Am Bratach No. 195
January 2008

Blas Festival latest invite for minstrels

Ùrachadh, the group of Caithness and Sutherland Gaelic singers and musicians — presently preparing for their first appearance at Celtic Connections on January 25 — have further dates to add to their diary, following an approach from the Blas Festival.

Blas was devised by Highland Council in partnership with Fèisean nan Gàidheal and the Promoters Arts Network. Now in its fourth year, it will take shows to dozens of venues across the Highlands from September 5 to 13 2008.

Ùrachadh, a multimedia show, combines live performances with breathtaking photography and sound recordings, a number of the latter from the national archives of the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University.

The 10-day tour undertaken by the group in August of last year, included a stop at Aros, the leading Isle of Skye arts centre run by a group of businessmen which includes Arthur Cormack, the well known Gaelic singer and impresario. Mr Cormack, who is also director of Fèisean nan Gàidheal, told the Bratach: “I’d just like to put on record how much I enjoyed the performance at Aros...For me, it was one of the highlights of 2007...and one of the true celebrations of Highland Culture.”

Ùrachadh, a project of Taigh na Gàidhlig Mhealanais, embraces 400 years of music, song and poetry composition in Assynt and the Reay Country, from the early masterpieces of piper-bard, Iain Dall Mackay, to compositions by some of the artistes themselves. .

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