StAnza’s Gaelic feast: from Sorley MacLean to 'A Thousand Sails'

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Lurach are set to bring sweet music to StAnza

StAnza's Gaelic Focus  brings together poetry, art and music in a celebration of the richness ofGaelic language and culture. The festival has appointed its first ever Gaelic Poet-in-Residence: Maoilios Caimbeul (Myles Campbell) the acclaimed poet from Skye. He will betaking part in several readings, workshops and events including a special series of tributes to Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean), the influential Gaelic poet, whose anniversary year this is.

The highlight of these tributes will be a special concert by the soloist Lesley-Jane Rogers and members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the University of St Andrews Chamber Orchestra. They will be performing - for the very first time - new settings for poems by MacGill-Eain, the winning entries in StAnza’s composition competition. The judging has just been completed and we’ll be revealing more about the winners very soon.

Among several wonderful exhibitions at StAnza, Catriona Taylor’s A Thousand Sails offers a visual response to the profoundly Gaelic themes of emigration, clearance and journeys. The exhibition is complemented by a display of Gaelic manuscripts from the rich archives of the Scottish Poetry Library. And the Gaelic theme is continued in a series of poetry films.

Helping to launch StAnza on 16th March will be Mairi and Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul, native Gaelic speakers whose love of Scottish traditional music is deep-rooted, but whose music also draws on jazz, world music, and the classical. And to see the festival out on the 20th, will be Lurach, a quartet of talented musicians who learned their skills in the Outer Hebrides and are certain to get everybody’s feet tapping.