Tuesday, November 13, 2007

staying on task

Outside it was doing this...

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inside I was doing this...

I have taken to listening to Waulking Songs (Orain Luaidh) whilst working. These were not available to me a few years ago, but now I have downloaded many. I am so happy that these songs are being preserved. You can find them all over the internet, there are some great ones on YouTube, where you can view competitions with groups preforming them. For those who are not familiar with Waulking Songs, they were originally written to be sung during a "Wool Waulking", while the tweed or other woven cloth was being beaten or fulled on a table by a group. The purpose of beating or fulling was to shrink the fibers so they would lock together and finish the cloth. They sang chorus and solo lines, with words that were stories of sorts...but because they were written to accompany work (including spinning and weaving) there was attention to rhythm. So my fingers are walking down the loom, and the strand is walking up...and I am listening to a "waulking song" that was recorded at one of the Highland Sessions with Kathleen Macinnes on the vocals. The waulking songs help me keep focused and at the same time my mind wanders. I feel a connection to the songs, they stir up something I cannot explain. When listening to the recordings of the old women singing without musical instruments, I am haunted by the memories of something I could never have known.

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I wish I could speak Gaelic so I could understand the words. There are some sites on the internet that translate the lyrics...some of the songs are very sad, some are joyful. They keep the pace for me, they keep me on task.

16 comments:

Judy said...

I guess they have kept you on task, you are nearing completion! You may have this done by the time I get back from town today!!!

judy said...

That was soothing, and lovely. Looks like November out there.

Anne said...

Looks like a great way to spend a snowy day - indoors and weaving, listening to beautiful music. My gram always hummed to herself while she worked - and HER gram had a huge list of traditional Gaelic songs she knew and sung while she worked. Aren't those traditional pieces lovely?

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

Is that snow??? I am so jealous! :)

MollyBeees said...

Thanks so much for this post! I had never heard of waulking songs and hadn't ever seen anyone weave. I'm very intreagued! You WAULK! I mean ROCK!

Pat K said...

The snow looks beautiful to me. And your fingers seem to move in time to the music. Very inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I loved the music! My ex boss studied gaelic and sings in gaelic also. We had many discussions since I spin and weave a little. I always enjoy your post.
Nancy

Donna B said...

Oh, loveliness. Love the music...I am starting to itch for a triangle loom...I have room for one now. I always and ever learn from your posts!

pacalaga said...

Beautiful. I might have to download some of those to knit by.

Joanne said...

What a gorgeous clip! Thanks for giving me such beauty during my work day breaks!

Leigh said...

It is interesting to me that your triloom is hypotenuse on the bottom. I learned triweaving with it on top. I'm going to have to give your way a try though. Thanks for mentioning the waulking songs and where to find them online. I've never actually heard any sung, only heard about them.

Sharon said...

Wow snow! well, its exciting to me, since here its starting to really warm up now. Your weaving is wonderful, can't wait to see what it will become.

Beth S. said...

I think it is marvelous that you are weaving with your own handspun. That's just so terrifically cool. :-)

Ernest said...

Beautiful music. It stirs something within.

WandaJ said...

Beautiful, lyrical post. Even your words have a rhythmical soothing quality. I've wanted to listen to Waulking songs but hadn't thought to try downloading any. Thanks for the tip.

Em said...

What a beautiful way to spend a snowy day! I love the old folk songs, too, but have never even thought to listen to them while I work my own fiber crafts. Thank you for the inspiration.

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