Media Release: Traditional arts commissions announced

Funding to create of new work in Edinburgh, Highlands, South Lanarkshire, Fife, Perth and Kinross, Stirling

Seven new commissions celebrate musical and literary traditions

DETAILS of seven new traditional arts commissions are announced today, Tuesday 29 October 2013.

From the streets of Leith where a multi media walking tour will showcase local memories, to schools in South Lanarkshire where the influence of traditional Gaelic philosophy on the Scottish Enlightenment will be explored through poetry – onto Fife where new Bothy Ballads will be inspired by stories gathered from local communities, and Ullapool where new music inspired by themes of emigration and homecoming will be performed by young musicians working with Fèis Rois, the new commissions will offer participants and audiences alike opportunities to celebrate Scotland’s traditional arts.

The commissions are supported with a total of £148,470 through Creative Scotland’s Traditional Arts Programme, which aims to ensure Scotland’s traditional arts are recognised and celebrated nationally and internationally.

The purpose of the fund is to support new commissions of Traditional Arts activity – of various scales and art forms – that can be performed or exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally – reflecting local diversity, and Scots and or Gaelic where appropriate.

Leonie Bell, acting director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said:

“Traditional arts play a unique role in Scotland’s cultural identity, communities are bound by the stories and music around them, our history is kept alive, our future shaped. These diverse commissions draw on different strands of this country’s vibrant musical and literary traditions, creating work that has its own place and meaning in the 21st-century.”



‘Memory Lane’ will see the streets of Leith, Edinburgh transform into an exhibition of 20th Century local memories.  The exhibition will be experienced as an audio walking tour featuring a traditional music soundscape created by Amble Skuse and Kris Drever, alongside digital projections, photographs and illustration, all depicting local history and culture. (Award: £30,000 – Applicant: Amble Skuse)


Traditional fiddle player Alpha Munro will work with Scottish performers to stage three performances in the Scots and Irish traditional music styles spanning the 17th century to contemporary times. The performances will take place across Ross-shire and Inverness-shire. (Award: £7,000 – Applicant: Alpha Munro).

Accordionist and composer John Somerville will compose new music inspired by themes of emigration and homecoming. ‘An Turas / The Journey’ will be premiered in Ullapool and performed nationally and internationally in Canada and Australia by Fèis Rois students. The project will culminate in a book and CD featuring stories by local people offering insights into their Scottish heritage. (Award: £30,000 – Applicant: Feis Rois).


A partnership between Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies and schools in South Lanarkshire will explore the extent to which traditional Gaelic philosophy and thinking influenced the discoveries of The Scottish Enlightenment. The project entitled ‘Soilleireachadh na h-Alba’ will use resources from Henry Robert’s Calliope collection in the creation of a new twelve tone poem suite. (Award: £20,000 – Applicant: Gael Music).


Fife Cultural Trust will extend the 100% Real Bothy Project to include a new traditional music element and develop a tour of new work inspired by the Bothy Stories gathered in communities across Fife. The project invites the public to engage with artwork and animation, and to share their own stories and life experiences within a ‘Bothy’ installation space, created by three artists.  Songwriters will be commissioned to develop ‘Bothy Ballads’ inspired by tales gathered in the Bothy to form part of the exhibition. (Award: £30,000 – Applicant: Fife Cultural Trust)


Perth Festival of the Arts will commission musician and composer, Dougie MacLean to compose a new piece of music entitled ‘Perthshire Cantata’. The new work, fusing traditional and classical music will be performed at Perth Festival’s final concert on Sunday 1 June, 2014 and another location to be confirmed. Arranged by John Logan, Perthshire Cantata will be performed by leading musicians – including Greg Lawson, principal second violinist at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and piper, Ross Ainslie. (Award: £9,470 – Applicant: Perth Festival of the Arts)


Leading Gaelic musician, Allan MacDonald will be be commissioned to create new work titled, The Bruce 700’, which draws on the history and literature of the time of Bannockburn to reflect the themes of nationhood, identity, and Scotland’s place in an international context. The piece will be performed as part of the Battle of Bannockburn commemorations – a key element of Stirling’s programme of events for the 2014, Year of Homecoming and at other venues to be confirmed. (Award: £22,000 – Applicant: Stirling Council).

Commenting on the The Bruce 700’, Provost of Stirling, Mike Robbins, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this funding from Creative Scotland for this commission promoting traditional Scottish music.  It will feature prominently in Stirling Council’s programme of events for 2014, which is set to be a fantastic year.”



  1. Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries.  Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively.  In 2013/14 we will distribute over £100m in funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information on Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and
  2. Creative Scotland works with an external advisory group made up of organisations rooted in Scotland’s traditional arts. This group, including the Scottish Storytelling Forum, the Traditional Music Forum, and Voluntary Arts Scotland, meet regularly to discuss the key issues facing the sector, and in previous years their work has led to the development of specific funding initiatives for the traditional arts such as the Small Traditional Arts Fund, the Traditional Arts Mentoring Fund, and Traditional Arts Commissioning Fund.  In 2013/14, Creative Scotland increased the financial support available to the traditional arts from £250k to £500k. This money is intended to support specific activities that will strengthen and develop the traditional arts sector in Scotland.
  3. In 2013/14, the total budget available for Traditional Arts Commissions is £320,000. Awards will normally be in the region of £5,000 – £30,000. The next deadline for application is 7 January 2014.

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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
Phone: 07747606146