This News Story is more than 8 years old. Links and contact information may have changed.

Gaelic language and song focus of Institute of Island Studies Lecture

| Research

The Institute of Island Studies Lecture Series continues Tuesday, February 23, with a talk by Dr. Tiber F.M. Falzett, research associate at the Institute. His public lecture, “Mar bhlàth an fheòir” (“like the flowering grass”), focuses on the oral and written interfaces in local Scottish Gaelic song composition on Prince Edward Island. The lecture takes place in UPEI’s SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge at 7 pm.

Dr. Falzett investigates a once vibrant, yet fragmentarily documented, tradition of local song composition and performance as expressed throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries among Scottish Gaelic speakers on Prince Edward Island. By engaging contemporary printed texts, as well as sound recordings of remaining speakers and semi-speakers in the second half of the twentieth century, it is possible to piece together a multifaceted and dynamic body of oral tradition. In turn, these reassembled fragments of oral tradition can be reinterpreted to reveal a multi-accentual dynamic in what has since become a silenced ethno-linguistic community. Ultimately, it is intended to place these expressive forms of intangible cultural heritage as created and carried down by Gaelic-speaking Islanders in the context of the wider multicultural zone of the Canadian Maritimes to which they once belonged.

Dr. Falzett’s research explores the documentation and dissemination of archival intangible cultural heritage on Prince Edward Island. His doctoral research explores the relationship between language and music through sensory metaphor as expressed among Scottish Gaelic speakers on Cape Breton Island. A fluent Gaelic speaker as well as a singer and bagpiper, Dr. Falzett has presented his research and performed for broadcast media, including the BBC Television and Radio in Scotland and CBC, and is an active public folklorist in Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. He, his partner Giulia, and their dog Sofia live in Summerside.

Admission is free. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This is the second in a series of an Island Studies Winter/Spring Lecture Series. Watch for details for another lecture about islands–near and far–March 22.

For more information, please contact Laurie Brinklow at or (902) 894-2881.


Dave Atkinson
Research Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications
(902) 620-5117

Relevant Links