Gaelic Music Needs Your Help!

Struileag

Just as the descendents of Scottish emigrants can be found in every corner of the globe, so too can their language. Scottish Gaelic is the focus of a new musical project celebrating the languages spread throughout the world, highlighting the importance of indigenous language to the concept of home and belonging. Now the team behind the idea are after your help to finish the project.

Struileag (Shore to Shore) is an ambitious musical project now two years in the making headed by well-known Scottish composer Jim Sutherland. A team of 50 of Scotland’s most celebrated musicians, singers, writers, composers and dancers are currently collaborating to produce a show to coincide with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Year of the Homecoming. Struileag will then culminate in an international touring show which will form a significant highlight of Scotland’s Homecoming year.

A Kickstarter campaign is currently underway to raise funds for a recording of an album of songs from the show. 20 critically-acclaimed Gaelic poets are currently busy writing new material to be recorded for the project. Composer Jim Sutherland has been commissioned to create 75 minutes of contemporary music score in response to the commissioned poetry and text produced. Funds raised will go towards studio and equipment hire, artist accommodation, travel costs and catering.

Drawing on the rich histories and tradition of Scottish Gaelic, the writing will provide a new interpretation of what it means to be part of the Gaelic diaspora. Some pieces will be delivered as spoken word, underscored by music and others will be developed into original song. Mr. Sutherland said he’s proud to be connected to such pioneering people: “It is amazing where we find people and I love to hear their stories… The poetry and text that we have been receiving from a team of 20 writers is inspiring and I am really enjoying the process of turning it into a show that can be relevant and exciting.”

Headed by author Kevin MacNeil, this team of writers includes renowned poets and songwriters such as Aonghas Dubh MacNeacail and Anna Frater, to the exciting emerging talents of Babs NicGriogair and Mona NicLeòid. Their work will cover a broad spectrum, from the avant-garde to the more traditional luminaries, emerging writers and traditional Gaelic singers. One commissioned piece takes the form of a secular psalm to the sea. Another piece has been commissioned as a rap, focusing on the abandonment of culture and heritage, and those who have been deceived in search of a promised better life.

Mr Sutherland said he has had a huge involvement with Gaelic music throughout his career: “I have worked with Gaelic musicians and singers most of my working life in various guises and figured out it was time to put something back. I’m a Highlander myself. but I’m actually from Thurso on the North sea coast which isn’t really a very Gaelic area these days. The Gaels have traveled the world and the spread of their descendants is amazing. They have done everything from becoming slaves to masters of industry. 2014 is a year of homecoming in Scotland and I thought that this would be a great time to celebrate this amazing spread of people that we call the Gaelic diaspora.”

Constantly nudging at the boundaries of culture and style, Mr. Sutherland commissions have included composing music for film, TV, large-scale events and national celebrations. His fingerprints, as a musician, producer and composer, can be found on more than two hundred albums, collaborating with a huge array of musicians from around the world along the way. His recent work includes two songs that were produced for the award-winning Disney Pixar animated film Brave, and a commission to celebrate Marseilles as European capital of culture 2013.
To donate to the project, please visit the Kickstarter page here.
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About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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