Nights
– The Gaitherin South Sessions, Glasgow

Community Project of the Year, sponsored by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland
– Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail
– The TAM Sessions – Claire Gullan and Kirstie McLanaghan
– A Tune For The Foodbank, Inverness
– School of Dàimh at the Arisaig Hotel
– Angus Mackenzie / Eilean a’ Cheòl
– Mull Music Makers
– Lismore Dance Band

Composer of the Year, sponsored by PRS for Music
– Kenneth I MacKenzie
– Rebecca Hill and Charlie Stewart
– Graham Mackenzie
– Catriona Price
– Heidi Talbot

Event of the Year, sponsored by VisitScotland
– Orkney Folk Festival
– Hoolie in the Hydro
– Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF)
– Tartan Day, New York
– Glasgow Fèis
– The Reeling, Glasgow

Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by Highland Society of London
– Donald Francis MacNeil
– Muriel Urquhart
– Gillebrìde MacMillan
– Eilidh Cormack
– Joy Dunlop
– Lana Phaeton

Live Act of the Year, sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
– Elephant Sessions
– Trail West
– Talisk
– Niteworks
– An Dannsa Dub
– Valtos
– Ryan Young

Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative
– Amy Lord
– Domhnall Bàn MacDonald
– Louise Hunter
– Rachel Hair
– Jenna Reid

Musician of the Year, sponsored by University of the Highlands and Islands
– Esther Swift
– James Lindsay
– Julie Fowlis
– Graham Rorie
– Euan McLaughlin
– Rory Matheson

Original Work of the Year, sponsored Musicians’ Union
– The Hearth by Tom Oakes
– Quarterdays by Gavin Marwick
– Rose Window by Grace Stewart-Skinner (Commission for Spirit:360)
– The Swim by Jeneric (Jenn Austin and Eric Linklater)
– The Clearances Again by Donald Francis MacNeil and Skipinnish

Scottish Dance Band of the Year, sponsored by National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs
– Iain MacPhail
– Cullivoe Band
– Crynoch Ceilidh Band
– Sandy Nixon

Scottish Folk Band of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound
– Blazin’ Fiddles
– Assynt
– Rachel Walker and Aaron Jones
– Gnoss
– Dallahan
– Beinn Lee
– Trip

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year, sponsored by National Piping Centre
– The Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band
– Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band
– Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band

Trad Music in the Media, sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University
– Craig Irving’s Guitar Instrumentals
– Gary West’s Enjoy Your Piping Podcast
– Deirdre Graham’s Gaelic Song Stories Podcast
– Fiona McNeill’s Celtic and Folk Fusions
– Travelling Folk, BBC Radio Scotland

Up and Coming Artist of the Year, sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
– The Shands
– Donald and Peigi Barker
– Cala
– Lucie Hendry
– Elie McLaren and Ciar Milne
– The Madeleine Stewart Trio

Venue of the Year
– The Tolbooth, Stirling
– The Caird Hall, Dundee
– Lyth Arts Centre
– Breasclete Hall, Lewis

A raft of industry awards will also recognise individuals and organisations which support the creative pipeline of the sector. Those finalists are:

Graphics Designer
– Somhairle MacDonald
– VanGill Media
– Loom Graphics
– Elly Lucas

Traditional Music Enabler
– Lisa Whytock
– Craig Corse, CCM Live
– Dave Francis, Traditional Music Forum
– Mhari McLeman, Shetland Folk Festival

– Marc Marnie
– Euan Robertson Photography
– Paul Jennings
– Eion Carey

Venue Technician
– Moray Munro, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
– Stirling Tolbooth Technical Team
– Gary at the Ceilidh Place
– Mike Adkins, An Lanntair

Sue Wilson New Writer Award, sponsored by Songlines Magazine
– Alana MacInnes – Uist Beò
– Angus MacPhail – Oban Times
– Alan Murray

A number of special prizes will also be awarded on the night, selected by a panel of esteemed industry judges, for services to traditional music and culture. John Urquhart will receive the Services to Gaelic Award, sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig; Donald Smith will be presented with The Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award, while Frieda Morrison will receive The Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland.



TMF seeking new trustees for Board of Directors


Text provided by the Traditional Music Forum.


The Traditional Music Forum (TMF) is seeking new trustees to join the organisation’s Board of Directors.

