New recordings of Gaelic songs published through Fuaran

Ten new recordings of Gaelic songs will be added to the Fuaran project, established by Fèisean nan Gàidheal to encourage a new generation of Gaelic speakers and singers to actively engage in the research and collection of Gaelic songs in their local area.

Six young people aged between 16 and 25 took part in the fourth series of Fuaran in 2023 and the new recordings have been added to the Fuaran archive which now consists of more than 100 songs, a valuable resource for local Fèisean and anyone interested in Gaelic song. The participants were Shannon MacLean (Mull), Mirren Ward (Glasgow), Iris MacLeod (Edinburgh), Caitlin Yule (Cumbernauld), Aileas MacLeod (Isle of Skye), and Eilidh MacPhee (Inverness).

The participants carried out research in their own communities to find out more about the stories of the songs. Over six months they had the opportunity to learn about the necessary skills for researching Gaelic song from experts such as Màiri MacFadyen, Ceitlin Lilidh and Gillebrìde MacMillan.

They had help throughout the project with the songs they had identified from Jo MacDonald and also Deirdre Graham, who assisted in preparations for recording. The songs were recorded by Barry Reid at the Old Brewery run by Cromarty Arts Trust. Over a weekend the singers attended workshops with Julie Fowlis, Eamon Doorley and Ewen Henderson and had the chance to share their research with each other and have a sing together as well.

The videos for each song were recorded by John McDiarmid at the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow and were then edited by Zoe Patterson MacInnes.

Eilidh MacPhee said of the experience:

“I enjoyed taking part in Fuaran this year because it gave me the opportunity to research and find new songs which I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”

Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Development Officer, Abi Reid, who managed the project said:

“It was a pleasure to work on the Fuaran project with such a lovely group. I really enjoyed seeing their research come together over the months and we had a great weekend in Cromarty in August. I’m really happy the videos are now online and hope the singers are feeling extremely proud of their achievements!”

“Fèisean nan Gàidheal is very grateful to each singer who took part in Fuaran in 2023 and the songs that they found and the information that they researched will contribute greatly to the Fuaran archive. We would also like to thank Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Creative Scotland for funding to support the project.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, Ceannard (CEO), Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:

“Projects like Fuaran are very important to Gaelic culture. It’s vital that young people are encouraged to engage with and learn about Gaelic songs and music, especially songs written in and about their own communities and the places around them. The fact that they are then recorded and published for the rest of us to enjoy is a wonderful bonus.”

The recordings will be found at www.feisean.org/fuaran from week beginning 19th February (Seachdain na Gàidhlig)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal will soon be accepting applications for Fuaran 2024 so keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more information.

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