Pigyn Clust – “Merched” (Girls).

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The band I want to introduce you today has probably one of the most unfortunate names I’ve ever come across when it comes to bands. Because pigyn clust means ear ache in Welsh! How creative! But I’m pretty sure that listening to their music won’t cause you an ear ache, it’s beautiful. They’re mostly people from Gwynedd, and they make amazing folk music. This song here, that I want to share with you, I’m pretty sure it’s a traditional oone. I really like it in their interpretation.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jeri Bach Gogerddan”.

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I’ve been hearing lately that Gwilym Bowen Rhys is about to release a new album, which is exhilarating news to me! It will be part two of his “Detholiad o Hen Faledi” (Selection of Old Ballads), the first part of which he released in I believe 2018. I don’t know when exactly it’ll come out, I don’t know if there’s any official date and I just haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like it could be any time now.

Before it comes out though, I thought it would be a very good idea to share with you something from his most recent album – “Arenig” from 2019 – about which I wrote a fair bit when it came out, which contains both traditional material and his original music, however somehow I didn’t really share all that much from it on here, I guess only two tracks. So today will be another one.

This is Gwilym’s original composition, which commemorates the Welsh Romani Gypsies community and their influence on Welsh folk music, and, from what I read when the album come out, it is particularly in honour of Abram Wood, also known as the father of the Welsh Gypsies, who was a fiddler and was said to introduce the fiddle to Wales. He had a large family and apparently a LOT of his descendants were great harpists. Here is this little piece.

Y Trwynau Coch – “Byw Ar Arian Fy Rhieni” (Living On My Parents’ Money).

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I shared two songs from this 70’s Welsh band in the past, and I thought I’d share another one today. Their career was relatively short and it’s entirely possible that I wouldn’t stumble upon their music if not the fact that the lead singer of the band – Rhys Harris – is also father of one of my faza subjects – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and so I learned at some point about Gwilym’s dad being part of this band in the past and obviously had to check them out. Y Trwynau Coch (or The Red Noses in English), who were known for their lyrics being generally very much tongue-in-cheek (much like Gwilym’s former band Y Bandana), are the perfect example of how sometimes people take advantage of their language being small and not widely spoken, and write some rather mind-boggling lyrics, because no one’s going to understand them anyway so why not. ๐Ÿ˜€ To not look too far for examples, Welsh-Cornish singer Gwenno Saunders wrote a song all about cheese in Cornish. Well, I don’t know if that’s seriously a frequent motive behind what minority languages speakers write their music about, but the amount of weird lyrics in smaller languages music makes you think. I’ve come across a lot of such bands and artists in a lot of languages, even though usually they just go for weird or sometimes nonsensical lyrics, which I can’t blame them for because I think I would also feel very tempted to make fun of people in such a way if I were a minority language musician. ๐Ÿ˜€ But Trwynau Coch, in one of their songs – “Merched Dan Bumtheg” (Girls Under Fifteen) take the weirdness to the next level, and go all the way to where weird turns into creepy. That song was really… ewww, I don’t think anyone in any language would get away with this these days! This was shocking even for the 70’s standards and apparently they were even banned from radio stations who were niche enough to play them until then. Mostly though, from what I’ve heard people had a lot of distance to it, probably because it was a minority language so they mostly didn’t see it as a very big deal. I generally have a lot of distance to things and appreciate cheeky, mischievous lyrics, which is why I do like Y Trwynau Coch overall, but the case of that particular song is really awful and not fun at all imho.

That was just a bit of trivia and obviously I’m not going to show that song to you. The one I chose is, as you can figure out from the title, all about parasitising one’s parents and having the attitude of taking things for granted. ๐Ÿ˜€

The band didn’t reach higher popularity because they dissolved in the 80’s, probably because of seeking some more stable incomes because doing music in a small language isn’t very lucrative, and you have to live somehow (unless you have parents who let you live on their money and you’re okay with it ๐Ÿ˜€ ), and so they ended up doing something different in their lives long-term, except for Huw Chiswell, who I’ve heard was also a member of this band and he’s still a singer and songwriter and quite renowned in Wales.

Y bandana – “Dลตr, Tรขn, Cรขn” (Water, Fire, Song).

