Marcas Mac an Tuairneir’s new GaelPop album – Speactram

Speactram is the exciting and innovative new album from Marcas Mac an Tuairneir. Set for release on Friday 29 July 2022, this new body of work is a watershed moment for the Gaelic music scene as it revives the Gaelic popular music tradition, bringing it back into the spotlight whilst further introducing LGBTQI+ narratives into the traditional and contemporary Gaelic song canon.

The album aims to bring back the Gaelic popular music tradition of the 1980s, that saw its advent with the likes of the 101 Band and Na Soluis Dhuibh. Both outfits mapped the Gaelic language onto musical sounds being heard on mainstream radio at the time. Marcas has successfully managed to reintroduce this concept in Speactram by encapsulating the mood of upbeat contemporary sounds into Gaelic song and introducing the genre of GaelPop – a pioneering new genre which sees Gaelic going pop.

The music within Speactram has an unmistakingly urban sound for Gaelic music and Marcas’ aim with this genre is to give an ‘in’ to those who do not comfortably fit the Gaelic paradigm or who come from non-Gaelic speaking and diverse backgrounds – primarily new speakers and young people going through Gaelic-medium Education.

While encapsulating the mood of the contemporary in Gaelic song, Marcas was also determined to address the absence of LGBTQI+ narrative within the Gaelic corpus. Speactram aims to add a gay, genderqueer voice to the language’s musical soundscape and recognise the role that queer people have always played in shaping and influencing the wider cultural scene – continually sitting at the forefront of the musical avant-garde specifically.

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, said:Speactram has been an exploration of what Gaelic pop could sound like in 2022, it harvests a multitude of influences across the popular music landscape bringing the neon lights of urban settings to the Gaelic milieu for the first time. I am incredibly proud of what the collaborators and I have achieved with this new body of work. My hope is that it gives rise to not only the GaelPop genre but also to other diverse voices being heard more prominently within the Gaelic corpus.”

The creative ethos of the album making process has been exploration and experimentation, building on relationships where Marcas is comfortable articulating the gay and genderqueer aspects of his identity creatively.

He has worked with some of the most celebrated Gaelic musicians on the scene today including Mary Ann Kennedy, who has also been the Executive Producer for the album, singers Rachel Walker and Gille MacKenzie and musician Pàdruig Morrison. Marcas also worked with singer-songwriter Adam Holmes and producer and instrumentalist Gary Keane. Nick Turner, of Watercolour music, has co-written a number of the tunes with Marcas alongside producing, mixing and mastering the album.  

Marcas has also worked with Welsh-born, Manhattan-based Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light) on the remix of ‘Bruidhinn’ which appears on this album. Having worked with the likes of Elton John and Scissor Sisters, working with Rod was a dream come true for lifelong fan Marcas and it is this collaboration that really cemented the electro-pop sound which went on to proliferate the subsequent material.

With its range of influences Speactram encapsulates the electronica vibes of the 1980s and the RnB pop of the 1990s, incorporating chart-friendly sounds from the present day. Marcas’ work with Nick Turner has been heavily influenced by the Pet Shop Boys and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Working with singer-songwriter Adam Holmes, the sounds incorporate those of the 1990s, with influences ranging from Soul II Soul to Eternal to Beverly Knight, with the song ‘Leòmhann-chridhe’ also giving a nod to the 1960s as well as contemporary RnB sounds heard more commonly today. The three songs with Gary Keane (‘Nochd’, ‘Calman’ and ‘Èirigh’) are contemporary in sound and include elements of Future Bass and EDM.

Speactram will be available to buy, stream and download from Friday 29 July. For more information, visit www.marcasmac.scot

It’s here! Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2022 has started 🌎

We are hugely excited to announce the start of the inaugural, Seachdain na Gàidhlig. Our team have been working hard in the last few weeks to encourage organisations, businesses and individuals to take part in the first ever official country-wide Gaelic language week. If you head over to our events calendar, you’ll find over 100 public events listed – how are you going to take part? No matter what level your Gaelic is at, there are different events all across Scotland for you to participate in. And for teachers, pupils and younger learners, don’t miss our activities and resources available here.

You can find out more through our official press release here: Gàidhlig / English. And don’t forget to share how you’re celebrating Seachdain na Gàidhlig online using the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig   

Resources for Schools

In partnership with Twinkl, we have been busy working on an extensive range of resources for teachers and pupils. Seachdain na Gàidhlig is open to everyone, no matter what level your Gaelic is at. For those who have little experience of the language, and in English medium education, we have packs available for both primary and secondary schools. You can watch videos with our director, Joy Dunlop, where you can find out more about the language, interesting facts and even hear some traditional Gaelic music. For those in Gaelic medium education or with more experience of the language, we have both primary and secondary content to engage pupils of all ages. 

You can find out more through our schools page and find all planners and linked resources via Twinkl here.

Why not share any photos, videos or recordings with us via social media? We’d love to see how you’re celebrating the first ever Seachdain na Gàidhlig. Use the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig – we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to.

 

How will you take part?

With over 100 events listed on our events calendar, the first ever Seachdain na Gàidhlig is off to a huge start! Events are confirmed to take place across the world, including in the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and the US, all delivering a flavour of the breadth of Gaelic activity across the globe. There are events listed for everybody, no matter what level your Gaelic is at. If you’re interested in taking your first steps with the language, why not try one of the many conversation classes, either online or in-person? These are friendly and fun groups that allow you to hear plenty of the language being used and learn some phrases. For those with some experience of Gaelic, there are a whole range of events and opportunities to use it. 

You can find out more through our events page – don’t forget to share how you’re celebrating online using the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig.

Getting started… learn your first Gaelic phrase!

