2019 is UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Languages. As part of Wales’ celebration of its own ancient language and culture, Wales Arts International (WAI) has been commissioned by Welsh Government to deliver a programme of cultural responses. We are now gathering together musicians from across the globe, who have a passion for and are committed to performing in their indigenous language, to share their experience and explore the creativity that arises from that source.

One of the aims of this UNESCO year is Peace Building and Reconciliation, and music has an important role in supporting nations and cultures around the world to own their story, and, through understanding and creative partnership, find a small way forward that acknowledges the past, finds learning and looks to the future.

The Welsh language is an indigenous language and Welsh speakers have been both colonized and been part of colonizing forces. This year provides an opportunity for our nation to reconsider its story.

We are now calling for versatile emerging musicians and vocalists based in Wales who are passionate about the Welsh language and performing in it to apply to be part of this international career development project.



Mamiaith aims to develop an international music collaboration between Welsh musicians and those of other key partner nations including Canada, Ireland and Scotland. These relationships will be based on comparative stories and experiences of speaking and performing in an indigenous language. The central purposes of this collaboration are:

  • to musically and creatively explore issues around indigenous languages and the cultures they carry.
  • to learn from each other, to support music, skills and creative growth and development
  • to create new collaborative work
  • to develop international contacts and musical connections.

The project group will be tasked with performing the new work(s) in progress in Wales at the end of the residency. It is expected that a recording of the project group’s work will also be made, to act as promotional material to generate showcase and further performances of the work within the following 18 months.

Collaboration details:

  • 7 musicians will be gathered in total, of whom 2 will be from Wales. These will be mentored during a 7 day song and music writing retreat in Wales.
  • Musicians and the project team will be accommodated and fully catered for in Wales in shared accommodation with some rehearsal space facilities.
  • All costs will be covered, including travel.
  • Selected musicians will be paid £500 each which covers a performance fee and subsistence.
  • Towards the end of this 7 day retreat, the collaboration work will be recorded for ongoing promotional purposes.
  • Immediately following the retreat, the musicians will perform the created work(s) at a public performance in Wales. Details to be finalised.

It is anticipated that this group and its work will travel and perform overseas together in the following 18 months.

To be eligible to apply for this international career development opportunity, you will:

  • Be available to participate in the project from November 21 to  November 30, 2019 with no other commitments during that time.
  • Be a versatile professional vocalist or musician living and working in Wales and/or producing music and performing through the medium of Welsh living within the UK.
  • Have a proven track record of a commitment to developing your performance work through the Welsh language and/or promoting the music culture of Wales
  • Be an emerging vocalist or musician committed to developing your work internationally
  • Have at least one album on sale commercially / perform on at least one commercially sold album.
  • Have a proven track record of professional performances within the UK.
  • Be in a position to spend short periods of time performing overseas in the coming 18 months.

We are looking to prioritise those with a capacity for instruments and vocals and/or proven songwriting or composition skills.



Please apply by filling out this form, referring to the guidance notes below:

Please fill in the fields in the ‘About Your Project tab with the following information:

Which Scheme: WAI Strategic Grant

Project Title: Mamiaith

Project Dates: 21/11/2019-30/11/2019

Total Cost: £500

Amount applied for: £500


In the ‘Attachments’ section, please attach a document(s) containing:

  • A biography outlining your music background, experience, key performances, music practice and current music projects.  (Maximum of 500 words)
  • Details of your discography and recorded music output (Maximum of 500 words)
  • 3 recent professional recordings of your work (within the last 3 years) that demonstrate your work and music ability
  • Links to your professional website and key social media sites.
  • A declaration that you are:

-  free to participate in the project between 21 November and 30 November 2019 and have no outstanding commitments during that period.

- able and willing to travel for short periods internationally in the 18 months following the initial project period.

  • Details of two referees. These must be people who have hired you in a musical capacity (to perform or record) within the past 2 years.


Please direct any queries regarding this opportunity to info@wai.org.uk.

Applicants will be notified of a decision by 24 September.