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Today I’d like to share with you a song from Y Bandana – one of the bands which Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza subjects) used to be a member of. – I said it already before on here but I really like how it shows Gwilym’s musical versatility and diversity – when you’ll listen to what he does with Y Bandana, with Plu and then solo, it all feels quite a lot different yet he’s thriving in all those music realms. Y Bandana was a rock band that he and his cousins and his friend founded as teens, and they were really successful in Wales, and recognisable for their humorous, kind of cheeky, mischievous and sometimes a bit silly lyrics. The song that I want to share with you however is different, because it really has quite a different style than all of their other songs. It comes from their final album Fel Ton Gron, which to me has a bit more musically adventurous and mature feel to it but at the same time is still very much their style and I think it’s my favourite album of theirs. But, like I said, this one song has a different feel to it than their music in general or the rest of the album, more folky in a modern way than rocky definitely, yet at the same time it complements the album as a whole very well and it doesn’t feel out of place at all. And I like the differentness of it, so that’s mostly why I want to share it with you.

Jacob Elwy a’r Trลตbz – “Zion”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I get a new faza,

I listen to their music almost all the time, and it is no exception with Jacob Elwy. I also like sharing my fazas’ music with other people, but as you may have noticed I haven’t been so generous with sharing Jacob’s music on here. I indeed try to be a bit more sparing, because it’s not like he’s released a lot of music so far, it’s only singles, and I don’t want to run out of it too quickly. On the other hand I also don’t want to be too monothematical and if this series was to thoroughly reflect my listening activity, this blog would be heavily Jacob-dominated right now. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I’ll be featuring something with him once a month or so.

Today, it’s another song that he sang with Y Trwbz – a Welsh-language rock band founded by him and his brother, also including their cousin Tomo Lloyd, friend Gruff Roberts and Mared Williams who is also an accomplished solo artist. – This particular song has never so far been actually officially released by them,but they often seem to play it live. It differs a bit from their usual style, since they are a rock band and this song has a very strong reggae feel, but it’s not incongruent in any way since both Morgan (who wrote the song) and Jacob, seem to be very much into reggae music. I’ve heard Jacob saying that if he could get to choose anyone that he’d like to work with, it would be Bob Marley, so, that says a lot, I guess. I think it’s cool because, while I’m no longer as crazy about it as I used to, before I discovered my love for folk, I was very much into reggae myself so even if it’s not a genre that I’d be listening to very consistently these days, I really have to be in the mood, I definitely like a lot and have a lot of very positive feelings and associations with it.

The recording I’m sharing with you is from 2019, when they were playing at Gwobrau’r Selar event. Gwobrau’r Selar, or Y Selar Awards, are music awards are annual awards for Welsh-language music, awarded by a Welsh music magazine called Y Selar. Y Trwbz themselves were awarded in the Best EP or Single category for their EP “Croesa’r Afon” (Cross The River) just a year before this performance.

Very sadly, I’m afraid my understanding of the lyrics is a tad bit too patchy to be able to translate them for you in any sensible way. It’s like, I guess I get them quite well but I don’t know a fair few words and I don’t really know how to go about translating this somehow. But it’s still really good musically and I hope you can enjoy it in this aspect, and when I’ll feel more confident about my translator skills in this case I’ll update the post.

Declan Galbraith – “An Angel”.

Hiya people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thought I’d share another piece from Declan Galbraith’s second album – Thank You – released in 2006, when he was 14. Currently (or at least in 2018, that was the last time I heard anything substantial about him) he makes his music under the stage name of Child of Mind, and writes his own songs, however back then, he mostly did covers of classic pop or rock songs, and this one is I believe one of his more well-known covers.

Originally, An Angel was a song of The Kelly Family (an European-American band which enjoyed quite a lot of popularity in the 90’s) and was written by Paddy Kelly for his late mother, Barbara, who passed away early from cancer if I remember correctly, and I think it’s not the only song he wrote for her. I don’t know a whole lot about The Kelly Family but since Declan is one of my faza subjects, and since he has covered more than one of The Kelly Family’s song and liked their music, I used to listen to them a bit because I like to know what my fazas like to listen to. Anyway, while The Kellys have some quite cool songs, I think Declan’s covers are a lot better, and so is the case with this one.

