Christine Primrose to hold Scottish Gaelic Song Workshop in NYC Dec. 13

Primrose photo

Scottish Gaelic learners and fans of Gaelic song in the New York area will have a unique opportunity to meet and study with one of the leading exponents of Gaelic song in Scotland this December, Christine Primrose. The New York Caledonian Club will present a workshop with Primrose on Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 7-9 pm, at Studios 353 (353 West 48th Street, Manhattan, 2nd floor) near Times Square in New York City. Admission is $40 for ACGA and NYCC members, and $45 for non-members.

Primrose, who was born and brought up in Carloway, on the Island of Lewis, has been singing for as long as she can remember.  “Singing was an ordinary thing to do,” she said in an interview with ACGA board member Liam Ó Caiside in 2002. “My father’s uncle was always making me sing because he was a singer himself. He’d call me into his shed, saying, “Dè na h-òrain a-nis a tha thu ‘g ionnsachadh?” Which songs are you learning now?”

Her first album, Àite mo Ghaoil, was released in 1982. Primrose is credited with “breaking the mould” that had Gaelic singers performing largely for Gaelic-speaking audiences by taking her songs to audiences in folk clubs and concert halls far from the Hebrides.

Since the 1980s, she has travelled the world singing and teaching, blazing a path that many other Gaelic singers have followed, touring the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Europe. She is Head of Gaelic Song at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye, where she teaches short courses and full-time classes on the BA (Hons) Gaelic & Traditional Music Program. She has won many awards for her singing, amongst them Gaelic Singer of the Year at the Traditional Music Awards in 2009.

Primrose also has been an instructor at ACGA’s Grandfather Mountain Scottish Gaelic Song and Language Week in Banner Elk, North Carolina, most recently in 2014. This year, Primrose was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

This fall Primrose and Temple Records released Gràdh is Gonadh – Guth ag aithris (Love and Loss – a Lone Voice), an hour of unaccompanied Gaelic singing “delivered with the clarity and emotional expression of a true and very natural virtuoso,” as the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame said in a statement. Scottish Gaelic writer Angus Peter Campbell called it “a masterpiece, every note and every syllable here is a note of grace.”

Speakers, learners and friends of Gaelic in New York are fortunate the New York Caledonian Club, which offers Gaelic language classes, will present this unique opportunity to meet and learn from Primrose. Attendees may register and pay via PayPal through the www.nycaledonian.org website, or checks may be sent to: Attn: Christine Primrose Workshop, New York Caledonian Club, PO Box 4542, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-4542.

For more information, call 212-662-1083 or e-mail Barbara.Rice@nycaledonian.org.

 

Criomagan: Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean

Giant

This is the second of our criomagan — short stories or news bits from Scottish Gaelic periodicals published in North America early in the 20th Century. We’ll be publishing these pieces weekly for you to enjoy and try your hand at translation. Send us your work!

Like the first, this criomag is from the premiere issue of Fear na Céilidh, a monthly periodical published in Sydney, Nova Scotia in the 1920s and early 1930s. A translation of last week’s story, is at the bottom. Click back to the link above to review the Gaelic.

And so for this week’s blast from the past, on to “Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean.”

Còmhradh nam Fuamhairean

Bha na fuamhairean ri’m faighinn gu math tric anns na seann sgeulachdan. Ach ged bha iad mòr, trom, làidir, agus fiadhaich, cha bu chùis-eagail sam bith iad do neach a bha car innleachdach na dhòigh: dhèante an gnothach orra soirbh gu leòr.

Tha sin a leigeil ris nach robh mòran toinisg anns na cinn aca, ged bha tomad neo-chumanta mòr annta. Tha sgeul air trì de na daoine biastail, mòra sin a bha ag còmhnaidh cuideachd ann an uaimh, agus a’ dèanamh am beòlaint mar a dh’fhaodadh iad.

Latha bha ann, thuirt fear de na fuaimhairean: “Chuala mi geum bà!” An ceann latha ‘s bliadhna, dh’fhaighnich an dàrna fear: “Gu dè sud a thuirt thu rium an là roimhe?” Agus an ceann latha ‘s bliadhna eile, thuirt an treas fuamhair: “Mur sguir sibhse dhe ur boilich, fàgaidh mise an uaimh agaibh fhèin!”

Ma bha an corr seanchais eatorra, cha deach a chur an eachdraidh. Agus ged bhiodh iad ag còmhradh riamh o’n uair sin, cha bu mhòr an leabhar a lìonadh e, ge do b’fhiach a chur ann.

We hope you enjoyed the story (and joke). We’ll publish a translation next week.

Here’s a translation of last week’s item:

“With every horrible act reported in the newspapers, people are inclined to think the world is truly going to evil. But one must remember that affairs have greatly changed over the last twenty or fifty years. At that time people had no news but what would come from a little portion of their own country: Murder and rapine occurring in other lands they would never hear about in their lives. Today, one gets reports from every corner of the world, and it’s the bad news that is swiftest to reach us.”

Here’s the original (from 1928!):

Leis gach gnìomh oillteil air am faighear fios anns na pàipeirean, tha daoine buailteach air bhi smaoineachadh gu’m bheil an saoghal a’ sìor dhol dh’ionnsaidh an uilc.  Ach feumar a chuimhneachadh gu’m bheil cùisean air atharrachadh gu mòr o chionn dà fhichead no leth-cheud bliadhna. Aig an am sin cha bhiodh de naidheachdan aig an t-sluagh ach na thigeadh à earainn bhig de’n dùthaich fhèin: bhiodh mort (ag)us reubainn a’ dol air adhart an dùthchannan eile air nach faigheadh iad forfhais ri’m beò. An-diugh, bithear a’ faighinn brath a h-uile latha as gach cearna de’n t-saoghal, agus ‘s i an droch-sgeul a’s luaithe ruigeas sinn.”