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Karaoke sa Ghàidhlig

04/02/2022 1 comment

Roll over, Beethoven!

Irish-speaker Seán Ó Muiris has announced a new voluntary and non-profit initiative to replicate his work in producing an Irish language karaoke repertoire with a parallel Scottish Gaelic stream. First fruits can be tasted in the YouTube link above, with his rendition of Runrig’s classic “Alba”.

Scottish Gaelic enthusiasts “of a certain age” may recall a previous venture in the karaoke genre, spearheaded by Comann an Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, nach maireann, in collaboration with Clydebank College (also no longer with us in the shape pictured here).

IMG_3421

As Gordon Wells’s notes to that pioneering production point out, “Scottish Gaels had of course … developed their own (pre-electronic) means of musical entertainment without instrumental backing, in the shape of puirt-à-beul…”. He also remarked that “Singing can be very helpful for the language learner. It allows you to concentrate on your pronunciation, and helps to fix unfamiliar vocabulary in your memory.” So, given that the original cassette-based package may not have fully withstood the test of time, this new venture in the world of Gaelic karaoke could well be overdue!

Seán makes the point strongly that his innovative approach is undertaken in a completely voluntary capacity, without any institutional backing, for the benefit of the Gaelic languages. You can hear him talking about it in detail in this interview in Irish for RTE. With over 100 karaoke versions of Irish songs on his YouTube channel he now wishes to start something similar for Scottish Gaelic and is offering to run free training seminars for anyone who might be interested in helping out.

His graphic below gives more detail:

KsaGHiRes

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, Video

Same-time Sub-titles

30/01/2021 4 comments

Archie Campbell’s peatcutting skills and lore – well-known to Island Voices followers – were given a sparkling fresh polish in the progress report from the Gaelic Automatic Speech Recognition project being led by Will Lamb – another Island Voices veteran.

While the overall aim of the project is more ambitious still, the new Gaelic audio alignment tool was unveiled as a step along the way, using videos from our Series 2 collections, particularly featuring the ever-popular Peatcutting documentary plus the talking head interview clips of Archie talking about the work and associated social customs.

Will’s tweet shows a short sample clip.

But you can see the videos in full (plus another documentary sample looking at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig) by following this link. (Clips 724-726 for the peatcutting, 746 for SMO.)

This raises an interesting question for Island Voices, going forward. We’ve generally avoided adding sub-titles to our videos – with some specific exceptions – though we have made a point of supplying scrollable read-along Clilstore transcripts in almost all cases. This latest innovation suggests on-screen same-time sub-titles may be about to become an additional option – for our Gaelic films at least. What do our followers think of that?

 

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, Research, Video

Gaelic Speech Recognition

29/01/2021 2 comments

Island Voices have made a significant contribution to this fascinating project led by Will Lamb, formally of Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla and now at Edinburgh University.

Follow the tweet, or this link, not just for a full techie description that is clearly laid out, but also to see how the transcribed videos created by the Guthan nan Eilean project have been visually enhanced by Quorate‘s text aligner to automatically produce same-language Gaelic subtitles.

It’s dazzling stuff! And this is still the beginning, thanks to the seed funding from Soillse for collaborative work. Next stages promise to bring in additional partners and much wider applications. Watch this space!

 

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, Research, UGC, Video

Locks, Links, and Languages

07/04/2020 2 comments

It’s April 2020 and the global lockdown continues, whether you’re on the West coast of Scotland or in West Bengal. We’re largely “confined to quarters” in the international bids to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet has many faults, but now offers the potential to afford mental release in times of physical restriction, at least to those fortunate to have access to it. Here’s an example.

Animesh Biswas is from Nadia, West Bengal, India. Graduating from the Department of English at the University of Kalyani, he is an independent reasearcher working on Bangla folk songs. He has no training in music, but is learning from the folk singers he meets during his research work.

Attending the North-Eastern Hill University International Language Fest in October 2019, he made acquaintance with Gordon Wells (who was speaking about Island Voices, and its potential as a model for other language communities) and they’ve maintained contact through Facebook since. Having heard him sing in Shillong, Gordon was delighted just a few days ago to receive a recording from Animesh over Facebook Messenger, made in his home in Nadia. Followed by snaps from his camera, and some toing and froing over recording revisions, the ingredients were quickly all present for a new video and Clilstore unit, presenting a Bengali song in the Baul tradition with wordlinked transcript. Ta da!

