The week long School of Traditional Song, Music and Dance School organised by Hamish Moore is almost at an end but today the whole school moved out of Barga Vecchia and spread their wings as they moved in procession down the hill with a piper at the head as they moved onto the La Cantina del Vino with their hosts Francesca and Pietro, for an evening meal with the tradition polenta on the menu.
Polenta is a golden-yellow Italian cornmeal made from dried, ground maize (corn), and also the name given to the savoury cornmeal porridge that’s made by mixing cornmeal with water and simmering and stirring until it thickens – a staple dish of northern Italy.
So – what of Barga and The School here?
Firstly the school will eschew the stereotypical view of what Scottish Culture is – the parody of itself which was a politically motivated creation.
They will be rediscovering and celebrating with the help of the best of their tradition bearers their beautiful past traditions which have been saved for them, are now main stream, and represent a living tradition.
The school in Barga is just a small strand of the exciting movement which has overtaken Scotland.
More than this they will be breaking down the artificially created barriers between the different elements of our tradition.
For this reason they study two disciplines, each interrelated and they will come together at the end of each day for an integrated session. Each of these parts when re-united will support and enhance each other and the product will be greater than the sum of the parts. There will be tears of joy and sadness when alchemy is achieved.
Barga will provide the rest: – The Conservatorio, the wonderful welcoming people, the spectacular food, the beauty of the city where magic happens and the chance and random meetings will constantly take place in piazzas and inspire a tune or a song – living – soaring – maybe even to heaven. — Hamish Moore
Gary West – Pipes
Fin Moore – Pipes
Fiona Hunter – Scots song
Kathleen MacInnes– Gaelic song
Sarah McFadyen – Fiddle
Derrick Cameron (Cape Breton) – Guitar accompaniment
Melody Cameron (Cape Breton) – Step dance and Fiddle
Pat Ballantyne – Step dance