Ich bin ein Uibhisteach

What a delight to see familiar faces in less familiar surroundings, and all contributing of their own talents to give everyone a good time. And what a privilege to be able to record it… Is there a better place to be on a midsummer night than Uibhist fhèin? View here.

Bilingual Stardust

Nach mi bha lucky! Benbecula to Bollywood, in the YouTube company of Tormod and Amitabh. Any volunteers to do that backwards – उल्टा दौड़के? Read, listen, and view more here.

Benbecula Burns

Tam O Shanter given a riproaring North Easterly slant by Rob “One Take” Keltie. The bravura performance speaks for itself, but it’s worth recording that it was genuinely delivered entirely from memory. Read and hear more here.

Mar as motha a dh’atharraicheas e?

… I presented this paper 19 years ago at the first Fasgnag conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – long before Àrainn Chaluim Chille, before even the extension to Àrainn Ostaig…

More discussion here.

Doubling up on Shak and Sax: Musical Bilingualism?

Learning languages is not a zero sum game. The notion that there’s only so much space in your brain to accommodate your linguistic competence and/or diversity … doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

More here – with soundfiles and comments.

Is Gaelic an Indigenous Language?

“Stupid question.” That’s the short answer, tinged perhaps with weariness, perhaps indignation. “Of course it is. Next question.” Well, there is a next question…

More here with discussion.

Catch Fichead ’s a Dhà

… tha e ceart, uaireannan, a bhith a’ sgrìobhadh ann am Beurla mu dheidhinn Gàidhlig – gu h-àraid ma tha thu airson gun leugh muinntir na Gàidhlig fhèin na sgriòbhas tu. Saoghal neònach…

Barrachd an seo le deasbad.

youtube—island voices project

ipadio logo

Youtube : GordonWellsUist Channel. The writer and entertainer Norman Maclean talks in English to Archie Mackay from Am Pàipear. Part of the forthcoming new Guthan nan Eilean series.

stornoway gazette

Stornoway Gazette
September 25, 2003
The College’s 50th anniversary commemorative CD launched in Benbecula

“ Briseadh an Fhearainn”, (“Breaking the Ground”), the Lews Castle College 50th anniversary commemorative CD, was launched last week at the Isle of Benbecula House Hotel. Staff and students of Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla, the Lews Castle College Benbecula Campus, gathered with other guests for a celebration and start of term social event on Thursday 18th September. David Green, Principal of Lews Castle College, was also on hand to launch the first of a weeklong programme of events to mark the college’s half-century.

“We have chosen the theme of ‘pioneers’ for our celebrations”, said David Green, “to mark the initiative and bold thinking that went into the creation of Lews Castle College 50 years ago, and projects such as this ‘Briseadh an Fhearainn’ CD underline our continuing commitment to innovation and development. I’m particularly pleased to kick off our celebrations in Benbecula, where we opened Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla only 4 years ago. In that time we have introduced core programmes in Care, IT, and Business Administration, available in the Uists for the first time, and developed from scratch additional courses in Gaelic Language and Music, and in Art and Design which serve not only a Western Isles-wide demand, but also attract incoming students from the mainland, other islands, and indeed overseas.”

Will Lamb (bouzouki) and Iain Macdonald (small pipes) are joined by students in the Old Creagorry Bar.

The evening started with a light buffet in the Function Room of the newly refurbished hotel (formerly well-known as the Creagorry Hotel). After the speeches this year’s music students entertained the company in the Old Creagorry Bar, with the help of friends, former students, and teaching staff, including Iain Macdonald of Glenuig, and Norman Chalmers of the Battlefield Band. Also in attendance, and adding to the convivial atmosphere, were a group of 20 international artists coming to the end of the fortnight long “Còmhla” workshop held by Taigh Chearsabhagh at Newton House. The evening’s entertainment was brought to a close with a rousing set from the college’s resident rock and roller, Bill Hickey.

The CD consists of a 14-track selection of some of the best work of the students on the FE Diploma in Gaelic Language and Music, and HNC in Music Performance at Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla. Course leader Dr Will Lamb said, “We can be justly proud of the work these students have done, and the progress they’ve made. Thanks to their own efforts, and with the help of some of the best known figures in Scottish traditional music today, they have produced work which is of a really high standard. The CD will serve them as a record of their own achievements, but, more importantly, will provide a good listen for anyone with an ear for Gaelic and traditional music.” The CD is on sale from both Benbecula and Stornoway campuses of Lews Castle College for £10.

craigard day centre

In his work for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Leonardo Pools Project (www.languages.dk) Gordon has been involved in creating video materials in both English and Gaelic. The focus of the project has been on beginner and intermediate language learners, with a view to helping teachers develop their own materials with the aid of current technology. Gordon has produced some sample materials, based on recordings he has made in his local community.

The approach has been theme-based, for example care for adults with disabilities, or Hebridean food. Materials have been produced at two levels – scripted documentaries for elementary learners in plain language, together with additional “in their own words” interviews with key individuals which allow more advanced learners to hear authentic speech.

The collection is assembled under the broad title of “Guthan nan Eilean” – “Island Voices”. More items will be added in due course. Click on the links to see some of the videos and transcripts:

Craigard Day Centre
Re-Store Recycling Project
Hebridean Food
Ceòlas Music Summer School
Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Art Centre
Bi Beò Songwriting Partnership

Or click here to download the full catalogue.

Sample self-teach/self-test units based on the material have also been put together for the Cothrom community training group, incorporating Kent Andersen’s Web Text Blender and some Hot Potatoes exercises.

These materials are downloadable, subject to copyleft conditions.