Hands up for Trad is delighted to announce David MacLennan as the winner of its New Gaelic songwriting competition with his song An t-Each Uisge.
David took his inspiration from the many myths and legends of Gaelic culture. As he told us, “I considered some other well known folktales before settling on the water horse. There was an area of a particular loch in Ross-shire which would never freeze over. Local legend had it that this was because the Each-Uisge, out of kindness to his human wife, allowed her to light a fire in their home at the bottom of the loch to keep warm. The smoke rising form the chimney warmed the water above, preventing it from ever icing over.”
David’s song will be one of the first to become part of our Renewing the Tradition downloadable songbook, which will be available to choirs as part of Scotland Sings. It will be arranged and recorded by Mary Ann Kennedy, for harmony ready for the Gaelic tutors, including Mary Ann herself at workshops in Lochgilphead, Perth and Dingwall on 24th January.
David, who is based in Lewis, is a part-time teacher and tutors guitar, melodeon and folk groups and also runs informal music sessions for pupils with additional support needs. He sings with Còisir Sgìr a’ Bhac at the Royal National Mod and has been developing his interest in songwriting over a number of years. He is also a member of ceilidh band ‘Meantime’.
Simon Thoumire, Creative Director of Hands up for Trad, said “We were delighted with the quality of the entries. Entrants had really thought about the brief and took inspiration from the big themes, such as war and peace, life and death, as well as the land and seascapes around them. David’s entry made an impression. First and foremost, it has a beautiful melody and we could imagine choirs really enjoying singing it together.”
More information about the workshops and booking details can be found here.