Of Traditional Song And Music

Old Fishermans Shelter, Exchequer Quay, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 8AE


OTSAM is a Penryn community based non funded volunteer project headed by Robert Burns, with a national and international brief to record, video, archive and give public and artist access to traditional folk songs and music, traditional blues, contemporary acoustic folk/blues, and singer/songwriters.

Cornwall Council have given us the use of an small old empty building to record, video and create our archive in, which we are currently renovating, the work is taking a little longer than expected as initial costs were more than anticipated, but we hope to be fully functional by the end of January 2017. However we will still be making field recordings inside and outside of Cornwall as we did recently in the north and midlands. The old style traditional studio will also be made available with our support to local acoustic folk/blues artist/enthusiasts to create their own recordings free of charge.

Our first project ‘Of Song’ is year long traditional song project for the internet. Our aim this year is to record and video 366 songs of ‘Social Conscience and the Working Classes’. These recordings will be uploaded to our web site and YouTube one per day from a selected relevant date. This project will include singers who love the folk music traditional styles, to sing a song or songs they know that fit into the category above, we will be working with many professional and semi-professional artists but would wish the main body of recordings to come from the streets and houses of ordinary folk, from the absolute amateur to people who have never considered themselves a singer.


The Tea-chest Folk Orchestra

(working title)

 This project has been in the pipeline for twelve months, it is time now to move it forward.

The main aim of this orchestra is to attract up to 40 (possibly many more) disadvantaged, disabled and displaced people of all age/ethnic groups, to actively buscuit-tin-web-2participate in a long term arts and skills project that will give them a feeling of fulfilment, belonging and self esteem.

The first part of the project will be to build our own instruments from recycled waste such as Teachest/Washbasin Bass, Biscuit/Oil Tin kaverley-tea-chest-web2Guitar, Washing Machine Drum Precussion etc; etc; To this end we have collected a lot of the recycled products we need, to get the project off the ground quickly once funding is in place.

Dependent on health and safety concerns we are hoping to involve participants in the construction of their own instrument, under the supervision and control of experts. Along side this we will run music and singing lessons/classes during the first year in preparation for performances to the public at major events, such as festivals, indoor and outdoor acoustic concerts etc; starting in  the second year.


We believe that being so close to your own instrument, and working in a team will give you pride, self esteem and self belief in your own abilities, your ability to work with others, and the confidence and desire to achieve more.


Music & Written Word Programme

(working title)

This is another project to operate over years not months. We are currently working with a group of writers, musicians and singers from the Staffordshire region. Our brief is to look for original work in these disiplines, we are particularly interested in works about the area, but keep an open mind on all we are presented with.

A particular target in our search is 'Traditional Folk Music' old and new, and specifically English. Our efforts here are to record and archive songs about Staffordshire and Cheshire, and encourage artists to write new songs and tunes in a traditional or contemporary style obout the region. We have established over the last twelve months (through the work of W. Terry Fox & David Wrench) a practice and performance venue in the city, at The Packhorse Inn, Longport (chosen because of an old association with folk music, and its proximaty to the canal and pottery industrial zone), the sessions go under the title 'The Full Engish' and we have up to 30 musicians/singers practicing there each Monday night.

The poetry and writing projects fall under the same brief, but more open on the subject matters.

Our aim for the first year (to catch up the back log of work) is to produce 10 CD's, 15/20 music DVD's for YouTube purposes and 6 Books (4 x poetry/song & 2 x other).


We believe this project will encourage the local population to take pride in their region, help other parts of Britain enjoy our rich heritage and follow our example, encourage more artists to be bolder in their outlook and leave a body of work that will produce many translations over the next hundred years, telling stories to future generations about who we are and how we used to live.