• Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Òran na Cille / Arrane ny Killey / Amhrán na Cille

An t-seachdain-sa chaidh EP ùr fhoillseachadh a ghabhas a-steach ceòl ùr-nòsach às na trì nàiseanan Gàidhealach, gan toirt còmhla fo bhratach Òran na Cille / Arrane ny Killey / Amhrán na Cille. Chaidh an ceòl ùr a chruthachadh mar phàirt de choimisean a chaidh seachad le prìomh bhuidheann leasachadh na Gàidhlig Èireannaich, Foras na Gaeilge, airson 1500mh ceann bhliadhna den naomh Calum Chille a chomharrachadh.


A’ toirt a-steach bàrdachd, eadar-theangachadh, ceòl is film, chaidh am pròiseact a stèidheachadh air dàn a sgrìobh Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, am bàrd is òranaiche a stiùirich am pròiseact. Ghlèidh an dàn ‘Òran na Cille’ ciad àite ann am farpais Bàrdachd na Gàidhlig aig Fèis Leabhraichean Bhaile na h-Ùige ann an 2017. Foillsichte ann an Southlight, sa chiad dol-a-mach, nochdaidh an dàn sa Ghàidhlig, sa Ghàidhlig Èireannaich is sa Ghàidhlig Mhanannaich ann an Northwords Now, uair eile, san àireimh ùir.


Chaidh an dàn a sgrìobhadh gus ceann bliadhna na cillean a chomharrachadh san Eilean Mhanainn is nì e iomradh air Port na h-Innse is Eilean Phàdraig ann. Bidh na cillean, far an d’ rinn manaich a bha nan luchd-leantainn Chaluim Chille dachaigh, rim faighinn air feadh an t-saoghail Ghàidhealaich, ann an àiteachan mar Eileach an Naoimh ann an Alba agus anns na Scealaga, Co. Ciarraí na h-Èireann. ’S ann an Ciarraí fhèin a fhuair na h-òrain tàmh, gan riochdachadh leis an ceòladair Gary Keane a bhuineas don t-siorramachd.

Chaidh an dàn eadar-theangachadh leis an òraidiche an t-Oll. Ben Ó Ceallaigh aig Oilthigh Aberystwyth (Gàidhlig na h-Èireann) agus an t-Oll. Custal y Lewin a tha stèidhichte ann an sgìre na Suanais anns an Fhionnlainn (Gàidhlig Mhanainn). Rinn Marcas trì film-dhàin leis an dàn is na h-eadar-theangaichean, a thug a-steach leughaidhean aig Ben is Custal.

Chaidh na trì dreachan cànanach a chur gu òranaichean anns na trì dùthchannan gus trì òrain ùra a chruthachadh is traidisean nan òran ann an Alba, Mannan is Èirinn a chumail air aghaidh. Ann an Alba, ’s i Raonaid Nic an Fhùcadair, a ghlèidh iomadh duais roimhe, a bha a’ dèiligeadh ri dreach tùsail an dàn, gus balanta co-aimsireil a chruthachadh. Rinn Marcas bhideo-ciùil son na trì òrain ùra, agus bhideo Raonaid a-nis ga fhaicinn aig còrr is 4.8 mìle dhaoine.

Chan eil òran Bhláithín Mhic Cana ann an Oirialla Ulaidh fada às a dhèidh, le còrr is 4.3 mìle dhaoine air a’ bhideo de ‘dh’Amhrán na Cille’ fhaicinn, cuideachd. Na sàr-sheinneadair san t-seann-nòs, ga fhaicinn tric aig an Oireachtas, b’ e seo a’ chiad uair a sgrìobh Bláithín ceòl airson òran ùr.

Ach ’s ann an Eilean Mhanainn, far an tug ‘Arrane ny Killey’ le Isla Callister fìor bhuaidh air luchd-èisteachd far am faca as motha de chrìonadh air a’ chànan Ghàidhealach aca ann. ’S ann mun bhideo aig Isla a thuirt Breesha Maddrell, bho Culture Vannin, prìomh bhuidheann leasachadh nan ealain san eilean:


“this is beautiful, new and Manx - all should watch it!”

Chaidh an EP a chur a-mach air Bandcamp beagan ron Nollaig, airson is gum faigh daoine air feadh an t-saoghail cothrom air an t-seinn is an sgrìobhadh ùr. Faodaidh luchd-amhairc na bhideothan-ciùil is na filmichean bàrdachd fhaicinn air YouTube, Facebook, Instagram is TikTok, le bhith a’ leantainn Mharcais fhèin no Foras na Gaeilge.


This week a new EP has been released bringing together contemporary music from the three Gaelic nations, brought together for the Òran na Cille / Arrane ny Killey / Amhrán na Cille (Cellsong) project. The new music is part of a wider commission bestowed by leading Irish-language development organisation, Foras na Gaeilge, to mark the 1500th anniversary of the birth of St. Columba.




Including poetry, translation, music and film, the project is based on a poem by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, the poet and songwriter who managed the project. The poem, ‘Òran na Cille’ (‘Cellsong’) has previously won the prize for Gaelic poetry at the Wigtown Book Festival in 2017. First published in Southlight, it will be republished in Gaelic, Irish and Manx in Northwords Now, in the forthcoming issue.




The poem was originally written to mark the anniversary of the monks’ cells in the Isle of Man and makes reference to Peel and St. Patrick’s Isle. The cells, which were homes to monks following in the wake of Columba, are to be found throughout the Gaelic world, in places like Eileach an Naoimh in Scotland and Skellig, Co. Kerry, Ireland. It is in Co. Kerry that the songs completed their journey, produced by multi-instrumentalist Gary Keane, who belongs to the county.

The poem was translated by Aberystwyth University lecturer, Dr. Ben Ó Ceallaigh (Irish) and Dr. Christopher Lewin, who is now based in the Swedish-speaking region of Finland (Manx). Mac an Tuairneir created three film-poems using the original text and the translations, which included spoken word performances from Ó Ceallaigh and Lewin.

The three versions were then set to music in each of the three nations, to create three contemporary songs, set to reinvigorate song traditions in Gaelic Scotland, Man and Ireland. In Scotland it was multi-award-winning Rachel Walker who worked with the original text, to create a contemporary ballad. Mac an Tuairneir was tasked with creating a music video for all three songs, and Rachel’s has now been enjoyed by more than 4.8 thousand people.


Bláithín McCann, in Ulster’s Oriel region is not far behind, with more than 4.3 thousand having played her rendition, ‘Amhrán na Cille’, as well. A fine seann-nós singer, often seen at the Oireachtas (the Irish traditional music arts festival akin to Scotland’s Mòd and Wales’ Eisteddfod), this was her first musical composition.

But it’s in the Isle of Man, where Isla Callister’s ‘Arrane ny Cille’ has had the most startling impact and where the Gaelic language is most minoritised. Of the video, Breesha Maddrell of the Manx arts development organisation, Culture Vannin, said: “this is beautiful, new and Manx – all should watch it!”


The EP has been released on Bandcamp in time for Christmas, so that the new writing and singing can be enjoyed by listeners around the world. Audiences can catch the music videos and film-poems on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, by following Marcas Mac an Tuairneir and Foras na Gaeilge.












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