TRASH Arts is certainly not a load of rubbish

TRASH Arts were filmed by the BBC in June.
TRASH Arts were filmed by the BBC in June.
Share this article

IT’s an exciting time for TRASH Arts, the Borders arts charity which specialises in making music available to anyone by using junk and conventional instruments in original ways – all mixed up with art, words and movement.

This year has seen a mixture of work in schools, sessions for local youth clubs funded by the CashBack scheme, and a tapestry project for the Hawick integrated group, funded by Awards for All, in a mixed arts tribute to the town.

Community Chest funded a pilot project for supported individuals in Jedburgh and Kelso, giving more people the chance to try out music, while Scottish Community Foundation cash enabled TRASH to set up the James Band, an integrated group who play in residential homes. However, the highlight so far has been thanks to a grant from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative for a Nursery Adventure scheme – taking musical ideas into pre-school groups all over the Borders.

For this, TRASH’s regular freelancers, Finlay McDermid and Katie Forbes, have been joined by music therapist, composer and jazz player Chris Achenbach.

They have already completed the training period of the project and, after the summer break, will split up and head out to various groups.

There is also the Other Orchestra (OO). Described as “bungee jumping with instruments”, OO makes it possible for beginners to join with experienced performers.

Meanwhile, last month BBC Scotland visited TRASH Arts as part of a series encouraging young people to start composing music.

Over two days, various parts were filmed and four children were taken to Scrapstore, Selkirk, to choose whatever they liked to use as an instrument.

The class showed off their TRASH skills in a high-energy performance and on the second day the selected children – with the support of Finlay and Katie – composed and had their music filmed.

Transmission dates are yet to be announced.

On a quieter note, the Hawick tapestry project will have its open day on Wednesday, July 18, from 11.30am until 8.30pm at Artbeat Studios.

On display will be the artwork, including a giant millwheel, photographs, video and new songs performed by the group.

Email for more information or visit