Congratulations to Tunes in the Hoose who have been nominated in Community Project of the Year sponsored by Greentrax Recordings in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Martin MacLeod of Tunes in the Hoose the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Tunes in the Hoose is an online musical community born out of lockdown, designed to provide musicians in the traditional Scottish genre the means of collaborating in the form of daily, virtualised music performances.
Using the power of music and social media, this wee project has united musicians across Scotland and beyond in over 500 productions that have reached 2.5 million households in over 75 countries.
Eight months on from its creation, Tunes in the Hoose now acts as a central hub for all musicians to promote, network, connect, socialise, educate and learn through online participation – regardless of location or ability.
Our goal is to continue to play tunes to the masses, unearth new talent, promote musicians from all walks of life and introduce this traditional scene to a new generation through the use of modern technology.
The concept was thought up by Martin MacLeod (Snr), fiddler and founding member of Capercaillie. His inspiration for the project came from Shetland accordionist (and musician of the year nominee) Peter Wood, who was posting videos online, playing tunes in the ‘hoose’ during lockdown. The initial collaboration between these like-minded musicians was edited together by Martin MacLeod (Jr), son and filmmaker based in Glasgow- who has continued to work as the creative and technical force behind the project.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
At the point of creation, there were and still are very limited opportunities for musicians to share their talents with an engaged audience. There was also little opportunity for audiences to enjoy the live music, particularly those self-isolating alone, far away from their families. Martin Snr has lived and breathed the scene for 40+ years and knew something had to be done to help preserve the craft and maintain morale through these trying times.
The first step in doing this was by making Scottish music the most accessible it has ever been. Tunes in the Hoose participants need only a mobile device and a Facebook account to get involved. With a bit of sound-mixing magic, the productions sound brilliant without the need for professional equipment.
We didn’t just want to grow a Scottish trad audience- but to widen it. We wanted to play the music in front of people who would never normally think twice about the genre. The power of social media has helped us achieve this in such a short space of time. From Shetland to London, traveling to Denmark, Italy, Spain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even India; the tunes have been played at their loudest during lockdown. The overwhelming response and support from our followers, viewers and listeners have made us realise how alive this tradition really is and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Any particular career highlights?
There have been countless Tunes in the Hoose highlights throughout the year. We have achieved so much in a short space of time and have over 850 phenomenal musicians to thank for sharing their time and talents for the love of the craft. Here are a few of note:
– Celebrating our first 100 views
– Celebrating our first 1000 views
– Celebrating our first 1 million views!
– Being recognised by Creative Scotland as worthy of support to maintain the volunteered platform and continue to grow it over the next 12 months.
– Launching our website, a dedicated place to watch/listen to all of our productions to date and promote musicians and tutors across Scotland.
– Expanding our reach through affiliation with Tartan Tunes, a fantastic online show designed to shine the spotlight on talented musicians across the traditional Scottish genre.
– Being nominated as the MG Alba Scots Trad Community Project of the Year!
What are your plans for the future?
We have so many exciting plans for the future, but our top priority is to continue to promote Scottish music and musicians across the globe until we can get back to live shows and events, possibly even a Tunes in the Hoose festival!
Starting with Season 1, we will be launching the ‘Tunes in the Hoose Tune Book Collection’ in December, designed to allow players of all abilities to learn and play along with hundreds of performances available on our website, Facebook page and our YouTube channel. The book itself is one of the most technologically-advanced tune books ever published and a testament to the unprecedented journey we have been on this year, so keep an eye out!
We also have some special events planned for later this year, to run alongside upcoming national holidays- including some special virtual ceilidhs and much more.
Finally, we have some top-secret plans towards the end of this year and into 2021 which might see Tunes in the Hoose coming to the slightly ‘bigger’ screen… So stick around! More info coming soon.
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad