New Writer 2020: Màiri Anna NicUalraig/ Mary Ann Kennedy

Gaelic

Rugadh agus thogadh Màiri Anna NicUalraig mar Ghàidheal ann an ceann a deas Ghlaschu ioma-chulturach. Is aithnear i mar bhall de theaghlach ainmeil a-thaobh ciùil a bhuinneas dhan Eilean Sgitheanach, ach a’s a bheil cuideachd na bàird Catrìona agus Morag NicGumaraid. Bhuinneadh a h-athair do Thiriodh, eilean a tha ainmeil a-thaobh a liuthad bhàrd.

Neach-ciùil i a choisinn iomadh duais – chaidh Seinneadair Gàidhlig na Bliadhna a bhuileachadh oirre aig Duaisean Ceòl Dualchasach na h-Alba ann an 2019. Thòisich a cuid sgrìobhaidh le òrain, agus taic a’ nochdadh bho chàirdean is luchd-brosnachaidh leithid Aonghas MacNeacail agus Dòmhnall Meek. Dh’èirich dà chlàr às a saothair fad bliadhna mar cheòladair na colaisde aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, is chaidh an cur ma sgaoil le ARC Music, ‘An Dàn’ mar aon dhiubh - cruinneachadh de dh’òrain ùr, ùr-nodha, le a briathran fhèin nam measg.

Cho-dheasaich i leabhar eachdraidh is fiosrachadh an teaghlaich do dh’Acair ann an 2012: choisinn ‘Fonn – Music and a Sense of Place in a Gaelic Family Song Tradition’ duais Leabhar Gàidhlig na Bliadhna aig a’ Mhòd Rìoghail Nàiseanta, agus duais ealain nan ciad Duaisean Nàiseanta Gàidhlig. An 2018, sgrìobh i an ceòl agus na h-òrain airson dealbh chluich, ‘Deeds Not Words’, leis a’ chompanaidh Rural Nations, a’ dèanamh luaidh air eachdraidh bhòt nam ban anns na h-Eileanan an Iar. A-measg nam pròiseactan a’s a bheil i an sàs an-diugh, tha fèill air sgeulachd Ghàidhlig abhainn Chluaidh agus baile àrach Màiri Anna, Glaschu.

--

Mary Ann Kennedy was born and brought up a Gaelic speaker in the heart of multi-cultural southside Glasgow. She is best-known as part of a revered family of Skye musical tradition bearers, but counts the poets Catriona and Morag Montgomery as part of that extended family, and her father was from the island of Tiree, famous for its disproportionate number of bards and writers.

An award-winning musician – she is the Scots Trad Music Awards Gaelic Singer of the Year 2019 – her writing began with song, encouraged by friends and mentors such as Aonghas MacNeacail and Donald Meek. An inspirational year as musician-in-residence at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, gave rise to two highly acclaimed albums on ARC Music, including ‘An Dàn’, a collection of original contemporary songs, her own lyrics amongst them.

She co-edited a family biography and compendium for Acair Books in 2012: Fonn – Music and a Sense of Place in a Gaelic Family Song Tradition won the Gaelic Book of the Year at the Royal National Mòd, and the Arts & Culture prize at the inaugural National Gaelic Awards. In 2018, she wrote the score and original songs for ‘Deeds Not Words’, a Rural Nations theatre production celebrating the story of women’s suffrage in the Western Isles. Her current projects include an ongoing Gaelic-inspired exploration in words and music of the River Clyde from source to sea, and of her hometown of Glasgow.

Follow her on Twitter(this will open in a new window) or visit her website(this will open in a new window)

Writing sample

Camhanaich, Loch Sharbot, Ontàrio an Ear (Dawn, Lake Sharbot, Eastern Ontario)

(Air a sgrìobhadh an Canada, Cèitean 2017, air chuairt bho Ontario gu Alba Nuaidh a’ comhtharrachadh 150 bliadhna bho cho-chaidreachas na dùthcha. Written in Canada, May 2017, on a journey from Ontario to Nova Scotia making a series of BBC music documentaries marking the 150th anniversary of confederation.)

Cois locha -

ceilear Cèitein,

moch-mhadainn.

Cois cladaich -

dìosg dèile,

lochan-tàimh.

Cois laimrig -

brag shlatan,

sgothan chala.

Cois latha -

faram siubhail,

àrd-rathaid.

Cois dùsgaidh -

suain leaba

bhuam.

--

Lochside -

May birdsong,

daybreak.

Shoreside -

board creak,

lake silence.

Deckside -

rope smack,

skiffs in haven.

Day-side -

travel rumble,

highway.

Wakening-side

bed slumber

beyond me.

Màiri says:

"Le bhi cur seachad a’ mhòr-chuid dhem bheatha a’ sgrìobhadh ciùil, far an urrainn doimhneachd anam a chur an cèill air falach, tha e na ìoghnadh dhomh gu bheil tarraing cho làidir ann do shoillearachd bhriathran. Mar Ghàidheal ge-tà, is iad briathran is cànan mo dhearbhadh bho rugadh mi: tha mi cho taingeil cothrom fhaighinn leigeil leotha tighinn fo bhlàth."

--

"Having spent my life writing music, where your soul can be stripped bare without revealing a thing, it surprises me that I should feel so drawn to the exposure of words. But as a Gaelic speaker, words and language have defined me since birth: I am so grateful for the chance to let them flourish."