An Treasamh Tuil
This film was created as a response to the GUIR! Project from Glasgow Life, funded by Bord Na Gaidhlig.
GUIR! is a Gaelic arts incubation project allowing artists to explore different ways of engaging with Gaelic culture.
I took part in GUIR! In the spring and summer of 2021. This film is a meditation on my time on the project, which featured sessions with Tobar an Dualchais, lectures from Ronald Black, Michael Newton, Ruairidh MacIlleathain and was steered by the playwright and poet Rona MacDonald.
The speaker you hear is the environmentalist, philosopher and writer Alastair McIntosh, with whom I was absolutely delighted to get a chance to work. Alastair and I talked on Zoom for an hour about the history of the Oyster Catcher, lost lands of the Gaels, folk tales and climate change, in response to a series of questions inspired by the journey I’d been on with the GUIR! project.
The song that features in this film is called Brìdean Niall Alasdair and was sung by my late Uncle Hugh Brown, Eoghan a’ Ghlinne of Colonsay. The song is in the Colonsay dialect of Gaelic and tells the story of an oyster catcher’s flight over the island and some of the things it sees bellow. This song has lingered in my memory ever since I was a child. I remember my Gran and Uncle Hugh singing it with great affection.
Thank you to my Aunty Morag Law and my cousin Ruaridh Law for sourcing the recording and sharing it with me. Ruaridh had previously used samples from the song in his Dileab Chobhlasach release, which was created to accompany our Gran’s book of the same name, which his Mum, Morag, edited.
The film was all filmed in North West Mull near Croig where I also edited the film, wrote and performed the music. The sounds of the birds were all recorded in the area, apart from one brief bird call. The first person to tell me which bird it is and when it can be heard will receive a complimentary Tales Fae the East mug for their effort.
Taing mhòr! Gun robh math agad!