In 2016 a week-long School in Barga, the ‘most Scottish town in Italy’, brought together students from across Europe and North America to learn Scottish music and dance, with tutors from Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Barga artist Keane, founder and editor of barganews, documented the week in a series of photographs.
On 20th June 2017, a new exhibition of these photographs will be launched at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Keane said, ‘Since the Italian Renaissance, ideas, concepts, communication and culture have freely moved through the piazzas of Barga. The participants took to these open spaces as though they had been born to them. It was in these public areas that the joy of making music was best expressed and best enjoyed by the newcomers and the local residents’.
The exhibition will be opened by Linda Fabiani, Member of the Scottish Parliament, who was awarded the Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta’ Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity) by the Italian Government for her work to promote Scots/Italian links.
This year’s Barga School of Traditional Song, Music and Dance will be held from 2nd-9th September 2017.
More information is available here: hamishmoore.org/bargascot
People wishing to attend the Reception at the Scottish Parliament – click here for more information and registration
Càirdeas nam Pìobairean (Hamish Moore’s organisation, The Fellowship of Pipers) prepares to present the 2017 School of Traditional Scots and Gaelic Song, Music and Dance in Barga.
The forthcoming school which will take place in Barga Vecchia from 2nd-9th September 2017 – more information can be found here on the Hamish Moore site.
Hamish Moore established a similar school, “Ceòlas”, in the heartland of Gaelic culture on The Hebridean island of South Uist twenty years ago. The coined name, Ceòlas is a combination of two Gaelic words namely, ceòl which means music and eòlas which means understanding.
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
The first Barga School of Scottish Music Song and Dance with more than 50 students and tutors first took place in Barga in 2010 ( article here)
Generally when Hamish leaves Barga at the end of the school, his next port of call is to the establishment of Franco and Daniele Rigotti in The South of France where he chooses and purchases his cane that he uses to make the reeds for his world-famous Scottish small pipes.
He is apparently the last pipe maker in the world using natural canes for his reeds, the rest of the makers having moved over to the far easier to find, use and play, synthetic reeds.