Help Musicians Scotland announces six new Fusion Fund projects

Following the launch of our brand-new office in Scotland last month, we are supporting some exciting new multi-disciplinary projects in the Scottish round of our Fusion Fund. The fund was launched last year and provides musicians of all genres with a chance to explore projects that involve collaborating with a non-music discipline.

The successful six projects represent the quality and breadth of creativity amongst Scotland’s music makers. From Glasgow’s Pronto Mama who will bring spoken word artists and songwriters together for a series of ‘Beatnik retreat’ events, to contemporary composer Hector MacInnes who is creating a body of new music with step-dancer Sophie Stephenson

Based on the spring migration of Barnacle Geese from the Solway, composer Stuart Macpherson’s project ‘Solway to Svalbard’ employs the work of film maker Emma Dove, sound recordist Pete Smith and a group of talented musicians.

Duo Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach will travel to remote islands off the coast of Scotland, and they had this to say about their project:

"We are over the moon to be receiving support from the HMUK Fusion Fund. The award really affords us the space and freedom to explore a new approach in terms of our creative practice. It will enable us, in collaboration with videographer Hamish MacLeod, to realise a project which will see us travel to some of the most remote, outer reaches of Scotland on Dutch tall ship The Wylde Swan, and together create new work which stretches, explores and re-defines to us what the music we make is in relation to the tradition of which we are a part.”

Helping our Creative Programme team make the decisions in Glasgow were: Caroline Parkinson, Sector Engagement Executive – Creative Industries at Interface,  Craig Corse live agent, manager at Twenty Two productions and director at Orkney Folk Fest, John De Simone, composer, educator and researcher currently Knowledge Exchange Development Officer at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and  Jana Robert producer and project manager at Cryptic. Reflecting on the process our panellists said

“I believe the Fusion Fund is a very important and unique fund as it understands and encourages the great value of true collaborative working across art forms and creates a rare opportunity for composers and artists from other disciplines to test themselves, safe in the knowledge they can afford to, push artistic boundaries, and enrich their artworks in a unique, innovative and inspired way” Jana Robert

“It was incredibly rewarding to see such a variety and high quality of collaborations presented to the panel. I feel there is something so special and unique about Scottish cultural life that promotes cross genre and cross disciplinary making almost as a matter of course. The amazing projects that will be assisted by the Fusion Fund are more proof, if proof were needed, of the vital energy, innovation and talent that we have here in Scotland.” – John De Simone

See below the full details of all the funded projects:

Fusion Fund Scotland

Pronto Mama

With various spoken word artists including; Michael Pederson, Isaiah Hull, Rachel McCrum and Liam McCormick.

Pronto Mama will lead a group of spoken word artists from across the UK with the project ‘Beatnik Retreat’. The project aims to highlight the literary value in song writing and promote creativity among regional communities and writers.

Bassist and composer David Bowden 

With visual artist Jamie Johnson

David identified visual artist, Jamie Johnson, as a creative kindred spirit. In their collaboration, David will compose 45 minutes’ worth of vibrant, genre-spanning jazz to accompany the moving patterns and textures of Jamie’s atmospheric visuals. 

Composer Hector MacInnes

With step-dancer Sophie Stephenson

Hector will work with a step-dancer to produce Dà Chois. Through their collaboration, they will experiment with a range of floor surfaces and explore rhythmic patterns, which will be recorded and later manipulated into a new body of work.

Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach,

With Hamish MacLeod and Wylde Swan (Tall ship)

Duo Joseph and Charlie will be accompanied by a videographer in their expedition to the UK’s most remote islands off the coast of Scotland. Through their project they wish to explore the mysterious history of the uninhabited islands.

Composer Stuart Macpherson

With film maker Emma Dove, sound recordist Pete Smith and a group of talented instrumentalists

Based on the spring migration of the Barnacle Goose, Stuart’s project ‘Solway to Svalbard’ will create work around this unique journey, environments and communities encountered. Combining live performance with audio visual material the project will explore our relationship to place and intrinsic links to the polar regions.

Audrey Tait (Novasound)

With playwright Belle Jones

Audrey will partner with actress and playwright, Belle Jones, in creating ‘Closed Doors’. This unconventional theatre production fuses percussion and prose in portraying the plot of 3 middle-aged women huddling together for shelter.


If you’d like to find out more about opportunities on offer with Help Musicians Scotland, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Fusion Fund Welsh round will be opening this year – check back here for all the details.


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