The aim of the Hands Up for Trad Community Music awards is to showcase and celebrate the outstanding practice and great things going on in Scotland’s community music sector to the wider public and media.
Congratulations to Tinderbox Collective who have been nominated in the Community Music Organisation of the Year category. Vote for them here! We asked Tinderbox Collective the following questions.
Tell us more about yourself.
Tinderbox aims to ignite a spark in young people – one which fills them with confidence, imagination and sense of possibility, and which enables people to achieve things they never thought possible. Our work helps break down barriers between people & communities, providing exciting opportunities to those who need them most, and supporting young people to build their confidence, skills, self-esteem, and professional experience.
Our Vision: A creative, ambitious and inclusive youth culture – one that cuts across social and economic divides, brings together diverse influences, and is listened to and valued by society.
Who We Are: A large, diverse collective of young people, musicians, artists, youth workers, community activists and volunteers.
What We Do: Tinderbox offers a revolutionary approach to orchestras, youth work & creative learning. We provide a year-round programme working with hundreds of children and young people aged 10 – 30. Our work focuses on three interweaving strands:
Youth And Community
From award-winning productions to grass-roots youth work, Tinderbox offers a range of cutting-edge workshops, orchestra courses, arts residencies and apprenticeship programmes. We work with complete beginners to top young professionals and all levels in between.
How long have you or your group organisation been involved in this work and tell us a wee bit about how it all started?
Tinderbox has been going for 8 years now. The original idea was to create an unusual and contemporary orchestra / band that would bring together young musicians, local bands and all variety of music styles and genres. It would get young people writing and playing original music and songs in the styles that they wanted and which meant something to them.
The ideal was that it would be both an ambitious and high quality music project and fully inclusive and accessible, welcome to people who had never played music to top young musicians. This ideal has been the driving force behind the organisation and in striving for this, we have developed a city-wide programme of music workshops with children and young people in challenging life circumstances and who do not have these opportunities. Alongside this we have developed a system of creative apprenticeships bringing more experienced young musicians and youth workers together with those with less experience, and built up strong links and collaborations professional bands and musicians. We now run a range of workshops and opportunities for complete beginners to top young professionals and various levels in between, and we do everything we can to bring all of these people together through our different shows and events.
Creating these crossovers and building bridges between these different programmes, ages, backgrounds, abilities and environments is a big focus of what we do – it has many challenges but this is where some of the most magical and transformational moments have happened. I think the most important thing in making this work is the building of relationships – having familiar faces involved in all these projects (e.g. tutors, apprentices, youth workers and participants) and bringing people together in different ways wherever possible, so when we do something new and everyone does come together, it doesn’t feel intimidating, people know each other, and everyone is encouraging everyone else to join in and enjoy making music together. When this happens, the atmosphere, energy and the quality of the music and performance is as good as any.
What have you or your group/organisation got planned for the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months we will be:
– Running our weekly music hubs in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh
– Running regular workshops with partner organisations for our Youth & Community programme. These include the Rock Trust, Kaimes School, Edinburgh Multicultural Family Base, Pilton Youth & Children’s Project, Granton Youth Club, various schools.
– An extensive hospitals music programme with several workshops each week at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS).
– A film music course with the Edinburgh International Film Festival in a couple of weeks!
– A Tinderbox Orchestra tour around Scotland and the UK, collaborating with local youth groups, bands and musicians in each location.
– Writing and recording new music across our programmes.
– A game music concert and collaboration with young musicians in Dumfries.
– A digital arts residency bringing emerging young musicians, artists and game-developers together to create interactive musical sculptures that we hope will form a new digital section of the orchestra and engaging new instruments for our youth and community programme.
What has been the highlight of your or your group/organisation’s experience to date?
Probably the highlight of the organisation has been our debut album launch last year. The album featured over 200 young people and some of our favourite collaborators over the past 7 years. We performed to a sold out crowd at Hidden Door festival in the Leith Theatre, and in some ways the concert and album represented the closest realisation of our vision. It brought together hundreds of young people from across all of our programmes and everyone sang and performed together, and the energy and level of performance was better than anything we have achieved to date. We also introduced a dance/movement apprenticeship into the course building up to the concert that got the orchestra moving and engaging with with the music and crowd in a new way that gave the concert an extra lift! The project and build up to the album launch also involved promoting the album which involved a committee of young people, and we managed to get some radio play on BBC 6 music and BBC Radio Scotland which felt great for everyone. It also led to the formation of a smaller “house band” that aims to tour and share of some of our music and ethos with others outside of Edinburgh.
How does it feel to be nominated for this award?
Incredibly proud and honoured! It’s great that this kind of work is recognised and celebrated with awards like this, and we feel really proud to be nominated for it. Thank you!!
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