Aire air Sunnd – by Ear and Eye

Le Gordon Wells

Here’s a refreshing change! We’ve been banging on about the “Primacy of Speech” since Island Voices first started, as part of the mission to positively acknowledge the communication skills we all possess in whichever languages we speak – irrespective of any additional literacy we may or may not also have. The title “Progress Report” perhaps brings something rather dry and dusty to mind, and doesn’t necessarily scream “Read me!” at everyone, but this one offers something different. Co-ordinated by Sharon Pisani, Aire air Sunnd project officer, it’s a collection of unscripted video recordings offered by participating university and other partners, all introduced by CEUT chair Ùisdean Robertson. The contributions are mostly in English, but the mix of accents may reveal (or perhaps conceal?) a linguistically diverse competence in more than one of the speakers! And, of course, apart from regional accents, there are various other features unique to natural speech. Tone of voice, rhythm stress and intonation patterns, facial expressions, physical gestures and other accompanying body language – all these are additional expressive elements that elude capture in the printed word.

Have a look and listen here:

We may hope that the variety of voices will keep the listener interested from beginning to end, by presenting the information – or “telling the story” indeed – in a different, perhaps more engaging, way than pages of written text. (Okay, “skimreading” may not be an option for the spoken word if time is short, but YouTube’s “Chapters” function is an alternative if you want to skip forwards at any point – or backwards – to focus on a particular speaker…)

Plus, there’s more – appealing to the eye as well as to the ear!

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The Aberdeen team put together these two eye-catching posters for the Digital Fèis to explain in more detail how their Wellbeing strand is developing. Packed with information, they also contain images of artefacts and photographs from the Gaelic walks with Archie.

You can click on the images of these posters to enlarge them and examine the detail more closely.

And you can see more images and explanations of the artefacts on CEUT’s project page for the Wellbeing workshops.

And finally, as the pictures below show, the St Andrews digitisers were kept busy throughout the same event. Again, you can click on the image to enlarge it, and will then be able to click through one more time on individual pictures to go straight to the 3D or video exhibit on the project’s Digital Fèis page.

DigiImages


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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Island Voices & Aire Air Sunnd

Le Gordon Wells

The Island Voices project has collaborated with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath (The North Uist Historical Society) on joint work in the past, and we’re delighted to renew the link in the new Wellbeing initiative, “Aire Air Sunnd”, led by the Comann Eachdraidh in a partnership which brings in the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews, as well the Highlands and Islands (UHI). It’s funded by the Ideas Fund, with each partner contributing from some of its own strengths and specialisms. This leaflet gives an outline of the overall shape of the project, with an explanation of what the different components are.

The project was launched on Friday 6th May in a hybrid format event, with the various academic partners giving online presentations to a North Uist audience either “Zooming in” from their own homes, or gathering at the Carinish School society headquarters, with the St Andrews “Smart Heritage” team taking care to record the contributions from the various presenters. The Island Voices role will be primarily linguistic, focussing on Gaelic in particular as a key element of local cultural heritage. You can see Gordon Wells’s short (15 minute) presentation here on initial thoughts and plans for the Guthan nan Eilean component of the project.

The eagle-eyed may spot that most of the images after the second slide contain embedded links. If you wish to explore these further, please open this PDF version of the presentation. You can then click/tap any picture or graphic to explore the webpage to which it links.

Cò MiseOrdinarily, Gordon probably wouldn’t start a presentation with the level of personal detail offered here. But the CEUT connection is a close one, as his first picture shows!

The story of a rooted Hebridean family with close connections around the globe, through Australia, Canada, China, Singapore and elsewhere, as well as India (if we were also to go through the histories of Ann’s eight brothers and sisters…) is probably one that many other Hebridean family albums could tell just as well. When it comes to reflection on the links between heritage and wellbeing, and the value of transcending imagined boundaries, bilingual Island Voices may offer special insights!

North Uist residents and relatives! If aspects of this project are of interest to you and you’d like to learn more about it or are interested in taking part, contact details and further information are on the project leaflet. Siuthadaibh!


Tadhail air Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean

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