In Tune With Nature

Fèis Rois and Scottish Natural Heritage are inviting musicians of all genres to compose new music as part of a high-profile national composition and songwriting project called ‘In Tune with Nature’.

What is the competition?

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, artists aged 16+ are invited to write new music inspired by one of ten National Nature Reserves (NNRs) across the country.

What do I win?

The entries will be judged by a panel of well-known and highly regarded musicians and industry professionals, including Julie Fowlis, Vic Galloway, Gill Maxwell and Karine Polwart, and chaired by Fiona Dalgetty. The 10 winning artists will each win a £500 cash prize as well as the opportunity to make a film on the NNR site which inspired their music. The winning artists will be paid for their time on site making the film. There will also be the opportunity to take part in live performances throughout the year.

The NNRs include:

The new work should reflect the special qualities of the National Nature Reserves, all those selected having strong coastal or freshwater elements. New Gaelic songs are particularly encouraged in the Beinn Eighe and Creag Meagaidh areas and, similarly, songs written in Scots and regional dialects would be warmly received in other areas. Artists should aim to communicate the richness of Scotland’s nature and, through this, encourage new audiences to consider the actions they may take to protect it.

Due to this year’s COVID-19 outbreak, we strongly urge artists NOT to visit these sites in person. Instead, we recommend undertaking desk-based research to become familiar with the sites, their history and stories. To start with, we recommend the pages about the reserves above, and this fantastic series of podcasts. You will find lots of great footage on Youtube, etc too.


  • 1st March 2020 – Competition is launched
  • 31st May 2020 – Closing date for entries
  • 26th June 2020 – Winners announced
  • July – August 2020 – Winning composers/songwriters create films on location at NNRs

How do I apply?

Entrants should submit the following by the 31st May deadline:

  • a link to Soundcloud or an MP3 recording of their original new music
  • a PDF of the sheet music (if you are able to create this)
  • if a song, a copy of the lyrics
  • a 50-word biography
  • a summary (maximum 200 words) of how they were inspired by their chosen particular NNR to create this new music.

Please email submissions to Fèis Rois Chief Executive, Fiona Dalgetty.

What are the terms and conditions?

  • Musicians of any age from 16 upwards are welcome to enter this competition.
  • Entries can be songs or instrumental music, but no piece should be longer than five minutes.
  • Musicians can only submit one entry per NNR. You may find that you are inspired by more than one place and you are welcome to submit another entry for a different site.
  • Employees of SNH, Fèis Rois and their families are excluded from entering.
  • The closing date is midnight on Sunday 31st May 2020. No entries will be accepted after this time.

All entrants retain full copyright/ownership of their music but agree to SNH having full and free use of it in SNH promotional materials, including online.


For more info about the National Nature Reserves (NNRs), please visit the Scottish Natural Heritage website