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At the heart of English folk

Graeme Miles Bursary is awarded to Alasdair Paul

The Graeme Miles Bursary is designed to develop the careers of emerging folk artists or groups from or based in the North East of England. The bursary is funded and administered by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and funded by The Unthanks through fundraising concerts.

The 2017 award of £1,200 has been presented to Alasdair Paul, who was chosen by a selection panel including Adrian McNally and Rachel Unthank from The Unthanks.

The Unthanks said: ‘Supporting exciting young North-East based musicians is one of many ways we hope to celebrate and remember the inspiring and important work of Graeme Miles. Alasdair Paul is one such talent and we look forward to the work he creates through this bursary founded in Graeme's honour.’

Alsadair Paul

About Alasdair Paul

Alasdair Paul grew up around the Highlands of Scotland. His interest in music began with chanter lessons from Carol-Anne Mackay and eventually led him to study on Newcastle University’s Folk and Traditional Music degree. There he was exposed to a wide range of music, broadening his outlook to encompass influences from Irish, Northumbrian and other European traditions as well as from the eclectic music scene centred around the University. An in-demand accompanist around the Newcastle area, Alasdair plays with ‘progressive trad’ sextet Pons Aelius, the Manx quartet Birlinn Jiarg and brand new Scots-Irish quartet The Flyting.

In addition to performing Alasdair is also active as a composer, having recently completed a Master of Music degree at Newcastle University. His compositions seek to combine and juxtapose new harmonic, textural and structural ideas with the melodic nature of traditional music.

The bursary will allow Alasdair to purchase new recording equipment to support his work as a composer and to record a new album of original folk music. Alasdair Paul aims to record and release one track a month to represent the changing seasons of the year.

Photo by Dominic Younger


About the Graeme Miles Bursary

Now in its third year, the annual bursary celebrates the life of Middlesbrough’s Graeme Miles, who died in 2013. A contemporary of Ewan MacColl, Miles wrote his first song about Hartlepool, Sea Coal, at the age of 14. After hearing the traditional songs of Tyneside, he set himself a twenty-year task to create a collection for his adopted native Teesside. 

The bursary is designed to fund an important development opportunity, project or programme of activity that will have a lasting impact on the recipient’s career.

Previous recipients of the bursary have been singer-songwriter Joe Hammill from Thornaby on Tees and the Rachel Hamer Band, a Newcastle folk band with strong links to Teesside.

Now in its third year, the annual bursary celebrates the life of Middlesbrough’s Graeme Miles, who died in 2013. A contemporary of Ewan MacColl, Miles wrote his first song about Hartlepool, Sea Coal, at the age of 14. After hearing the traditional songs of Tyneside, he set himself a twenty-year task to create a collection for his adopted native Teesside. 

 

National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble

 

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