22nd March 2016
TMSA SONG WRITING COMPETITION
On 19th March 2016 I submitted a couple of entries to the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) annual song writing competition. Arrival at the Boys Brigade Headquarters on Crimon Place in Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon brought the usual convivial conversations with old musical friends over a rowie and a cuppie tea. I’d entered to meet other song writers in the lonely craftsperson’s world we inhabit, and to hear fresh material as inspiration. The class attracted fourteen entries, all in the Scottish traditional style. Song themes included rabbit trapping, birdsong, sea fishing and hitchhiking, and melodies and song structures were as varied as the participants themselves. Our adjudicators were Bothy Ballad king, Hector Riddell, and Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame inductee, Doris Rougvie. They said they’d never seen a competition like it and needed time to consider their verdict after more than one hour of listening to entries. I’d so loved the other work I’d heard that I was frozen to the spot on learning that ‘Hands Across The Hills’ had won first prize. A delightful surprise and fresh impetus to recommence writing on return to Shetland next month.
With thanks to the TMSA for the above photo, and for organising a fantastic day of competitions which help keep our culture alive and kicking. Weel duin!