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Musical project celebrating ancient song comes to Belfast

Oran Bagraidh, a residency of ten of the UK and Ireland’s finest traditional poets and musical artists which has brought an extinct dialect of Galloway Gaelic to life through song, will play Belfast on Tuesday, 30 July.

The show – which has been dubbed as having the ability to conjure ‘the soul of these islands’ – comprises vocalists using five languages of Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Scots and English and medieval instruments: crwth and northern triple pipes, as well as fiddle, harp, accordion and electronics.

Showcasing tracks from their unique multilingual album to live audiences this summer, the group will perform at Áras Mhic Reachtain.

Oran Bagraidh is the result of an exciting residency which took place in Galloway in September 2018, inspired by the discovery of an ancient revenge song which is the only surviving example of the extinct dialect of Galloway Gaelic, spoken across the region from the 5th to 18th Century.

The diverse live line-up includes award winning Scots/Gaelic singer Josie Duncan, lauded Irish song archaeologist Lorcán Mac Mathúna, former Welsh poet laureate and singer Gwyneth Glyn, celebrated Irish Sean-Nós singer Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, Belfast fiddler Conor Caldwell, ancient instrument virtuoso Barnaby Brown, poet, singer and performance artist MacGillivray, medieval Welsh duo Bragod and Tim Lane on percussion.

In coming together for this project, the collective re-invigorate past peoples and languages and celebrate Gaelic heritage in the south of Scotland.

Oran Bagraidh residency producer Katch Holmes said: “The ten traditional poets and musical artists which make up this truly unique residency are looking forward to celebrating a part of forgotten Gaelic past and heritage on tour this summer.

“This project is an important exploration of language and culture and we can’t wait to bring this hypnotic fusion of historic language, instrumentals and poetry to new live audiences in Belfast.”

The show has already played at Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan, Wales, Knockengorroch Festival in Galloway and Carsphairn Village Hall as part of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival. Áras Mhic Reachtain in Belfast on Tuesday 30 July will be the last show of this run.

The project is a commission by Knockengorroch and funded by PRSF Beyond Borders, Culture Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Carsphairn Renewable Energy Fund and supported by Barscobe Heritage Trust.

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