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 →
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 →
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 →