Scottish secondary pupils showcase new Gaelic songs

Leugh ann an Gàidhlig / Read in Gaelic

14 October 2022

Songs written by young Gaelic speakers will be in the spotlight at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Perth.

The songs are a result of Caithream na Cruinne, a creative collaboration between Fèis Rois and NatureScot. The project has supported seven secondary pupils to write new Gaelic songs connected to Scotland’s nature and landscapes. The young people were mentored by leading traditional musicians Mary Ann Kennedy and Ewen Henderson.

Today (14 October) the new music is being released in an online songbook with lyrics and sheet music for others to learn and enjoy.

The songs reflect young people’s current concerns, with Scotland’s changing climate and its impacts on nature central to each of the songs.The pupils chose to write about themes such as rising sea levels, pollution and landslides.

They will perform their songs as part of a special lunchtime concert during this year’s Royal National Mòd in Perth on 17 October. Supporting the young people to bring their music to the stage for the first time will be Mary Ann Kennedy and Finlay Wells.

Robyn Ireland, Gaelic Officer at NatureScot said: “It is fantastic to see these compelling new Gaelic songs enriching our long tradition of music inspired by nature. It is striking that each of the songwriters were influenced by the impact that climate change is having on Scotland. This project has been a wonderful way for young Gaelic speakers to develop their creative and linguistic skills, as well as connect with nature and express their feelings about climate change.”

Fiona Dalgetty, Chief Executive of Fèis Rois, added: “Gaelic music has long taken inspiration from our surroundings and this project builds on that tradition, creating contemporary songs inspired by the hopes and concerns of young people. Songwriting is a powerful tool to let our voices be heard, and these new songs certainly achieve this. We are excited to help share the work of these young songwriters and to make their songs widely available.”

Elissa Hunter-Dorans, one of the young songwriters, reflected: “It was an incredible opportunity to work with somebody as talented as Ewen Henderson to write my Caithream na Cruinne song. I am really looking forward to performing my song at the Mòd along with the others songwriters. It is vital that we come together and raise our voices as young people, especially since the fate of the world’s climate is in our hands.”

Link for tickets: Perth Concert Hall and Theatre