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The Australian Gaelic Singers


From their President, Judy Scott...

We are often asked where the passion for this music has come from.

The Singers have a long history in Australia, but that history pales next to the choral tradition that we have sprung from.

The music of the Highlands and Western Islands springs from an ancient oral tradition; for the elder Gaels it was a way of shared knowledge, a repository of common history and a storehouse of learning about people, about ways of life, and about the Gaelic way of seeing the world.

The Mod in Scotland helps keep alive the song tradition among our own people. Just think of the thrill that sends the spine tingling with the massed voices at Murrayfield or other games and sporting events, something primal and evident in all cultures. Our group is far from numerous but there is a certain age old joy at singing together. Something we in Australia tend to be losing in our culture but is from our roots and distinctive.

The Singers are aware of the connection music has to the history and of the need for an endangered art form to be protected and regenerated with regard; but those of us who have become exposed to it are captivated by the joy it can still generate today. We don't tire of it; it remains fresh and vital.

Over the years, the way our group has interacted with this history has changed. It means different things to all of us and each one of the Singers has their own reason for being involved. Among our group we have direct links with accents intact and we have tenuous connections that stretch back over time but connect deep inside at the inexplicable level. We have singers with no apparent Gaelic connection at all -- they just love the sounds and rhythms. We have some who love the challenge of singing in a language so ancient and others that just love the stimulation of making words out of apparently impossible groups of letters.

There are as many reasons for enjoying this material as there are people singing and listening to it.

You can visit their web site at http://www.ozcoisir.org/


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