Live Music Music

Landmark Award

27/02/2017

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 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/trad-talk-tickets-31941761669

Creative Design Digital Music Posts

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

01/02/2017

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.

Creative Digital Live Music Music Posts

Looking Ahead in 2017

09/01/2017

And we’re back!

After a very relaxing festive period, all of us here at Birnam CD are primed, ready and looking forward to 2017.

The year just gone was our 30th year as a business, and also our most successful year to date. To flag up just a few of last year’s milestones, we produced and delivered a record amount of CDs, DVDs and vinyl, made more tracks and albums for more artists than ever before available for downloads and streaming, launched a host of new services, overhauled our website and saw our (now expanded) promotional packages have their most popular year to date. Now we are looking ahead to further progress in 2017.

An awful lot of the artists we have worked with have already confirmed that 2017 is going to be a very busy year. Here are just a few events we are currently eyeing up…..

Just round the corner is the world-renowned Celtic Connections festival. Last year, we delivered 16,000 CDs to a range of artists in time for their album launches at the festival. This year, the number of CDs being delivered is already up there (and we aren’t done yet). As always, we are looking forward to heading to Glasgow to attend a number of album launches, events and concerts throughout the festival. The full list of Birnam clients performing is – as in previous years – too huge to fit into a humble blog post, but we will be providing extensive coverage of what they are all up to at the festival through our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Further down the line, the Scottish music scene in 2017 remains as rich and far-reaching as ever. TradFest returns to Edinburgh at the end of April and spills over into early May, providing some fantastic concerts and great networking opportunities. In May, the Orkney Folk Festival celebrates their 35th year, with Eddi Reader and Flook amongst the acts already confirmed. June sees Skerryvore’s “Oban Live” return for its second (well, technically third, but who’s counting?) year, with one of Scotland’s most renowned bands again joined by We Banjo 3 and Skipinnish, with many more acts yet to be announced. Out on the beautiful Isle of Lewis, HebCelt will be back in July, and already have Dougie Maclean, Skerryvore and Peatbog Faeries confirmed to appear. August brings two of Scotland’s most popular events with Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, and the incomparable (and often inexplicable) Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Of course, all of these events are just a drop in the ocean when stacked up against the full wealth of Scotland’s music scene. Be sure you get out there and enjoy what Scotland has to offer in 2017.

As for Birnam CD, we have no intention of slowing down. We are working on several exciting new projects and services to roll out over this coming year. Unfortunately, we’ll have to keep tight lips for now, but expect to see some big announcements from us in 2017. Or, better still, sign up to our newsletter here and have news of new developments delivered straight to your inbox.