GAELIC culture from the later Middle Ages will be brought back to life at a show in the National Library of Scotland.

The laoidhean – which means sacred poems or hymns – formed a central tenet of Scottish life. 

The collaboration is between traditional Gaelic singer Mairi Macmillian, from South Uist; a camber ensemble called the Edinburgh Quarter; and a modern composer whose work stretches from classical to electronica, Ned Bingham.

The National:

The musicians are "breathing fresh life" into the old songs and looking to bring them to the attention of a wider audience.

The event will also be recorded, with a film due to be released later this year.

The recording aims to open up the music and tradition more widely to people across the UK and abroad, organisers say.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes calls for action on Gaelic to be in national language plan

The laoidhean tells ancient tales about slain heroes, monsters, five-headed giants, epic battles and tragic love.

The Edinburgh library’s first bi-lingual exhibition Sgeul | Story, on September 23, focuses on the work of John Francis Campbell of Islay. 

Campbell worked with local storytellers to record and save the Gaelic folktales – which at the time were preserved solely by a dwindling oral tradition and therefore at risk of oblivion. 

Abigail Burnyeat of college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highland and Islands, said: "The ballads were high art, but their stories belonged to everybody and will resonate with people just as much today as in the past.”

The Ossianic Ballads are the culmination of research, musical collaboration and performances "which will truly bring the collections to life", according to the National Libary of Scotland librarian Amina Shah.

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"The performances perfectly complement our Sgeul | Story exhibition which showcases Gaelic folktales that were rescued from oblivion in the 19th century," she said.

"In the same vein, the heroic laoidhean will be revived for modern audiences through the Ossianic Ballads.

“The performers will also breathe new life into the Library’s public spaces, and will pave the way for more musical events in the National Library of Scotland. 

“We are grateful to be working with such talented musicians and for the support of the Murray Family and the American Patrons of the National Library and Galleries of Scotland.” 

You can buy tickets here.