The Crunluath Collection

The Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship for the Highland Council, are pleased to announce the launch of “ The Crunluath Collection” – a brand new collection of  Gaelic Songs based on bagpipe music, in both Ceol Beag and Ceol Mor, written and arranged by Skye born Gaelic writer and piper, Angus MacPhee.

The Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellow, Fiona Mackenzie of Dingwall said: “When Angus MacPhee first showed me his collection of new Gaelic songs all based on pipe tunes, I immediately felt that this was a project worth bringing to fruition. The Gaelic Song repertoire today is full of beautiful, traditional, old songs and a few new ones too but if the tradition is to develop and grow, then new material must be made and used.

“We often hear pipe tunes and think to ourselves ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if there were words to that song?’ Well now there will be, to many of them. Part of the remit of the Mairi Mhor Fellowship is to encourage the writing of new songs and we are sure that this new collection will be of great interest and use to many Gaelic singers and pipers alike.

“The book is accompanied by a CD which will also be helpful to singers who will be able to hear exactly how Angus intends the songs to be sung. This will be particularly useful to singers who may be unfamiliar with the form of the Ceol-Mor (the ‘classical’ form of bagpipe music) and how it is played.”

The book contains 52 songs which cover several different areas of interest - puirt a beul or mouth music, love songs, lullabies, children’s songs, songs of the Army, songs of the countryside and songs of youth, as well as the Ceol Mor songs. The CD contains renditions of 21 of the songs sung by both Angus and Fiona. The book also contains reproductions of some line drawings and photographs taken by Angus – he was previously Head of Art and Design at Inverness High School until his retirement in 1986.

Angus who lives in North Kessock with his wife Iona,  said: “Old Gaelic songs have been adapted, re-arranged and even re-titled by pipers for a long time and many of today’s pipers worldwide will play versions of old songs with great feeling and skill – but will have little or no connection with either Scotland or Gaelic.

“I have tried to redress the balance by composing Gaelic words to pipe-tunes which will be familiar to many people. All of the pipe tunes chosen have been set to songs of my own composition without reference to the original title; only the music has evoked the subject of my songs.  I have approached this project with some temerity, since many of the tunes are so well known to pipers internationally but with the hope that they will accept that such good music should be shared.”

 The songs were type set by Taigh nan Teud of Skye and graphic layout has been carried out by Ronan Martin Design, also of Skye. It was produced with grant aid from Bord na Gaidhlig.

The book will be available from Fiona Mackenzie at the Education centre, Dingwall, 01349 863441, fiona.mackenzie@highland.gov.uk, from local bookshops and online from www.footstompin.com and www.gaelicbooks.net


31 Jul 2006
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