For the full wordlinked transcript, follow this Clilstore link: http://multidict.net/cs/8515

In addition, Animesh provided this English translation of the lyrics of the song:

You wish to chain my hands and my feet. How will you chain my mind?

You may shut my eyes and my mouth. How will you bind my spirit?

I couldn’t go to the banks of the Jamuna to fetch water. Nor, Sakhi, could I get a glimpse of him who stirs my passion.

You may refuse my wishes and deny my caress. How will you confine my passion?

I bring no shame to my family, nor stigma. What’s wrong with making him a garland round my body?

You may lock me in a room, block my way. How will you alter the cosmic design?

How?

Animesh describes the Baul tradition as being at the confluence of Vaishnavism, Sufism, and Tantric Buddhism. Devotion to the Almighty is the essential component, here expressed through the love of the devotee Radha for Krishna.

Speaking of this song, he says “I think in a way it conveys how pent-up we are in today’s world. Even though in literature we get to visit our dreamland vividly, in actual life it is a distant possibility.”

Perhaps we may also take inspiration from Radha’s spirit of defiance and determination to transcend earthly shackles in a period of physical privation?

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, Research, UGC, Video

“An Èisteachd nam Bàrd”

18/01/2020 Leave a comment

Maggie Smith has been quietly putting a series of fascinating poetry podcasts she’s made on her website over the past few months. With the recent addition of the fourth and final one, the series is now complete. The table below will give you quick links to this full series of poetic Lewis voices. Follow the “Blogpost” link to get to Maggie’s introduction, or go straight to the podcast via “Soundcloud”.

We’ve added it to our dedicated Magaidh Smith page too, where you can also find links to her collections of stories and dramas. Happy listening!

Podcast Links
1. Domhnall Greumach, Tolstadh Bho Thuath, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
2. Criosaidh NicIomhair, Breascleit, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
3. Tormod MacLeoid Siadar a’ Chladaich, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud
4. Uilleam MacMhathain, Na Fleasarain, An Rubha, Eilean Leòdhais Blogpost
Soundcloud

 

Categories: Audio, Community, Research, UGC

End of Ipadio

05/05/2019 Leave a comment

Well, this is sad news, if not unexpected.

“Dear friends, loyal broadcasters, educators, explorers, adventurers, fund-raisers, commentators, reporters and all round great people.

Sadly, ipadio will soon be shutting down :(. As a free service that has never wanted to spoil your fun with adverts there is only so long we can keep it going and the time has come for us to say farewell.

We are immensely proud of all the great things you, our community, have done with the technology we created and our lives are richer for sharing in all your stories. So a huge thank you to you all!

We are now closed to new registrations but the broadcasting platform, the apps and the management daashboard will remain up and working until the 3rd June 2019.

So sorry we can’t continue to support all your fascinating and inspiring channels.

Thanks Again & Goodbye

The ipadio Team”

Island Voices has put a good number of audio recordings online using Ipadio, so we’ll have to migrate these to a different platform now. This may take some time. Please bear with us…

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, UGC

Dramatic Recordings!

15/04/2019 1 comment

Maggie's postMagaidh Smith has been busy since her conversation with Gordon Wells in February! In the latest post on her website she introduces a new series of Gaelic recordings consisting of a collection of dramas conceived and produced on Lewis. As she explains, these formed a part of the work of the community group Cabraich. Originating in 2007 the works have seen various adaptations and translations since then, and they’re now available as open access audio files online.

But that’s not all! The Guthan nan Eilean project was pleased to introduce Magaidh to the Clilstore platform, which enables anyone to place an online transcript beside a media file (video or audio), so that you can listen and read at the same time – an invaluable aid for someone who’s learning the language, especially as the text is “wordlinked”. This means you can check any new vocabulary with a single click as you go.

Here’s the table of Magaidh’s new recordings.

Drama Credits Links
An Cèilidhiche

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach
Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn, Alasdair Mac Ill Fhinnein
Clàradh: Dòmhnall Saunders
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Fo Sgàile Shuaineabhail

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh: Keith Stringer, Uig Media
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Coinneach Tormod Mo Dhuine

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Alasdair Caimbeul
Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh:Keith Stringer, Uig Media
Soundcloud
Clilstore
Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag

 

Sgrìobhaiche: Eric I Dòmhnallach Cleasachd: Magaidh Nic a Ghobhainn
Clàradh:Dòmhnall Saunders
Soundcloud
Clilstore

We’ve also created a new Magaidh Smith Island Voices page which brings together all her recordings – all now also available through Clilstore.

