Born in Glasgow in 1978, Calum has been hitting things since he was given a xylophone for his first Christmas. With piano, brass and percussion lessons from an early age he was encouraged to play music all through childhood and hasn’t stopped since. In 2000 he moved to Edinburgh to study orchestral percussion at Napier University where he gained a bachelor of music degree in 2004.
As a founding member of The Banana Sessions and The Horndog Brass Band and with weekly residencies at The Jazz Bar with Rossco Galloway, The Katet, 101st Airborne and The Jazz Bar Big Band, he quickly established himself as one of Scotland’s most versatile and in-demand session musicians, working on stage and in the studio with Karine Polwart, Adam Holmes, Brass Gumbo, Ross Couper & Tom Oakes, Hidden Orchestra, Bombskare, The Bevvy Sisters, Éamonn Coyne & Kris Drever, Macmaster & Hay, Orkestra Del Sol, Urban Farm Hand, Joseph Malik and Young Fathers to name a few.
Performances include appearances at T in the Park, Celtic Connections, Belladrum, Tønder, Bestival, Knockengorroch, and Glastonbury as well as live television and radio broadcasts such as BBC Hogmanay Live and BBC Radio Scotland Quay Sessions. Notable support slots include opening for Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Snarky Puppy, Amanda Palmer, Cinematic Orchestra and the legendary Fred Wesley.
Theatre experience includes Jack and The Beanstalk, Snow White and Dick Whittington at Eden Court, Cinderella and Mother Goose at Perth Theatre, Cinderella at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Sleeping Beauty at the Adam Smith Theatre. Dance collaborations include Peter Pan at the Tramway with Scottish Ballet education department and as a muscian for contemporary dance classes at Dance Base
In the summer of 2012 Calum joined NoFit State Circus to develop and premiere Bianco at the Eden Project in Cornwall. After a critically acclaimed first season and UK tour in 2013, he then became bandleader and co-composer for the 2014/15 European tour.
Calum is an experienced educator and workshop leader and is committed to passing on the joy of music and song. Originally as a peripatetic percussion teacher across secondary schools in central Scotland he then progressed to tutoring further education at The Academy Of Music and Sound and Stevenson College before co-founding the community music project Tinderbox Orchestra in Edinburgh.
He is currently musician in residence at Hayshead Primary School in Arbroath and delivers percussion, vocal and instrument making workshops for Feis Rois around Angus and the Highlands.
More recently, after his piano was deemed untunable and condemned to the scrap heap, he had the idea to repurpose the parts to form an entirely new instrument. His first project, an 8 bar diatonic octave marimba made entirely out of recycled timber and found objects has been a real hit with the children he teaches in and around the highlands.
Calum is currently based in Dykehead near Kirriemuir in Angus – composing, teaching, touring and pursuing his dream to make marimbas for the next generation of percussionists.
Photo Adam Bulley