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Project to celebrate life of St Columba seeks Gaelic speaking musician for online performance at Blas 2021

By Val Sweeney

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Scottish Fèisean musicians in Dundalk.
Scottish Fèisean musicians in Dundalk.

A call has gone out for a Gaelic-speaking musician as part of a project celebrating the life and legacy of St Columba.

Colmcille1500 – 1500 years on from the saint’s birth will promote the heritage of the saint whose abbey of Iona linked Ireland, Scotland and beyond.

To mark this, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Colmcille Fund, is seeking proposals from a Gaelic-speaking musician, based in Scotland, to work alongside a musical partner in Ireland.

They will arrange suitable traditional music and Gaelic song for a performance to be premiered online at Blas 2021.

The proposed performance should last approximately 30 minutes and include traditional Scottish and Irish music and song.

This will be pre-recorded remotely by participants from across the Fèis movement, as well as young musicians from Ireland and Cape Breton, and the performance will be streamed as part of this year’s Blas Festival in November.

Arthur Cormack, of Fèisean nan Gàidheal, said: "In addition to our normal annual Blas commission, we are very happy to be able to offer an opportunity to bring together young musicians from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, albeit remotely, at the same time as offering an employment opportunity for musicians who have found the past year-and-a-half very difficult.

"St Columba has a special place in the heritage of the Celtic countries and we would very much like this to be celebrated through this new commission."

David Boag, of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: "We welcome this project as part of Colmcille 1500 and the opportunities it will afford participants to come together, use Gaelic and showcase Gaelic culture.

"This will also give a chance to viewers at home across the world to celebrate Colmcille 1500 as part of the 2021 Blas Festival."

Proposals should be submitted to Nicola Simpson at nicola@feisean.scot

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