By John MacLean, 03/11/14:
At the end of October I photographed the four-day Faclan Book Festival at An Lanntair, Stornoway. This event has run annually since 2006, and since 2011 in its current Halloween slot.
The theme this year was “The Past is a Foreign Country” and included the launch of Ian Stephen’s first novel A Book of Death and Fish, an account of Dolina MacLennan’s early years, friendships and influences in her book An Island Girl’s Journey, and Robert MacFarlane in conversation with Finlay MacLeod about his multi-award winning book The Old Ways.
The festival opened with Peter Urpeth playing a live piano accompaniment to Theodore Dreyer’s classic 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” and closed with a Club Night collaboration between piper/singer/songwriter Iain Morrison and New Delhi based audio-visual club act B.L.O.T.
By John MacLean, 04/03/12:
A new collection of Gaelic poems and songs by Lewisman Uilleam Aonghas MacMhathain (William Angus Matheson) was launched in Stornoway Library on 2nd March.
Born in Airigh a’ Bhruaich (at which village the book cover image was taken), Uilleam now lives in Point, Isle of Lewis.
This, his first published collection of poems and songs, is also available in electronic format from Amazon, for use with the Kindle eReader.
William Angus Matheson has won many awards at The Royal National Mod for his poetry and songs, and his songs have been recorded by Gaelic singers including Fiona J MacKenzie and Paul MacCallum.
‘Duilleag Beatha’ is a highly accessible and readable book that features bardachd and songs in traditional Gaelic style on subjects including love, longing, war, spirituality and humour.
Peter Urpeth, who manages the Clò Fuigheagan imprint on behalf of HI~Arts, said:
‘Duilleag Beatha’ is the long-overdue first collection of poems and songs by William Angus Matheson. It is a collection that has direct appeal to all Gaelic readers and those who love the language and culture of the Gael. The poems are accessible, memorable and written with a love of the Gaelic language that is palpable.