The main responsibilities of the Board include governance, advocacy, strategic direction, as well as ensuring the legal and ethical commitments and standards of the organisation are met.

Meetings are held quarterly and are either online or in person. In person meetings are usually held in Perth, as it is suitable for all our current trustees’ domestic locations.

The role of trustee is voluntary and the TMF will refund any reasonable travel costs to attend Board meetings.

We are a welcoming and friendly organisation and information about the current trustees, staff and the work of the TMF can be found on our website.

Who we are looking for
The TMF is looking for applicants who are passionate about traditional music in Scotland. Applications from those willing to learn about the sector are also welcome.

To ensure we have a diverse range of knowledge represented on the board, we are particularly keen to hear from people with skills in any of the following areas:

  • Finance / accounting
  • Human resources
  • Policy planning
  • Economic development
  • Scottish charity law
  • Local Government policy knowledge
  • Social care

We would also welcome applications from those aged between 18-30 years old.

How to apply
Please send an email stating your interest in being a TMF trustee and the skills and/or knowledge you feel you will bring to the Board to:

TMF Board Secretary, Laura Harrington
Email address:


The TMF is an equal opportunities organisation. If you wish to have an informal discussion, prior to submitting an email of interest, please contact:

TMF Board Chair, Lori Watson
Email address:


For more information about the Traditional Music Forum, please check out our website and social media channels:


Christmas and New Year – 2017


Hi everyone!

As we do every year, Birnam will be closing our doors for a couple of weeks over the festive period so we can all take a collective breath and enjoy both Christmas and the New Year Celebrations.

Our final day of 2017 will be Friday the 22nd of December and we will re-open at 9:00am on Thursday the 4th of January.

We hope you all have a great time over the holidays and we look forward to working with you all in 2018.

Best wishes,

The Birnam Team

Live Music Music

MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017


Now in its 15th year, the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, this year held in Paisley, once again presented an incredible selection of wonderful performances from a wide range of hugely talented artists. The event itself was held in the Paisley Lagoon Centre which, along with the very impressive lighting and sound, provided a spectacular, glitzy venue for the evening.

The event kicked off with a powerful performance by The Shee Big Band, on great form with beautiful harmonies in their opening song followed by a foot-stompin’ instrumental set.


Lori Watson, with a stunning vocal performance, confirmed just why her imminent new album “Yarrow Valley Sessions” is so eagerly anticipated (it’s in production now and will be available soon – honest!!).


It was lovely to see the enthusiasm and talent shining from all the young folk of Fèis Phàislig who earned a highly enthusiastic ovation from the crowd in the hall.


Ross Ainslie was the only solo act to take to the stage on the night, but his performance was every bit as powerful as the other acts on show  – and made all the more powerful by the skilful and dramatic stage lighting.


Considering the number of awards she has now won, Scots singer of the year Siobhan Miller must surely be in the market for a bigger mantelpiece these days. Her performance towards the end of the night showed just why she is so acclaimed, and her rendition of Andy M. Stewart’s classic “Rambling Rover” certainly had the entire assembly find its voice.



The evening finished with a set by Inverness quintet Elephant Sessions, rounding off what has been an outstanding year for the band by getting the audience up on their feet to bring a great end to a truly special night.


Thanks and congratulations to Simon Thoumire and the Hands Up for Trad team for once again putting together an incredible line up for the awards ceremony and well done to all of the nominees who made it to the final lists.


2017 Winners

Album of the year ‘All We Have is Now’ by Elephant Sessions

Community Project of the Year – Tiree Songbook

Composer of the Year – Adam Sutherland

Live Act of the Year – Skippinnish

Scots Singer of the Year – Siobhan Miller

Up and Coming Artist – Ho-ro

Music Tutor – Emma Tomlinson

Gaelic Singer of the Year – Robert Robertson

Folk Band of the Year – Talisk

Dance Band of the Year – Duncan Black Band

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year – Inverary & District Pipe Band

Club of the Year – Edinburgh Folk Club

Instrumentalist of the Year – Gary Innes

Event of the Year – A Night For Angus (Shooglenifty at Celtic Connections)

Trad Music in the Media – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Venue of the Year – Tolbooth (Stirling)

Live Music Music

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

We’re closed from Friday 23rd December and open on Wednesday 4th January 2017.