Categories: Audio, CALL, Community, UGC

Shantiniketan Presentations

24/03/2019 Leave a comment

 

Island Voices co-ordinator Gordon Wells’s “lightning tour” of India concluded with a session in the Bhasha Bhavana (Languages Building) of the world-famous Visva Bharati University at Shantiniketan. Wearing hats from both Guthan nan Eilean and Soillse (for which he is the project manager), Gordon Wells delivered a summary of the overall Island Voices project while highlighting the partnership with Soillse, particularly in relation to Saoghal Thormoid.

Conchúr Ó Giollagáin’s talk. (Click to enlarge.)

CFEL publications. (Click to enlarge.)

Like the previously visited Jadavpur University in Kolkata, Shantiniketan also hosts a Centre for Endangered Languages, another link in a chain that connects many different parts of India. Soillse Director, Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, who also spoke in all three venues on the tour, is keen to develop dialogue and links between Irish and Scottish Gaelic interests and Indian efforts and initiatives to protect and promote linguistic diversity. In his talks on Irish and Scottish Gaelic culture and demography he noted in particular the striking disparity in international academic attention and resources devoted to India, with its rich mix of languages and cultures, in comparison with, for example, Western Europe which has far less linguistic variety.

The speakers, hosted by Profs Kailash Pattanaik and Abhijit Sen. (Click to enlarge.)

Both visitors certainly found Shantiniketan an inspiring venue to complete their tour, where they were warmly received by faculty members, research scholars, and students, and treated to a fascinating tour of the campus, as well as Rabindra Bhavan, which houses the Rabindranath Tagore museum.

Rabindranath Tagore’s house. (Click to enlarge.)

A PDF of Gordon’s presentation with live links can be viewed here.

Talking with Magaidh Smith

08/02/2019 1 comment

Facebook turns up gems sometimes! A reply to a post in the “Scottish Gaelic Speakers Unite!” group led Gordon Wells to uncover a new (to him) Gaelic treasure trove – the online world of Magaidh Smith. Old classmates from the early days of Ceòlas, they met again this week, this time in Glasgow, when Gordon was able to quiz Magaidh on what she’s been up to in more recent years, including traditional tales, drama, poetry and local history. She’s not been idle!

Clearly, Magaidh’s work chimes nicely with the Guthan nan Eilean orientation towards capturing local voices and providing them with a wider platform. We’ll be watching this space closely!

http://www.magaidhsmith.co.uk/

In the meantime here’s a table of Magaidh’s Soundcloud recordings of stories from local Lewis tradition.

Story Description Links
S daor a cheannaich mi fiadhachd MacAulay men at Loch Langabhat and the landmark Clach Bhess Magaidh’s blog post
Soundcloud
An Seann Fhiadh Deer hunting at Loch Langabhat on the border of Lewis and Harris in days gone by. Who was the wee wizen man? Soundcloud
Fir Mhealista Mealista men who went to gather a cargo of wood for roof timbers. A love story and what is extant of a dream song. Soundcloud
Sabaist Mhor Wick Circa 1870 when the herring fishing was booming a large number of fishing boats were in Wick Harbour when a fight broke out. This account includes details of men from Lochs who were in the fracas. Soundcloud
Ishbal Nighean Dhomhaill Ban The love Story of Ishbal nighean Dhomhnaill Ban an t-Struim who herded the cattle in Uig and Calum MacAmhlaigh from Harris. Magaidh’s blog post
Soundcloud

STOP PRESS UPDATE – 15/04/19. Island Voices now has a Magaidh Smith page with a full collection of her online recordings, all supplemented with Clilstore transcripts. Check it out!

 

Categories: Audio, CALL, Classes, Community, Research, UGC

Gathered and Shared – Poems and Music

06/05/2018 2 comments

Many thanks to Loriana Pauli for sending Island Voices this new offering – a podcast she and fellow Uist-based students on the UHI BA in Applied Music made with the help of local poet Pauline Prior-Pitt. Originally broadcast by An Radio, we’re delighted to post the link here. It’s a nice mix of poetry and music, English and Gaelic.

In this short programme Loriana Pauli, Chloe Steele, Angharad Whittle, Peter Davidson, and Jordan Neill have put together images in words and music of some aspects of Uist’s working life and traditions.

Categories: Audio, Classes, Community, UGC
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