Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund

Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund’

Young Scot and Creative Scotland’s ‘Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund’

The fund aims to support young people aged 14-20 who are interested in developing skills in one of the following areas:

Drama – Dance – Music – Film – Visual Arts – Literature – Digital Arts

Who can apply – Anyone aged 14-20, living in Scotland. Both individuals and groups can apply for funding ranging from £50- £600.

The deadlines for applications are: 28th August 2017, 9th October 2017

For more information visit

Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2018 – Open for entries.

The BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year opened for entries on May 25th. The annual music competition, established in 2001, aims to encourage and support young musicians who are pursuing a career in traditional music.

The award is open to individual musicians aged between 16 – 27 years who currently stay in Scotland. The closing date is Friday 7th July 2017.

Entrants must submit:

  • A 10 minute recording of themselves playing traditional Scottish music
  • A short written biography and
  • A short written paragraph about their interest in traditional music.

Entries are judged on Technical ability (intonation, rhythm, timing, ornamentation) and Performance skills (connection with the audience, choice of repertoire, balance of programme, pace, appropriate length of performance).

A panel of judges will review all entries and select a shortlist of 12 to take part in the semi- finals which will take place over the weekend 7-8th October. A panel of judges will select 6 finalists who will then be invited to perform at the final which will be held in Glasgow on 25th January 2018 as part of Celtic Connections Festival.

For more information and to apply please visit the event’s website.


Scottish Jazz Awards 2017


We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Scottish Jazz Best Album Award. Glasgow International Jazz Festival in association with Hands Up for Trad will be hosting the 5th Scottish Jazz Awards during the closing evening of the 31st Festival on Sunday 25th June. Following an absence of 4 years the Awards are being revived with an aim to celebrate Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene and support acts and talent across the country.

A nominating panel comprised of press, media, and promoters from across the Scottish Jazz music scene were chosen to select the shortlist for each of the 5 awards. You can now decide the winner by voting for your favourite in each of the 5 categories below. The voting period runs until 5pm on Friday 2nd June. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony in City of Music Studio at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


  1. Best Vocalist Award – sponsored by The Brunswick Hotel
  2. Best Band/Ensemble Award – sponsored by Glasgow UNESCO City of Music
  3. Best Instrumentalist Award – sponsored by ESP Music Rentals
  4. Rising Star Award – sponsored by Musicians’ Union
  5. Best Album Award – sponsored by Birnam CD


Hit The Road 2017

Hit The Road is a touring project for 14-19 year old aspiring performers who are at an early stage in their music making. Hit the Road will present five tours of Scotland, themed by music genre. Participants are also invited to training workshops with industry professionals covering all aspects of the reality of touring, while there will also be training opportunities for young people wishing to try out support roles such as sound engineering and stage technicians.

Each tour will take three acts on the road, with each act taking the headline slot to their home town crowd.

Online registration is now open for those who are:

  • aged 14-19
  • living in Scotland
  • involved in any kind of music making
  • interested in learning about and developing their own musical career

To find out more and apply, please visit Hit The Road

Folk Film Gathering

Folk Film Gathering

For those of you near to or travelling to Edinburgh this month, have a look at the Folk Film Gathering programme which runs until 13th May.

This is the third year of the Folk Film Gathering which is a partnership initiative between Transgressive North, Filmhouse Edinburgh and Tradfest.

The 2017 theme is ‘Songs and Labour’ – looking at world cinema where depictions of folk community experience have focussed upon song traditions and the rhythms and weight of work. From Scotland to Brazil to Lithuania and beyond, the programme continues to explore the myriad ways world cinema has engaged with folk culture – as living tradition, as people’s history, and as working class culture and experience.

Many of the screenings are introduced by a storyteller or musician and explores the link between cinema and traditional Scottish arts.

Tickets are available from the Filmhouse Cinema or TradFest

Filmhouse Cinema | 0131 228 2688

TradFest @ Scottish Storytelling Centre | 0131 556 9579

Record Store Day 2017

CD Duplication

Record Store Day came into being in 2007 when over 700 independent stores in the USA came together to celebrate their unique culture. Record Store Day provides a platform for independently owned record stores to come together with artists to celebrate the art of music and support local communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, DJ’s, in store quizzes and many other events. For Star Wars fans, Crosley is launching a special Star Wars Record turntable.

A Record Store Day participating store is defined as a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least 50% music whose company is not publicly owned. Record Store Day is about real, live, physical, indie record stores – not online retailers or large corporations.

There’s quite a few record stores across Scotland so have a look to see what’s happening locally and visit to find out more.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Wishing all the nominees, including a large number of Birnam clients and friends (highlighted below) the best of luck for the 18th BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The Awards celebrate Folk, Acoustic and Roots music, previous award recipients include Joan Baez, Bellowhead, Martin Carthy, Cat Stevens, Billy Bragg, Shirley Collins and Seth Lakeman. The categories include Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Group, Best Album, Horizon Award, Musician of the Year, Best Original Track, Best Traditional Track, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. The awards also include Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Hall of Fame which recognises the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music. The Lifetime Achievement award this year goes to Al Stewart and the legendary Woody Guthrie will be inducted into The Hall of Fame. Winners across all the categories will be announced on 5th April at the awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall… See category nominations…



