Ceilidh Culture Comeback

Along with recent initiatives to redevelop the Gaelic language there have also been efforts made to revive Scotland’s ceilidh culture. As Gaelic-speaking began to diminish in certain areas so too did the music and traditions of the inhabitants. Today, more people seem to have a renewed interest in Scotland’s ceilidh culture and old forms of entertainment and social interaction seem to be making a comeback.

Ceilidh Dancing. Courtesy of gstatic.com

Ceilidh culture doesn’t just refer to traditional set dancing and bag-pipe playing but refers to the festival culture of the entire Gaelic community. Continue reading

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Meet Blueflint- Scotland’s foremost banjo group

Traditionally when you think of Scottish music, the sounds of bagpipes will probably start filling your brain. It certainly wouldn’t cross your mind that banjo-playing would be a feature of the country’s music scene. After all, the Scots are not exactly famous for their bluegrass tradition. However, this niche genre is growing in prominence in Scotland thanks to the music of the Edinburgh-based group, Blueflint.

The band is the brainchild of childhood friends Deborah Arnott and Clare Neilson. Having lost touch after hanging out as teenagers, the pair met again years later through mutual friends. They were both learning the banjo separately at the time and started playing together and Blueflint was born.  Continue reading

Artist Profile- Wendy McCarroll Sandeman

With a huge array of artists spread across the 3 Har­bours Fes­ti­val, there was no short­age of tal­ent in the area. Among the artists with exhi­bi­tions in Cocken­zie Power Sta­tion was local res­i­dent Wendy McCar­roll Sande­man. Orig­i­nally from Ire­land, Wendy has a stu­dio in Coburg House in Leith as well as work­ing from her home in Cocken­zie.

The envi­ron­ment was the dom­i­nant theme of Wendy’s dis­play at this year’s exhi­bi­tion. “I’ve been very con­cerned about the area because it’s actu­ally a con­ser­va­tion area,” Wendy explains. “But because it’s a bit off the beaten track peo­ple don’t take as much care of it as they should”. Cocken­zie and Port Seton also has some listed build­ings and Wendy is con­cerned that the place might be dis­ap­pear­ing a lit­tle bit. But she also feels the pos­i­tive impact of events like the Fes­ti­val on the community. Continue reading