We had a brilliant time collaborating with the young people at the Multi-cultural Family Base on their new song ‘Persevering’. So much fun and creativity.
We kicked off our YMI project at Howdenhall this term performing with a lineup of cello, mandolin, drum kit, oboe and MC. An unusual combination!
It seemed to go down well with the pupils and staff at the school.
Each of us musicians will be visiting the secure unit over the coming months to take part in a huge recording project headed up by the pupils and overseen by the fabulous Gavin Wiltshire, music specialist and workshop deliverer with ‘Heavy Sound’.
Luci Holland will also be offering Synth Building and Game Design tasters as part of the project.
We’re looking forward to hearing what comes out of it at the end.
Check out this song written and recorded by young people on our Summer Songwriting course.
Great lyrics and a well catchy tune, sometimes these things just work out really well and this was one of them.
We wrote and recorded the song together over 4 sessions as part of the wonderful North Edinburgh Arts Summer programme in collaboration with Studio Ember.
Let the feelings out!
It’s been another fantastic year for the Tinderbox Tuesday Hub. Great shot here of everyone practising ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry ready for our end of term gig on Tuesday 26th. It’s going to be a great night! Get your tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tinderbox-collective-end-of-term-concert-tickets-46764584130.
What a day we had working with S!nk and Fingal Youth Choir!
Niki, Emily and Thomas paid a visit to Perth Theatre to see Kenny and Julia perform the final show of Teenage Trilogy. Niki caught up with them just before the show opened!
How are you feeling before the last show?
Oh, quite sad, because we’re like a family now. We just had a huddle and some people cried.
Ooo have you seen this? [brings over show programme]…look it’s my name and Kenny! My dad’s on here somewhere, there he is.
Is there anything that has stood out to you being part of this project and show so far?
Yes, Chris Devany is amazing, she’s so inspiring and nice to work with.
How have you found working with a professional cast?
Great fun, the professionalism of the whole project has been the best for me.
How much creative input do you feel you’ve had within the show?
Quite a lot adding my own music and seeing them dance to it.
Do you have any advice for other young people that might be interested in taking part in something similar?
Yes, keep practicing the drums and you’ll be as good as Kenny is!
Niki Dunne – Musician & Tinderbox Champions Project Manager
It was a particularly emotional Youth & Community Hub last night and one that really highlights the power of creative expression.
One of our regular Tinderboxers arrived at the beginning of the Hub in a terrible state because of things that had happened earlier in the day. I could see that she was incredibly angry and struggling to keep it under control. We started having a chat and she was literally shaking with rage with tears rolling down her cheeks.
As the Hub started she asked for a pen and paper and started writing.
After 20mins or so she was visibly more calm and came to join the rap group. She built up the courage to share what she had written and everyone could see it was a great piece of writing about dealing with anger.
Despite not wanting to perform her work in person she agreed to let Tinderbox Tutor Elek Kish share her words at the open stage. It was a really powerful moment and you could see that she had turned something very negative into a massive positive in a short amount of time.
This is what it’s all about.
There was also a jam with bagpipes, hip hop loops and rappers complaining about the reduced sugar in Irn Bru.
This is also what it’s all about.
Gret to have our partners, Rock Trust, back at out Tuesday night Youth & Community Hub this term.
The Rock Trust works with young people between the age of 16 and 25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This includes young people who are in transitions, leaving care or home and those involved in offending, alcohol or drug misuse.
The gang have been working on their own performances at the Hub and have formed a new band who are hoping to organise a performance outside of the Tuesday night Hub.
Sometimes visiting Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services can be quite a quiet workshop. A lot depends on who is on the ward and how people are feeling. However last week was a pretty loud and creative songwriting session for a number of reasons.
As I arrived there was a guy playing guitar, someone else on the computer and someone writing at a desk. As I set up it turned out that the person playing guitar was up for doing some music with me. Also the person on the computer is really into computer based music and brought over some equipment he had been using. Once we had a bit of a jam going the guy who had been writing came over to join. It turns out that we was writing some poetry.
Quite quickly, with his blessing, we started working on putting his poetry to music. Everyone participated in their own way including another patient who was providing us with rhythm.
By the end of the session we were performing a brilliant song that had been written in collaboration with 4 patients in the unit who were all continuing to do what they had being doing separately, but joined together for the purpose of writing a song.
At the end of it there was much enthusiasm and the whole place felt quite vibrant.
Sometimes it all comes together!
“Yesterday I went to Big Music Project at The Tolbooth, Stirling. As a Tinderbox Champion I was able to go along and take part in a couple of workshops on stagecraft. The morning session was actually more about recording and things, and I’ve been working on a fiddle set for a while so the tutor recorded it for me. Lunchtime was amazing too, as a big mix of people all got to hang together and jam in a room. The afternoon session was led by the performer Be Charlotte and it involved learning how to interact with the audience. She was so nice and I could really tell that she understood what it is to be young and creative in the music industry. We also got to see her perform on stage at the end, and it was a great finish to the whole day!”
Farrah – Young Musician & Tinderbox Champion
Another inspiring week at our Tuesday Y&C Hub at North Edinburgh Arts.
It was a surprise to have a very accomplished young piper joining us to jam with the drumming group.
I caught up with one of our regular Hub participants
And the night finished with a brilliant perfomance from our newest rapper – Wee Natural
We had a fantastic time brining in the Chinese New Year (a little early) at the Multicultural Family Base Ceilidh.
Jessica Hui, one of our Tuesday Hub team, shared a traditional Chinese tune that her mother had taught her when she was young. The rest of the band improvised along. Definitely something we’d like to develop further.
Also a fantastic collaboration with Wei Wang and her friend in singing the ‘Chinese New Year Song’. The melody seems familiar!
We have really enjoyed our partnership with the Multicultural Family Base so far. We’re aiming to organise events that help people share their different cultural backgrounds and develop a sense of community and support for those who get involved. We have a series of workshops and events planned for the rest of the year. Watch this space for more info.
Great for our Tuesday Hub to have a visit from Chris Read of ‘Fast Forward’. They have a really interesting project they were sharing with the Tinderboxers. Here’s what they are saying about it:
Young people have always been at the cutting edge. They’ve made their own scenes, their own fashions and their own music.
Now we’d like to take to take a look at this amazing history and get you involved.
Fast Forward is going to run an exciting new project that looks at young people’s fashions, music, styles and dancing since the 1960’s.
The project will give young people an opportunity to look at clothes, records, magazines and make-up, from hippies, punks and Rastafarians to skateboarders, emo’s and hip-hoppers.
to hear more, call Chris on 554 4300 or email email@example.com
Fantastic start to the year with our first Tuesday Hub at North Edinburgh Arts. 35 young people and a team of 18 volunteers, apprentices, youth workers and tutors.
The atmosphere was buzzing. It was brilliant to see so many people coming down. Lots of familiar faces and lots of new faces. It was great to see some people coming down from our other workshops at Craigroyston High on Thursdays and the Rock Trust on Mondays.
This is the second term of the Tuesday Hub where we haven’t felt the need to put up fliers or posters because we have found that word of mouth and the regularity of what we are doing is working enough on it’s own. Being based at North Edinburgh Arts really helps in being able to remind young people when we are going to be starting up again as we see them on their lunch breaks from school when they visit the cafe.
Tonight I was especially reminded of the value of the large age range at the hub. Having an even spread from 7 – 25 really means that there are all kinds of interactions and informal mentoring relationships happening. One particular person from the Rock Trust being an incredible drummer and showing off his skills on the open stage really blew everyone away and helped start the term of with some inspiration for everyone.
These spectacular performances and activities are suitable for the whole family and will be heading to the “Electric City” at Hidden Door Festival on Saturday the 28th of May…
12.30 – 2pm: #artcore Young Bands Showcase:
Full line up to be announced!
2 – 2.30pm: Tinderbox Frontiers
Young musicians of all ages and abilities across Edinburgh come together for this amazing project – samba, electronics, ukuleles, orchestral instruments, rappers, singers and more! More info here.
3 – 4.30pm: 50 piece Massed Band Open Workshop!
with Mike Kearney, Oi Musica and Tinderbox.
