Next up in our series of Youth Promoter’s Voice articles is Joseph from Achiltibuie, who tells us why he got involved in the project and what he hopes to get out of GET IN.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a musician (accordion, piano, fender rhodes, harmonium, bagpipes) and writer working mainly in the genre of Scottish music.  I play in a number of different projects, the main ones: Tannara, a four piece contemporary Scottish band. We recently released our debut album ‘Trig’ which was subsequently long listed for album of the year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. The band is currently in the shortlist for ‘Up and Coming Act of The Year’ at the awards.

Other projects include a fiddle/piano duo with fiddler Charlie Greg – we also released a debut album this year. Also a Harp/Accordion duo with Becca Skeoch – we did some recording with a percussionist earlier in the year which is set for release in late 2016.

With these acts and others I’ve performed internationally at locations including The National Celtic Festival (Australia), La Festival Interceltique de Lorient (France), Nordland Festival (Norway), Celtic Connections (Scotland) and the Edinburgh a Fringe Festival (Scotland). I’ve appeared on BBC Alba (TV) BBC Radio Scotland and Radio nan Gaidheal.

As a tutor I’ve worked for a number of organisations, including: The Gordon Duncan Experience, Riverside Music Complex, Feis an Iar Thuath and Feis Gleann Albainn.
I’ve just started a Master of Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where I’m focusing on the piano music of Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson.

I also write about music, this has taken a back seat recently to make room for my studies, but over the past few years I’ve written for: Folk Radio UK, Living Tradition Magazine, West Highland Free Press and Hands up For Trad.

I was born in Achiltibuie, my parents house is less than 500 yards from the house my mum was brought up in. I left four years ago after my 5th year of secondary at Ullapool High School. I went to Plockton for a year to attend the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional music before moving to Glasgow for university studies.
Outwith my professional and student lives I’m an avid sailor and cyclist.

How, and why, did you get involved in GET IN

Through the various bands I play in I’m finding myself regularly in the position of promoting gigs I’m also performing in. This will, I imagine, continue throughout my career, and becoming better at doing this was my main reason for getting involved in the GET IN project. As a musician, even for the gigs I’m not promoting, it’s very useful to have an understanding of this aspect of the industry.

What’s been happening so far?

Lots of training! Through the GET IN programme we’ve had the opportunity to access some great information, advice and training on all of the various aspects of events promotion – there’s been lots of eye opening moments!

Through the Go See element of the program I’ve been lucky to see some great shows: Martyn Bennett/Greg Lawson’s GRIT orchestra (definitely in my top ten gigs of all time!), Glasgow Girls and John McGrath’s The Cheviot the Stag and The Black Black Oil. 

What are you looking forward to? And what do you think is going to be challenging about the project?

I’m looking forward to getting an act decided upon and moving forward with tour planning! The geographical spread of the promoters means it’s sometimes tricky to get everyone’s thoughts regarding our decision, but I think we’re nearly there! We’ve had issues with people we’ve approached so far concerning availability, budget and venue suitability – there’s a whole host of considerations to account for when considering acts for rural touring. We’re learning all the time!

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Joseph. We’re looking forward to finding out what act will be touring to your venues in the Spring too! Best of luck.

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