eBook launch- Coasts and Waters: Tunes and songs from the Western Isles
A legacy resource from Dileab: Air a’ chuan and e-Ceilidh nan Og
This live event will launch an exciting new eBook music resource created by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Instrumental Music Service together with the Comhairle’s Multi-media Unit. The event will be compered by Evelyn Coull-MacLeod ( CnES Gaelic Education Manager) and Alice MacMillan ( S6 pupil at the Nicolson Institute, Isle of Lewis) and will feature pre-recorded videos and live performances of some of the material contained in the book, performed by learners from schools in the Western Isles.
The background to the eBook project can be found below.
The Western Isles have a rich cultural heritage, and a wealth of musical talent exists amongst those living in our communities, from the Butt of Lewis right down to Barra, as well as many musicians from the islands now living on the mainland and further afield. A vast amount of musical activity takes place on a daily basis in the Western Isles: music lessons, concerts, sessions, various group rehearsals, choir practices etc. however, when the Coronavirus pandemic struck sadly this came to a halt. Despite this, musicians were still busy at home playing, singing, composing music and writing songs and instrumental lessons for our school pupils have continued online.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wanted to find a way to share the musical talent of our islanders, keep the music flowing and use it in a positive way to engage & unite our communities to lift our spirits during the difficult times. At the start of the lockdown in 2020, staff from the Instrumental Music Service, through the Education Skills & Children’s Services department, and together with our Multimedia Unit worked on the development of an e-Cèilidh project to meet these aims. From this evolved e-Cèilidh nan Òg.
The main driver for this follow-on project, targeted for primary pupils across our Western Isles schools was that, due to the pandemic, the local Mòds, which so many pupils would have been taking part in, were cancelled. The initial plan was to hold a one-day long event in May 2020. However, the response to requests for contributions was so large that the e-Cèilidh nan Òg event was redesigned into 6 separate events which ran between May and October 2020. The emphasis for e-Cèilidh nan Òg was on inclusiveness, maximising participation, having fun and celebrating Gaelic language & culture
Following a successful application to Bord nan Gaidhlig, a funding award was made to CnES to assist with the costs of producing a physical resource & further digital resources as a legacy of the e-Cèilidh nan Òg project consisting of music and songs from the e-Cèilidh nan Òg broadcasts together with some of the songs and music commissioned for and performed at the Dileab: Air a Chuan concert at Celtic Connections in January 2020, which celebrated the cultural theme of Scotland’s Year of Coasts & Waters and which has been running throughout 2020 & 2021.
The e-Book contains sheet music and lyrics, suitable for performance by pupils in primary school onwards, and includes melody lines and chord notation allowing for performance on a wide range of instruments, including chanter/bagpipes and both solo and group performance. To accompany the sheet music, further downloadable digital resources have been produced. These consist of tutorial & play-along videos and backing tracks. The inclusion of backing tracks allows for the music to be played or sung solo.
Information on each item is also included to give users of the e-Book an understanding of the background, cultural, historical and local significance of the material. In addition, cross curricular lesson plans have been produced to allow pupils and teachers to explore themes connected with the music. These lesson plans are available for Early, First & Second Level and will allow for whole class/school topic based mini- projects to be developed to meet areas of CfE.
More information on the e-Cèilidh and e-Cèilidh nan Òg projects, Dileab and the CnES Instrumental Music Service can be found on the following links: