Posted by: liamcassidy | August 8, 2009

Survey: Favorite Mòd Activities

We asked last week what your favorite activities are at the U.S. National Mòd. To those who responded, mòran taing.

There were a few surprises. Here are the results:


First surprise: storytelling (sgeulachd) scored higher than the Òran Mall (slow air), Òran Luaidh (waulking) and Puirt à Beul (mouth music) competitions! Perhaps we should have simply had a category for the “Song Competitions.” We did leave out the Òran Obrach (work song) and finals.

The result does stress how popular the storytelling competition, in particular, has become. This event takes place at the Antiochan Village, our lodgings, on Friday evening, the first day of the Mòd, and follows our first dinner together, so the audience is relaxed, even if the storytellers are not.

We’ve had excellent storytelling from talented Gaelic learners over the past few years — with stories ranging from traditional folktales to personal narratives and Gaelic jokes! The Duais Dhaibhidh Mhic Risnidh/David MacRitchie Award for best traditional tale is presented at the end of the evening.

Second surprise: puirt à beul, or mouth music, didn’t receive a vote! Perhaps as more people take the survey, its numbers will edge up. Mouth music is one of the liveliest forms of Gaelic song, basically being dance tunes set to vocables and short, often humorous lyrics. It’s also difficult – timing and rhythm are extremely important, of course, for jigs, strathspeys and reels.

We’re glad to see so many people picked meeting our Scottish guests and adjudicators — a highlight of any Mòd. This year we’ll have three special guests from Scotland, Adjudicator Donnie Murdo MacLeod of Lewis and Royal National Mòd Gold Medalists Lyle Kennedy and Kerrie Finlay. We hope you’ll come to meet them.

Final surprise: The after-cèilidh cèilidh, which typically takes place back at our lodgings after the dinner cèilidh at the Ligonier Tavern, was voted most popular event! Perhaps that really isn’t a surprise …

We’ll update this survey as the Mòd draws nearer and post a final version with comments from participants after the Mòd in September!

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