A special event in Ely, 5th September 2015

This was our first concert after the summer holidays and, after some hard work at rehearsals, we hit the road on a sunny Saturday afternoon for a special concert in Ely. We had been invited to play for attendees at a conference organised by prestigious The Chartered Institute of Linguists. A visiting group of linguists from Germany had expressed a specific interest in hearing more about Gaelic and, with others, we helped provide a musical exploration of songs and tunes drawn from across the Celtic world.

Earlier in the day, the group had attended both a formal lecture on Gaelic languages and a performance of Gaelic song and dance which had clearly proved both enjoyable and highly instructive. Our role was to round off the day with a further musical journey. In this we were very ably assisted by Barbara Wibbelmann who provided a wonderful rendition of a number of songs in Scots Gaelic, accompanied at different times by our great friends from the Cambridge Folk Club, Marion Treby (keyboard) and Les Ray (guitar).

For our part, we sang songs (in English) and tunes from Brittany, Asturias and Galicia, as well as some songs from the French tradition and some of our own songs written in traditional style. There was also the opportunity to say a few words about how we go about the translation process ourselves.

I am pleased to report that, in a comfortable room at The Maltings in Ely, the audience proved very attentive and, from the feedback received, clearly enjoyed our and Barbara’s contributions very much.

Very many thanks to the Chartered Institute of Linguists, in particular Les Ray, for the invitation to perform for their guests in Ely; it was both an honour and a joy. It was also a great preparation for a series of na-mara performances in the coming months.