Re: [Taransayfiddlers] Silence falls after a decade of musical bliss for the fiddlers of Taransay
And I’m thinking of that Rayburn forlornly cold with it’s clinker filled ash pan and half burnt, congealed, 6 pack wrappers. Good riddance to the antiquated horror! But of course I’ll miss the early morning bird craick with Chris and others as we restored the kitchen to a condition fit for the arrival of our queens of the kitchen across the dew dappled grass form the “lairds” house.
Ten years and ten summer highlights to recall, a slice of musical education and island co habitation which I suspect will now assume legendary status. Everybody has their highlights and we were there and saw it all from Sumo wrestling to the views of Scarp and St. Kilda from the trig point and that run back down the ridge over the slabs and short grass was one of the best. Sometimes keeping the eyes open during a warm midday lesson was hard but then there was the time when I may have been the only one awake enough to look and catch Buddy repeating the wrong jig measure. He caught my eye cross the room and gave a slow Cape Breton wink and one of his understated Buddy smiles. I still remember that time and of course the famous camper van expedition around Cape Breton which was a uniquely special experience and one of the best holidays ever.
But I agree that the greatest part of what Dolan and the team have done is to fire up fiddle music in the outer Hebridies and to acquaint musicians from everywhere else with the area’s culture and landscapes.
Well done guys, you have helped retrieve the music from some of the reputedly fiddle unfriendly ayatollahs in your past.
The end of Planet Fidhle
So here I am again. This is sadly the last programme in the series. After many years, the Fidhle tribe is moving on from its settlement here on the island of Taransay. This is not being spoken about openly in the tribe, but various signs and symbols are evident in their dealings with each other.
Ceremonial goblets have been issued to each member of the tribe. An archive of some of the tribal wisdom – in terms of the TEWNS they have played and the food, cooked by elders Isobel and Catherine – is being ritually offered to all tribal members in exchange for monetary coinage.
Kenny, one of the elders, has also written a symphonic scale work which attempts to encapsulate the shared experience of the whole tribal community over the years.
In other respects, this year is similar to others. The wise ones (called TEWTORS) who hold the knowledge and wisdom of the TEWNS, have continued to pass on this wisdom to the tribe at set times called CLASS-EZ. The younger tribal members have been encouraged to create new wisdom, and a ceremonial playing of these TEWNS by PATTSEE led to Robbie Leask being held up high in ritual celebration as the WIN-NER.
There have also been, as in previous years, intense gatherings called SESH-UNS, where the tribal members share their collective wisdom, assisted by ceremonial concoctions prepared by RO-OZ and her herbal acolytes.
But the question hanging over the island community is – what will happen to the elders of the tribe: DOWLANN – the one on a chair, WOOODEE – the one with a parcel, WILLY MAACREE – the one with a boat and KENNEE – the great one (assisted by the newer elders, Murdo, Alastair and Willie2)
How will they manage their time when the tribe disperses for the last time? Have they secretly bought the island to start a new tribe?
I can exclusively reveal, following extensive hacking of their phones, that they are to buy up BSkyB – which they are renaming BStornowayB, and which will continue the tribal traditions by transmitting FIDHLE TEWNS 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Chris Davidson (a.k.a. David)
Taransay Fiddle Camp 2011 (Taransay 10)
The Taransay Fiddlers have returned from the Island of Taransay where the inclement weather was of no consequence to a very busy and sucessful week.
Chaiman Dolan Morrison reports that this years camp was the largest to date with a total of ninety on the island for the camp.Many of this years students were younger players which is very encouraging for the future of traditional fiddling in Lewis and Harris.
Many extra activities took place including a historic walk,golf tournaments,fishing trips,the annual football match between the Hebrides v Rest of the World.a ceilidh and dance on Taransay and many sessions.Ian Macfarlane from Lochaber took command of the Melodeon class which this year had five students.He taught two Gaelic airs and three pipe marches for the melodeon class.
Participants this year came from Galacia,Spain,Auckland New Zealand,Melbourne Australia,Christchurch,New Zealand, as well as England and all regions of Scotland and the UK.
The tune writing competition this year was won again by Robbie Leask of Shetland.Robbie is making a habit of this and is a very competent composer.Local ladies Isobel Macritchie and Catherine Murray organised the catering to the highest of standards.
Fiddle guru Charlie Webster from Abriachan attended the camp and his fiddle surgery proved very successful with fiddles being tweaked and bows being repaired.We thank Charlie for coming to Taransay and assisting the tutors with their fiddle concerns.
Wolfstone fiddler Duncan Chisolm attended also and he proved he is a handy golfer as well as a fiddler.A big thank you goes to Duncan.Catriona Watt from stornoway sang for us at the concert on the thursday night.Catrionas` first ever public appearance was at the first ever Taransay fiddle camp so it was nice to see her at the camp again.
The final concert on the Friday night in Tarbert Community Hall was sold out with the students and tutors playing to a full house.
Performers included Lynsay Macritchie,Charlie Mackerron,,Andy Thorburn,Alistair White,Gillian Johnson with Margaret Mellon, The Taransay Gaelic Choir ,Corran Raa,Lachlan and George from down under,The box doctors,Gema from Galacia, and all the Taransay Student Fiddlers.A special thank you also to Stuart Macaulay from Stornoway for playing the big pipes at the concert on thursday and friday evenings.A very fine piper indeed.
The Gaelic choir performed the Harris anthem “Chi mi ‘n tìr ‘s an robh mi na m’ bhalach” (I see the land where I was a boy). Sandra Mackerron and Andy Thorburn again did a wonderful job with the choir in such a short space of time.
Tutors this year included,Lynsay Macritchie,Allan Henderson,Ian Macfarlane,Patsy Reid,Andy Thorburn and Alisadair White.This was Lynsays first year as a tutor and by all reports from the students she did a wonderful job.She has been attending Taransay since the very beginning.Fidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich would like to thank all the volunteers students and sponsors ,Hebridean Transport,Hotel Hebrides,Brownie Morrison Tarbert,Willie Macrae,The Mackays of Horgabost,and Al Crae.
Feidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich is a non-profit organisation which is committed to promoting the understanding and learning of traditional fiddle music through the support of fiddle instruction and related activities. Volunteers organize the Fiddle Camp, concerts, workshops. Our aim is to revitalise and nurture traditional fiddle playing in the Hebrides.