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Beyond Borders - Apply by 23 February 2017

Beyond Borders is a co-commissioning and touring programme from PRS for Music Foundation, run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland.

Funding of up to £15,000 is available for projects including repeat performances of music written in the last five years, new commissions and recordings.

Beyond Borders is designed to stimulate collaboration between organisations and band / ensembles in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It enables music creators to produce exceptional new material to be performed in at least three of these countries.

Since launching in 2010, the scheme has supported over 50 projects bringing together organisations and music creators across the UK and abroad.

With the next deadline of 23 February for the Beyond Borders programme approaching, we take a look at some of the previous recipients to inspire musicians and organisations to think of applying.

Opera North, Martin Green’s FLIT

Martin Green, photo: Genevieve Stevenson

Best known as accordionist and electronic experimentalist with innovative folk trio Lau, Martin Green has increasingly established himself as a composer, arranger and collaborator.

Green’s production Flit was inspired by first hand stories of human movement around the world, some heart-warming, some life-affirming, others tragic and heartbreaking. but all imbued with over-arching humanity. The resulting songs that sit at the heart of Flit are dark and atmospheric, but imbued with over-arching humanity.

Flit was co-commissioned by Edinburgh International Festival, Barbican Centre, Perth International Arts Festival and Sage Gateshead, and produced by Lepus Productions and Opera North Projects. An album was released in June 2016 followed by a live-show, that combined live performances of the songs plus a stop-motion animation created by White Robot, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival 2016 in August. The live show tour was made possible by Beyond Borders funding and received widespread critical praise, described by a four-star Guardian review as a “show laced with passion, emotion, drama and curiosity.”

Songs of Separation

Songs of Separation

In 2015 a collective of ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England took up residence on the Isle of Eigg and over just six days devised, rehearsed and recorded an album of songs exploring the theme of ‘separation’. 

Songs of Separation brought together the musical skills of two of the UK’s most celebrated voices Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, boundary breaking Scots Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, three members of the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery in Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheigans, two established backline players with experience in both Scottish and English trad scenes Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, and New York based musician Hannah Read who had spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg.

Following the Songs of Separation album release in January 2016, the ensemble successfully applied for Beyond Borders funding which enabled them to tour their unique musical endevour across England, Wales and Scotland.

In a statement, Songs of Separation said: “PRS Foundation’s Beyond Borders funding will enable us to take the project that much further and will, we hope, result in some unforgettable experiences for audiences and musicians, both professional and amateur.”

Field Music – Music for Drifters

Field Music perform Music for Drifters

In 2013 Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival commissioned the critically acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated band Field Music to compose a new cinematic score for the seminal 1929 silent documentary Drifters. Made by pioneering Scottish documentarian John Grierson, Drifters depicts the often-arduous experiences of North Sea herring fishermen of the time. 

Following the original performance in 2013, the Beyond Borders programme supported a UK tour of the project. A screening of Drifters with live accompaniment from Field Music travelled to independent cinemas and arts spaces in Newcastle, Glasgow, Swansea, Belfast and Dublin between 24 April to 27 June 2014.

Speaking to the Berwick Film Festival about the project, David Brewis of Field Music  said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be given the opportunity to tour Drifters, as writing and performing the original commission for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2013 was a true pleasure, culminating in a wonderful evening. We are delighted that we can do it all again at some truly lovely cinemas and art spaces around the country, and very thankful to the Festival and PRS for Music Foundation for making it all possible!”


Apply for the Beyond Borders programme by 23 February 2017, decisions will be announced in early April.

This article was published on 06 Feb 2017