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Upcoming Events

30 Jul to 1 Aug

2021

Do you play, sing, or just enjoy Irish, Scottish, or Cape Breton traditional music and camping? Pitch your tent at Deception Pass State Park Lower Loop campground for a casual weekend of tunes, songs, food, drink, and fun in the woods by the beach.

Camping is one of the safest things you can do in a global pandemic because the great outdoors has great air circulation! Of course, we will be following distancing protocols and wearing masks when away from our own campsites.

Make your reservation on November 2, 2020 to ensure that we fill the Lower Loop campground with folks friendly to the music traditions we love.

presented by:
Deception Pass State Park
Oak Harbor, WA

Discography

scary looking man with booze

Baile Ard

Seumas' first solo CD containing a mix of traditional and original songs in Scottish Gaelic as well as traditional dance tunes. Additional musicians featured on this recording include Christine Traxler on fiddle, Colin Isler on cello, Tom Fallat on percussion.
Cover of Prophecy and Blessing

Prophecy and Blessing

Seumas was a founding member of Wicked Celts, who were active in the mid 1990s in Seattle. Christine Traxler has continued to collaborate with Seumas on many projects including his first solo CD, Baile Ard.

Current Workshops

Workshop and festival organizers! This is a list of my current topic-oriented workshops. I can also provide group instruction in level-based repertoire and style development in my area of expertise, Scottish Gaelic music.

All levels

Beginning Scottish Gaelic

Harp needed: No

Using the innovative Language Hunters teaching method, participants will be shocked and how much useful, conversational Gaelic they can acquire in just 90 minutes.

Four Great Gaelic Songs for Every Harper

Harp needed: No

In this workshop, participants will learn the melodies, suggested chords, and the words of the refrain to four great Scottish Gaelic songs. Prior attendance at Introduction to Scottish Gaelic For Singing Harpers would be very helpful.

Introduction to Scottish Gaelic for Singing Harpers

Harp needed: No

Scottish Gaelic song literature is one of the richest sources of material for both singers and harpers. The differences in the way Gaelic and English use letters to represent sounds, however, presents a barrier. In this workshop, Seumas will introduce you to pronouncing the Gaelic from the printed page. Participants will come away with a solid understanding of how Gaelic represents its sounds in writing, and will learn the refrain of a popular Gaelic song using their new knowledge.

Secrets of Classical Harp Technique

Harp needed: Yes

In the folk harp world we often hear pedal harpists talking about technique, but what does that really mean? In this workshop I teach just the basics of classical harp technique tailored for the folk harper. You'll learn about tone, hand and arm position, how to use a metronome to take your playing to the next level, no matter what level you are at now.

What Kind of Song Is That?

Harp needed: No

There are many different kinds of Scottish Gaelic songs. Participants in this workshop will sample one of each and learn to tell the difference. Help and advice on arranging the different forms will also be presented.

Intermediate

Common Figures in Dance Tunes

Harp needed: Yes

In this workshop I teach a series of exercises that I developed to help harpers get some of the common melodic figures from Scottish and Irish dance tunes into their fingers. We'll progress slowly from a snail's pace toward performance tempo and see how far we get!

Rocking the Background

Harp needed: Yes

Guitar players can create tremendous energy and flow with the rhythms they strum when they accompany singers and tune players. We can do the same thing with our harps, and in this workshop I'll show you how without ever looking at a note of written music.

Waulking Songs on the Harp

Harp needed: Yes

The Scottish Gaelic song literature boasts several unique song forms; waulking songs among them. In this workshop, participants will learn a few of the traditions around this ancient tradition of wool milling and learn the refrains and melodies of several songs to take back to their harps.

Advanced

Cape Breton Fiddle Tunes on the Harp

Harp needed: Yes

A great source of dance tunes that are playable on the harp is the literature of Cape Breton fiddlers. In this workshop, advanced players will learn several Cape Breton tunes of difference types that Seumas learned from the playing of Wendy MacIsaac.