Daoiri Farrell

Jim Causley

Kris Drever

Shirley Collins


Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker


O’Hooley & Tidow

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton




The Furrow Collective

The Gloaming


Jarlath Henderson – Hearts Broken, Heads Turned

Jim Moray – Upcetera

Martin Green – Flit

Shirley Collins – Lodestar

Songs of Separation – Songs of Separation


Daoiri Farrell





John McCusker

John McSherry

Mohsen Amini

Rachel Newton


Fragile Water by Nancy Kerr

If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Drever

Roll Away by Martin Green feat. Adam Holmes

Sounds of Earth by Jim Moray


Courting Is a Pleasure by Jarlath Henderson

Echo Mocks The Corncrake by Songs of Separation

Van Diemen’s Land by Daoiri Farrell

Willie Taylor by Julie Murphy


Amelia Coburn

Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach

Eryn Rae

Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente

SAY Award – 2017

Scottish Album of The Year 2017

The 2017 SAY Award was launched on 1st March and is open until the 31st March. Artists, labels and the general public have the chance to submit albums for consideration. All genres and styles are welcome, from self-released albums to major label releases, from rock and pop to jazz and classical. Eligible albums must be commercially released between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017. For more details on the process and to register an eligible album, please visit

The SAY Award is a prestigious and exciting arts prize produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), the award celebrates and promotes the most outstanding Scottish albums released each year. The winner receives £20,000 and nine runner ups receive £1,000 each. 

Landmark Award

Birnam CD receives Hands Up For Trad’s Landmark Award

We’re all very chuffed here at Birnam having just become the latest recipients of a Hands Up For Trad “Landmark Award” in recognition of us having navigated our way through the ever-changing channels of the music business for over 30 years.

We’ve been on the go since 1986, initially as “Birnam Tapes”, Scotland’s first real-time cassette duplication facility. “Birnam Tapes” offered Scottish-based artists the option of small-scale music production at a time when the possibility of releasing independent self-financed albums was just beginning to nudge into the outer edges of a working musician’s budget. The deeply-ingrained and seldom questioned edict that you had to be “on a label” to release an album was still prevalent, but musicians were becoming more confident about doing things for themselves rather than handing over control of their music (and, often, their careers and finances) to others.

The word got around pretty fast and we were soon churning out batches of cassette albums for a wide range of artists from all over the UK.

We began to receive increasingly regular requests to supply albums on CD. It was clear that CD would soon be the new standard and we needed to respond, so we struck deals with a couple of major European pressing plants. In a highly sleekit move, the name of the business “Birnam Cassette Duplication” (once the transition was complete) was seamlessly abbreviated to “Birnam CD”.

As our list of clients grew, we were repeatedly asked if we could help with other aspects and tasks that need to be taken care of once an album is completed so we are now “BIRNAM – CD / PR / DESIGN / ONLINE”. We don’t just offer CD, DVD and vinyl pressing and design for packaging, we also offer a full graphic design service for tour posters, flyers, social media graphics and other band merchandise, downloads & streaming, online CD sales (worldwide via our own shop and Amazon), physical distribution and – most significantly in recent years – music promotion.

Of all the additional services independent musicians need, PR may well be the most vital. We introduced our range of media promotion packages about 5 years ago, to help artists get their music heard more widely, and it has organically grown to become a hugely significant part of what we now do. It’s extremely satisfying to see a top-notch independently-released album we have promoted be named “album of the week” on a national radio show or gain a 5-star press review. In response to very positive feedback and encouragement from the artists we have worked with, we are now expanding the range and scope of our PR services to reach media hotspots and audiences internationally.

Martin will be participating in the forthcoming Trad Talk event at the Tolbooth, Stirling on Sunday 11th March. Tickets available from

CD Pressing, Design for CD Packaging and Social Media Graphics, Music Promotion, Digital Distribution, Social Media Support and more… Birnam Case Study

CD Pressing, Design for CD Packaging and Social Media Graphics, Music Promotion, Digital Distribution, Social Media Support and more… Birnam Case Study

We’ve been working with independent musicians for over 30 years now and consider ourselves very privileged to be able to continue to work with a huge number of dedicated and talented musicians. We know that sustaining a career in the music industry is not easy and we like to think that we offer a complete service, supporting artists through all the stages of an album release and beyond.

A few folks have said that they thought we only offered CD, DVD and Vinyl pressing (well, we have built a reputation for that over the years). We actually do a whole lot more, so we’re introducing a few case studies to demonstrate and explain about the broad range of services that we offer.

The first case study features Liza Mulholland, an independent musician based north of Inverness. Liza came to us early in 2016 when she was planning her debut solo album. She wanted to have physical CDs in attractive packaging to sell at her gigs but also fancied the idea of the album being available to download and stream. She was keen to achieve widespread radio airplay as well as press and online reviews for her work. We discussed various packaging, design and promotion options and put together a full package covering all of Liza’s requirements.

You can read the case study HERE.

Liza gave us some really nice feedback, here’s a short excerpt:

‘Although technology and the internet have revolutionised the music business, making it much easier for musicians to release their own music, it still involves a lot of work. To be aided throughout the process, and relieved of much of the stress and hassle, has been a huge benefit and one that I would highly recommend. Self-releasing a solo album can feel a wee bit lonesome, with the burden of the whole project on your own shoulders; with Birnam CD at my side I felt like they were taking care of everything for me. Even better than that, I’m now getting nice reviews coming in and plays on radio stations I previously didn’t even know existed!’

Look out for a few further case studies over the coming year. We welcome, listen and pay attention to all feedback and we’re constantly striving for ways to build on and improve our services. In 2016 we revamped our website to make it more ‘user friendly’ and easier to navigate. We’ll be continuing to streamline and build on our range of services in the coming year and beyond, so please drop us an email with any suggestions or comments.

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