Launch Of Gaelic Song CD - Orain nan Rosach (Songs of the Ross-shire Folk)
A new Gaelic Song CD entitled “Orain nan Rosach”, “Songs of the Ross-shire Folk” has been launched which features The Highland Council’s Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellow, Fiona Mackenzie and talented Ross-shire local musicians as well as Gaelic Medium Pupils from Dingwall Primary School and National Mod Champions, Inverness Gaelic Choir.
Fiona Mackenzie from Dingwall, is the current Ladies Mod Gold Medallist. At the launch which took place at the shores of the Cromarty Firth she said: “After the launch of our song book last year ‘Orain nan Rosach’, I was inundated with requests for me to record a CD to go with the book as people had found the songs so useful and interesting but many of them were unknown to people. I decided it would be nice to make the CD unique by utilising the talents of backing musicians who come solely from Ross-shire.
“To this end, we were lucky enough to engage the services of well known Ross-shire musician Andy Thorburn of Evanton, to produce the CD. Andy is a very well respected musician in the business and plays with Blazing Fiddles, amongst several other mainstream groups, as well as having his own solo album.”
Other premier Ross-shire musicians involved in the recording include Gaelic Singer of the Year 2005 Julie Fowlis of Dochas who lives in Dingwall and also plays whistle on the CD, bouzouki player Eamon Doorley, of the Irish group Danu and now based locally, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician of the Year 2004 Lauren MacColl of Fortrose on fiddle, Carol-Anne Mackay, piper and box player with Dochas and schools piping tutor for Ross-shire, Katie Mackenzie, Gaelic singer and clàrsach player from Dingwall, Jim Gaitens from Avoch on guitar and Alpin Stuart, Gaelic singer from Torridon.
Fiona said: “I teach Gaelic song weekly in Dingwall Primary School so we have included a track featuring the Gaelic Medium pupils of the school. We were also delighted that National Mod champions Inverness Gaelic Choir were able to join us by performing one of their prize winning songs, a rousing Ross-shire Hunting Song. Many of the choir members live in Ross-shire and have close ties with the area. It was a very rewarding experience to be able to work with all these wonderful musicians and singers”
“During the course of my research for the CD and book, I was lucky enough to be given material which many people will never have heard before and we are indebted to those people before us, who have had the forethought to collect this wealth of songs, for the benefit of future generations of Gaelic singers and musicians. The styles of the 14 tracks on the CD vary from the humorous ‘Am Bata Uaine’, given to me by Niall Macleod of Polbain, the lovely ‘Ribhinn a Chuil Bhain ‘ by Donald Ross , collected originally by Val and Tom Bryan of Ullapool and the more contemporary ‘Madainn Earraich’ by Angus Macphee of North Kessock.
“The Highland Council is very please to be able to gift copies of both the CD and the book to all schools in Ross-shire and I will carry out workshops on the songs in any school which would like to learn more about our local Gaelic heritage”.
Margaret Paterson, Councillor for Dingwall South and Gaelic Select Committee member for Highland Council said: “This is a unique and precious opportunity to showcase the Songs of the Ross-shire folk on CD. We are delighted that the Fellowship has taken this step to help preserve our local Gaelic Heritage for future generations to come and it is especially encouraging to see and hear the important contribution from the Gaelic Medium classes at Dingwall Primary School.”
The project received financial assistance from RACE and Bord na Gaidhlig. The CD will be available in the shops and online from www.gaelicbooks.net or www.footstompin.com , local outlets and from Fiona herself on 01349 863441 or from firstname.lastname@example.org.