If you’re looking for things to do in January then check out Celtic Connections in Glasgow which starts on 19th January and runs through until the 5th February. It’s the largest annual winter music festival of it’s kind and we’ll be posting about it when we come back in January but in the meantime, have a look at the Celtic Connections website to see the great line up of musicians and gigs. Hope to catch up with some of you at the many, great events.

Wishing all of you a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

Live Music Music

MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2016


The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2016

What a fantastic night we all had at the Scots Trad Music Awards this year. Hosted by Dundee’s Caird Hall for the second year in a row, the event is justifiably touted as one of traditional music’s biggest highlights. This year did plenty to retain that sentiment; wonderful performances from a variety of Scotland’s homegrown talent, moving speeches from some of the most renowned voices on the scene and, of course, and great craic.

The ceremony launched with a thunderous performance by the Scott Wood Band, backed by an impressive accompaniment of guest musicians. Passers-by on the street from outside the scene could be forgiven for thinking they were overhearing a roaring rock’n’roll performance, for you’d be hard-pressed to find more energy in a performance across any genre.

As ever, the awards were hosted by Mary Ann Kennedy and Tony Kearney, who did a great job of keeping things moving along at a good pace, with one notable (but very understandable) exception. When BBC Radio Scotland’s Take The Floor claimed Trad Music in the Media, and Robbie Shepherd (who this year retired from the show) took to the stage to collect the award alongside his successor Gary Innes and the rest of the team from the show, the audience couldn’t wait to jump to their feet and offer the longest standing ovation of the night. Given how much Robbie has contributed to our traditional music scene over the years, the comperes certainly can not be held to account for the time this show of admiration went on.

With the Scott Wood Band kicking things off with such a high-octane set, one might have wondered if that would set the tone for the rest of the evening. However, the other acts that were brought out to play really demonstrated the wealth and breadth of the Scottish folk scene. Dallahan brought their far-reaching brand of music to the stage, blending traditional Scottish elements with material from across Europe. Songs of Separation, which combines the talents of many of the most respected and recognised women in Scottish and English music, delighted with their beautiful harmonies and moving arrangements. Abercraig, a collection of very talented youngsters local to the area, reminded everyone that traditional music is alive and well in the next generation. Talisk, featuring BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Mohsen Amini, got the feet moving with their compelling music. The Halton Quartet injected a little jazz into the evening, the Robbie Shepherd Tribute Band brought along some fantastic dance music, and as if all that wasn’t enough, the crowd were also treated to performances by Tryst and Wilma Kennedy with Finlay Wells.

To round off this post, Birnam CD would like to reiterate not only our sincere congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, but also special congratulations to all of our clients who took home awards: Skerryvore (Live Act of the Year), Feis Roise Life Long Learning Project (Community Project of the Year), Piping Live! (Event of the Year), Ellen MacDonald (Gaelic Singer of the Year), Rachel Newton (Instrumentalist of the Year), Lori Watson (Scots Singer of the Year), Trail West (Dance Band of the Year), and Kris Drever (Composer of the Year).

Thanks to Simon and the team at Hands Up For Trad for another great evening. We look forward to seeing everyone in Paisley next year for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017!





International Standard Recording Code

ISRC codes are only necessary for the final version of the recording – if the recording is purely for personal use, a rough mix or a rehearsal recording then you won’t need an ISRC code at that stage.

ISRC which stands for International Standard Recording Codes is an international system which allocates a unique code which is encoded into any music recording – unique ISRCs identify any music recordings for payment.

ISRCs consist of 4 parts:
·         Country Code: 2 letters which represent the country in which the registrant is based, for example, UK for United Kingdom.
·         Registrant Code: 2 alpha-numerical digits, which, when used with the Country Code is unique to the registrant.
·         Year of Reference: the last 2 digits of the year in which an ISRC code is allocated.
·         Designation Code: 5 digits which are unique to each track.

ISRCs for CDs – the ISRCs are encoded during the disc mastering process. ISRCs must be encoded for each track in the pre-master stage. Remember, ISRCs are important as they enable payments to be made for any music recordings or music videos.
The ISRC code for any music recording/music video stays the same no matter how many albums the track is on. A new ISRC is only required if there are any changes to the original recording for example, the track is re-mixed or the track length is change.
ISRC codes and Bar Codes are different – ISRC codes identifies individual tracks and the Bar Code  or Universal Product Code (UPC) identifies the complete album.
To find out more information please visit:

We can supply both ISRCs and Bar codes so give us a call if you need these.