July 23rd - 29th 2022

Player Sessions

Creach na Ciadaoin [‘Wednesday’s bereavement’]

James Ruff

75 mins

Level: All

Thursday July 28th

15:30 - 16:45 GMT +1

Support Material

Must have appropriate ticket to download support material


Event Overview

Learn a vocal lament on the death of clan chief on the Isle of Skye, Iain Breac MacLeod (1637–1693), by Ruaraidh Mac Mhuirich [Roderick Morison], ‘the blind harper’, set to a tune historically associated with this poem in Gaelic tradition. The harper constructs his lament – usually a poet’s greatest and most solemn theme – in the tradition of the minstrels, the more popular musicians in Scotland, and in their common form: the òran or international song form. It is remarkable for its touching and personal emotion, here reflecting Ruaraidh’s exile from Dunvegan at that time, and from his beloved friend and chief. To set this piece in context, we will briefly look at a contrasting example of bardic poetic forms usually used for more formal lament. We will play the melody, learn to pronounce a few verses of the Scottish-Gaelic text, and devise a historically plausible version for early clàrsach that you can play as you sing. James will perform this song in his lecture-recital on Day 3.

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