Fèisean nan Gàidheal expands its Gaelic song resource

Fèisean nan Gàidheal is delighted to have added to its online Gaelic song educational resource, Fuaran, featuring songs researched and sung by young people.

The first phase of the project was funded by the National Lottery and with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the resource has been expanded and now features twenty-eight songs collected by young people.

The singers that took part in 2019 are: Chloë Bryce from Tain; Alix Aburn from Inverness; Catrìona Nicolson from Inverness; Duncan MacLeod from Bonar Bridge; Ruairidh Cormack from Skye, and Claire Frances MacNeil from Barra.

At the start of the project, the participants attended a training weekend with a team of experts in folklore fieldwork and Gaelic song – Angus John MacDonald, Margaret Stewart and Màiri McFadyen – before embarking on their own research.

Following this period of research and gathering songs in their own communities, the participants then recorded the songs in studios in Glasgow and Inverness before making videos at creative arts venues around Inverness: Eden Court Theatre, Highland Print Studio and Moniack Mhòr – Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre.

In addition, the singers were had two performance opportunities at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton and in Inverness at the Blas Festival 2019.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal Development Officer and project co-ordinator, Karen Oakley said: “It’s really exciting to be adding these songs to our Fuaran resource. They’re some of the lesser commonly heard Gaelic songs heard today and are the result of several months of great effort by young people in striking up conversations with tradition bearers in their communities and visiting archives. For some, it was their first-time doing research of this kind and I’m delighted to hear that they are continuing their work beyond this project to discover more songs and the stories behind them. Their contribution adds hugely to our online resource and we hope that many people will get enjoyment from listening to them”.

Steven Kellow, Funding and Projects Officer at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “We are delighted that this project was expanded upon and that more young people were given the chance to develop their Gaelic language and research skills.  This project greatly supports the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23, and Fèisean nan Gàidheal are to be praised for offering this opportunity to singers who have added to an extremely valuable resource.”

Fuaran is available to explore online at www.feisean.org/fuaran/ where there is a video of each song, subtitled in Gaelic and English, sound files, song words, and notes about the origins of the song.

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