Come and join Tinderbox and Oi Musica for this 50-piece massed band at Hidden Door! You can get involved on brass, wind and strings instruments, samba drums & percussion. We will split into sections to learn a brand new piece of music and come together for a huge Massed Band performance at the festival. Places are limited so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the workshop and let us know which instrument you play. Age 10+, all levels welcome.
by Ben Glue
So, my experience of the fifth anniversary Tinderbox festival. Well the story started the day before, when I turned up at the beautiful Lady Glenorchy Church, which is now the Assembly Roxy, to volunteer and lend a menial hand… physically ready, but emotionally oblivious to what lay ahead!
I arrived mid afternoon to a hive of activity. Whilst the sound engineers struggled skillfully with the logistics of a 70+ orchestra at a non “plugged in” venue, a core Tinderbox team of the most creative people I have ever met organised and fine-tuned both frantically and tirelessly.
The first sign that this was much more than just a gig was when I arrived at the foyer to find a several-tonne, oriental electric rickshaw/tuk tuk, with a bizarre fabric house built onto it, stuck half way through the tiny, ornately carved church doorway! This was an installation providing a soundscape and information about the Beijing Community Rickshaw Project, which is yet another facet of Tinderbox’s diversity you should really google. The strange vehicle also served the noble purpose of acting as a gigantic play toy for all of the young kids that turned up on the day of the festival, freeing up their parents to take in the orchestral wonders and peruse the stalls. The youngsters, whilst happily exploring the heavily decorated tuk tuk, seemed at times pleasantly confused by the lack of a coin slot.
Fluttering overhead came more wonderment. Firstly in the form of a huge cloud above the stage, that was being built by an artist (Oana Stanciu) out of nothing but a lifetimes supply of baking paper and an invisible web of extremely fine fishing line! The ‘Cumulo Nimbus’ exhibit grew and grew, symbolically as the deadline loomed nearer.
The next overhead surprise came from the growing realisation that what at first glance looked like homemade bunting, really was… and much more. This was the ‘Journey of a Thousand Wings’ installation by Kate MacKay, comprised of hundreds of silk swallows, each adorned with a hand written haiku and from many different languages. So often in life things which appear at first glance so simple turn out to be so beautiful. The idea blossomed from the title, dreamed up by a ten year old Edinburgh girl, into an international project involving people from local schools and youth groups in Edinburgh, to migrant factories and schools in Beijing, to slums in Delhi. Then later with Tinderbox’s involvement, it evolved into a multicultural orchestra, giving local youngsters the opportunity to learn and collaborate with artists from China, Chile, Bosnia, Croatia and Ghana. With the right attitude there really is no limit to what can be achieved from such a simple, yet inciteful, concept.
When the 7pm deadline for the install day arrived and we had to vacate the building, there was an air of relief, yet also an apprehension of just how much was still to be done.
First thing the following morning was dedicated to the completion of Cumulo Nimbus, which had evolved into a fifteen foot wide, ten foot high, fluffy statement, that loomed above the vast performance area, which was now an organised snake pit of cables and mic stands. By ten o’clock young musicians began to fill the church, and with this congregation of creativity, the feeling of excitement began to lift the spirits of all.
As the festival began, established bands rocked the upstairs theatre and main hall, while up and coming young bands provided a relaxed and informal place to chill on the comfy sofas that adorned the downstairs snug bar. Whether your tastes are eclectic, ambient or just down right foot stomping, there really was something there for everyone.
The crowning jewel was, of course, the Orchestral performances and collaborations. Never before have I experienced a building filled with the most wondrous of sounds. Not just from the stage but also from musicians on the balcony behind and several wondering through the crowd! the lighting, somewhat akin to a pink floyd concert, roused yet more emotional senses. It truly was a night I will never forget. the fact that this all culminated from a youth arts charity and not a major commercial production just beggared belief.
For me the absolute highlight came from a young man Thomas. He had been diligently helping out all weekend, a shy person whom I had not noticed with an instrument, or in any sound checks. When the encore came he performed an amazing rap over the top of the Tinderbox classic Bethany Lane to close the night. It truly blew me away. When I spoke to him afterwards, still in disbelief, he told the first time he had performed the piece was to nearly three thousand people including the Dalai Lama on his visit to Edinburgh in 2012! The experience had totally redefined his life he told me. Seeing the change Tinderbox had made for him, redefined mine.
— — — — — — —
Ben Glue is a poet based in Edinburgh.
Photographs by Chris Scott