Georgia Ruth – “Week Of Pines”.

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I’d like to share another beautiful song from Georgia Ruth with you guys today. I think it is one of my favourites from her. The lyrics are interesting, I love the harp in it obviously, and it just flows so well as a whole. It is the title track of one of her albums, and the album as a whole is all about homecoming, joyfulness and forgiveness of previously made mistakes, and it’s so full of nature.

Llio Rhydderch – “Clychau Clynnog” (Clynnog Bells”.

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Today, I’d like to share with you another piece from this amazing Welsh triple harpist – Llio Rhydderch. – I just love how evocative and picturesque her music is! The piece I want to share with you today comes from her album Enlli and is called Clychau Clynnog or Clynnog Bells in English, where I assume Clynnog must refer to the village on the Llyn Peninsula called Clynnog Fawr.

Omaloma – “Aros O Gwmpas” (Waiting around).

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Today I thought I’d share with you a song from a Welsh psychedelic pop band that I really like. I like the spacey, dreamy feel of their music, and this piece shows it especiallyy well. The band is comprised of George Amor (who is a former member of another Welsh band with psychedelic inclinations called Sen Segur which I really like), Llyr Pari and Leusa Rhys. I’m not sure if I’m translating the title correctly, because the Welsh word aros can mean two things – wait and stay – and from what I understand from the lyrics both would make sense. Perhaps it just doesn’t matter because it’s supposed to mean a bit of both.

Paper Aeroplanes – “Same Mistakes”.

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For today, I chose a song from quite a successful Welsh band, Paper Aeroplanes. It consisted of Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn, and Sarah Howells is someone you might perhaps remember from my blog, because I once shared a song she sang in Welsh with Al Lewis called “Heulwen O Hiraeth”. Paper Aeroplanes, however, made music in English. Despite they no longer function as a band and both of the members do other things at the moment, I discovered it relatively recently, as well as Sarah’s solo music which she makes under the name Bryde. She is also known from collaborating with some trance DJ’s.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Nant Y Mynydd/Bwlch Llanberis” (The Mountain Stream/Llanberis Pass”.

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Today, let’s listen to a very mountain-themed set of two harp tunes from Gwenan Gibbard. She is from the Llyn Peninsula, as I may have mentioned in some other post featuring her music (as I’ve shared some more of it in the past) which is located in Snowdonia and also commonly known as the Snowdon’s Arm. No surprise then that both these pieces have Snowdonia-inspired titles.

Declan Galbraith – “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”.

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I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you a song from Declan Galbraith’s (currently known as Child of Mind) second album called Thank You, so I thought I’d do it today. It was released in 2006 when he was 15, and, what’s typical of his music at the time, contains mostly covers of popular classics of genres like pop, folk and rock. And one of the pieces he covered on that album was Don McLean’s “Vincent” often referred to as “Starry, Starry Night” from its first lines, and that’s also how it’s called on Declan’s album. Somehow despite this is a very weighty song in my opinion, tackling quite an intense topic like mental illness or suicide, I’ve seen a lot of children and teens cover it, Chloe Agnew and Jackie Evancho to name a few.

Despite it clearly shows that while recording this song, Declan was already undergoing voice change, so it impacts the quality of the piece a bit, and so does the autotune here unfortunately, which is not the case with the whole album because in some other songs he sounds a lot different, I still think his version is absolutely great! And the lyrics are just amazing but that’s obviously Don McLean’s merit.

Llio Rhydderch – “Diniweidrwydd (I William Rhys)” (Innocence (For William Rhys)).

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Recently I’ve shared with you a piece performed by Welsh triple harpist Llio Rhydderch, whose music I really love, and I thought I’d share something by her today as well, so here it is. This piece is called Diniweidrwydd which means innocence in Welsh, and it’s dedicated to someone called William Rhys, however I wasn’t able to find who it is exactly, and can’t figure it out on my own, because, well, there surely are lots of people named William Rhys in Wales. ๐Ÿ˜€ Here is this beautiful, evocative piece.

Rachel Newton – “Gura Mise Tha Fo Mhulad” (I Am Full Of Sorrow).

