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Monthly news summary of all the happenings and up and coming events in the Scottish Traditional Music scene.

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Orain nan Rosach (book)
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Orain nan Rosach (book)

The Highland Councils’ Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship has published a new and totally unique Gaelic song book which brings together a collection of 30 songs all either written in Ross-shire or composed by Ross-shire born writers. 

Entitled “Òrain nan Rosach”, it is the first major Gaelic publication produced in the area for many years.  The book presents the songs in staff notation with guitar chords, translations, lyrics, photographs and notes on the composers.

Fiona Mackenzie, the Màiri Mhòr Fellow said of the publication “When I first started in the Fellowship three years ago, it quickly became apparent that there was a gap in the market for a new collection of Gaelic songs, particularly from Ross-shire.

“With the growth of the Feisean movement, in particular from Feis Rois, tutors and teachers are always looking for tunes and songs from the area itself and it is sometimes difficult, particularly for non Gaelic speakers, to locate and identify relevant material.

“I think that in general people may not be aware that the Gaelic culture is alive and thriving in Ross-shire today – we must remember that Ross-shire was after all the largest Gaelic speaking area in the Highlands, geographically speaking - and I hope that this publication will help bring Ross-shire gaelic songs back to the forefront of  the Gaelic musical tradition.”

She added:  “The book includes old songs which are not sung often today and also new songs which may not have been heard by many people. We have tried to cover as many parts of Ross-shire as possible and include songs from Gairloch, Applecross, Muir of Ord, Contin, Ullapool, and Kintail amongst others. It is not intended to be a definitive collection, that would take years and years to achieve, but it will hopefully inspire interested people to carry on and do their own research.”

Councillor Margaret Paterson said: “This publication from the Fellowship is a tremendous achievement for Ross-shire and for the Ross-shire Gaelic Culture. It is also a tremendous way of ensuring that the songs are protected and preserved for future generations. We hope to hear the songs brought back into the repertoire of  all Gaelic singers, young and old alike and will hopefully see many more publications like this in the future – from all parts of the Highlands.”

Orain nan Rosach includes a foreword from Gaelic writer Angus Peter Campbell, who holds the post of the Iain Crichton Smith Fellow for The Highland Council and it has been produced with financial help from Bord na Gaidhlig.

The Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship is funded through The Highland Council, Bord na Gaidhlig, Scottish Arts Council, Hi-Arts, RACE, SALE, CNAG and Feisean nan Gaidheal.

Check out the CD Orain nan Rosaich which has many of the songs from this book sung by Fiona  MacKenzie 


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