If you’re new to Gaelic, na gabh dragh (don’t worry) – there are many resources available to learn your first words and phrases. Hands Up for Trad have a brilliant resource with some really easy-to-learn phrases as part of the Say A Gaelic Phrase Day. Here are a few to get you started:

Discover more via Hands Up For Trad here. Why not share your own Gaelic word or phrase on social media for Seachdain na Gàidhlig using the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig.

Meet the Seachdain na Gàidhlig team

Ahead of the first ever Seachdain na Gàidhlig, here’s a little more about each of our team members:

Joy Dunlop – Director

’S mise Joy Dunlop agus ’s e Stiùiriche Seachdain na Gàidhlig a th’ annam. ’S ann às a’ Choingheal ann an Earraghàidheal a tha mi bho thùs ach tha mi a-nis a’ fuireach ann an Glaschu. ’S e craoladair a th’ annam agus bidh mi a’ lìbhrigeadh na h-aimsire ann an Gàidhlig agus Beurla air BBC Scotland agus BBC ALBA. Tha mi cuideachd nam phreasantair SpeakGaelic, goireas ùr ioma-mheadhanach gus Gàidhlig ionnsachadh agus a chleachdadh. Dh’ionnsaich mi fhìn Gàidhlig agus mar sin, ’s e fìor urram a bhith an sàs ann.

’S e seinneadair agus dannsair a th’ annam cuideachd agus tha mi air mo bheò-ghlacadh le òrain Ghàidhlig, gu h-àraidh feadhainn às an sgìre agam fhìn. ’S fìor thoil leam còisirean agus tha mi nam bhall de Atomaig Piseag agus Ceòlraidh Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu. Bidh mi cuideachd a’ stiùireadh Còisir Ceann an Tuirc agus Còisir Alba, a riochdaich Alba air Eurovision – abair deagh chothrom a bha sin dhomh!

Saoilidh mi gur e iomairt air leth cudromach a th’ ann an Seachdain na Gàidhlig leis gun toir e cothrom do dhaoine sealbh a ghabhail air a’ chànan ann an dòigh a fhreagras orra fhèin. Tha rudeigin ann dhan a h-uile duine; feadhainn aig an robh I bhon ghlùin, luchd-ionnsachaidh agus daoine aig nach eil an cànan fhathast. Tha mi a’ dèanamh fiughair mhòr ris an t-seachdain agus tha mi an dòchas gu bheil sibhse cuideachd.

Murdo MacSween – Social Media

Murchadh MacSuain. Niseach, ann a Glaschu. Bha mi ag obair sna meadhanan aig a’ BhBC agus an uairsin MG ALBA ach thòisich mi an companaidh agam fhìn (Astar Media) an-uiridh agus tha mi trang a’ dèanamh rudan tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig. Tha mi smaoineachadh gu bheil mi èibhinn, ach chan eil mi.

I’m Murdo MacSween, from Ness in the Isle of Lewis but based in Glasgow. I worked for years at the BBC and then at MG ALBA but last year I started my own company (Astar Media), still working in Gaelic. I think I’m funny, but I know I amn’t.

Grant McFarlane – Administrator

My name is Grant McFarlane – I’m the Administrator for Seachdain na Gàidhlig. I have been learning Gaelic with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for three years (distance learning). I am really happy to be working with team SnaG! I am a musician and arts practitioner from Paisley. 

I studied traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutorage of Ian Muir & John Somerville and went on to compete in the BBC Young Traditional Musician competition as a finalist in 2013 & 2017. I have performed in a number of bands over the years and I’ve been very lucky to travel internationally, including performances in Australia, India and the USA.

I have my own ceilidh band, Scotia Ceilidh Band, who perform regularly at events across the UK. In 2014, I founded Fèis Phàislig – an arts organisation that provides opportunities in traditional music and Gaelic culture for young people across Renfrewshire!

Chris Hunt – PR & Marketing

My name is Chris and I do the PR, ensuring our team, partners and press all know what we and everyone involved wants to shout about. I’ve been working freelance for Hands Up for Trad since 2018 across their cultural programme, and just love working with such talented people in music and language for this beautiful country, and I respect and wholly support protecting, growing and nurturing our culture.

I am a huge Sassenach fan of all things Scottish, and work in development for both contemporary and historic Scotland’s creatives industries. I come from a family who danced, played instruments and sang for work and our suppers. Having family here in Fife, where I live now, I first visited Edinburgh as a child. I started work in the culture and textiles sectors from my teens onwards and permanently moved from London to Glasgow in 2003 whilst establishing my own business Genuine Scotland, working in promotion and events. I also established Scotland ReDesign in 2005, a social enterprise for fashion and design workers and I married my husband in 2016, relocating to Dundee & Tayside in 2018.

You can stay up-to-date with all things Seachdain na Gàidhlig across all social media channels. Join us today and don’t forget to use the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig.

Feeling Social?

Seachdain na Gàidhlig are busy promoting Gaelic, events and more across all social media channels. Follow, like, subscribe across the channels below to stay up-to-date on opportunities and events taking place throughout the first ever national Gaelic week this March.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sngaidhlig/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sngaidhlig

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sngaidhlig/

TikTok: Seachdain na Gàidhlig

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEWYl_m0y-16XhKPjsQDldA

And if you’re sharing any of your own events, videos or posts around Seachdain na Gàidhlig, don’t forget to use the hashtags #SeachdainNaGàidhlig #Gàidhlig.

Job Opportunity – Social Media Content Creator

This is an exciting opportunity for a Social Media Content Creator to be part of Seachdain na Gàidhlig. Closing date – Friday 10th December.

Job Opportunity – Seachdain na Gàidhlig Administrator

Interesting in being part of the Seachdain na Gàidhlig team? Closing date – Friday 10th December.