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Today I want to share with you a Scottish Gaelic song from a great harpist and singer Rachel Newton, who has already been featured on my blog a couple times. This is what’s called a waulking song. Waulking songs in Scottish folk music are songs which used to be sung by women while fulling the cloth, which in Scots is called waulking. Originally, they were accompanied by rhythmic beating of the cloth against the table or something which they did to soften it up, so that’s why these songs always have a strong beat. I don’t speak Scottish Gaelic, not yet at least, but this song was featured in The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk and there it is translated as I Am Full Of Sorrow.

Georgia Ruth ft. Quodega – “In Bloom”.

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Today I have for you a really cool piece by Georgia Ruth, which I really like. Rather than sharing the original version though, I thought I’d share a rework by a musician called Quodega, who seems to be somehow connected to Cardiff independent record label Bubblewrap Collective.

y Trลตbz – “Paid Aros Am Y Glaw” (Don’t wait for the rain).

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So recently I’ve written about my

new faza,

as you may recall, and today I thought I’d share with you another song by Y Trลตbz, only this time with Mared Williams as the vocalist. I really love how versatile she is and how she sounds great in very diverse genres, and it’s always a pleasure to listen to her powerful vocals. Like I said in that post, while I have a faza on Jacob Elwy, I think I like them with Mared equally. This song comes from their debut album – Yn Y Dechrau (In The Beginning).

Nansi Richards – “Beibl Mam” (Mum’s Bible).

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It’s actually a bit weird that I haven’t shared anything from Nansi Richards before, giving how renowned and skilled a harpist she was. Nansi Richards was born in Wales in 1888 and was an expert both in terms of Welsh triple harp, and Celtic harp, and all the pedal harps as well. She is also known as The Queen of the Harp, or Telynores Maldwyn. To me, when reading about her, she generally sounds like someone who must have had bags of character and truly enjoyed what she was doing in life. She was appointed the Royal Harpist to Prince of Wales and held this title until her death in 1979.

Miriamm Isaac – “Tyrd Yn Agos” (Come Close).

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So today, let’s listen to another Cรขn I Gymru (Song for Wales) song from 2019, this time by Miriam Isaac. She comes from ann artistic family, her mother is Caryl Parry Jones, whose one song I once shared on here in the past as well, as well as one of her sisters – Greta’s. – Her other siblings also work in arts, and she is also granddaughter of musician Rhys Jones. This piece was composed by Emyr Rhys.

People of the blogosphere, come rejoice with me, and let me introduce my brand new, long awaited faza subject…!! ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐Ÿง 

Finally, it happened! I still find it a bit difficult to actually believe in, but I am now sure that it’s for real. My new faza has actually started some time ago already – on 13th January – but I felt like I needed some time to process things and to feel really sure that it’s a proper, long-term faza to be able to write about it publicly, I wouldn’t even tell people in private, except for Sofi, who it was because I always feel a bit, hm, insecure kind of, at the start of a new faza, and also I wasn’t sure if it was for real, I didn’t want to regret sharing something with someone too early on.

But, before I’ll write anything more, I want to tell you that if you’re a newbie here and have totally no idea what I’m talking about when I say “faza”, or maybe you’re even a regular but still find the concept a little confusing (because it certainly can be a bit confusing), I’ve got a

new page here,

which I hope will make things clearer for you. Please let me know if you’d like to know something and it’s not clear on there, because it’s difficult to explain stuff that is going on your brain level to outside people. If you’re not really familiar with what I mean by fazas and you want to be , I suggest you read that page before this post as otherwise it might be hard to make sense of what I’ll write here and I don’t want to clutter the post with explaining things on the go, as it’ll probably be a long post anyway. On that page you’ll also learn who it is I’m going to be talking about…

So yeah, I’m in the midst of a fabulous faza peak, which means I’ve been having quite a good time lately. What this new faza has certainly already taught me is: you can’t just make such things happen at will, just because you want. If you have been following me all that time ever since my faza on Gwil has started to fade and it didn’t seem like anyone was on the horizon to replace him on the dominant spot, perhaps you know a bit about my frantic search for a potential faza subject, especially in the music world as that’s where I most often get my fazas from. I tried to narrow down my criteria and especially looked for all sorts of musicians named Jack in whom, or in whose music alone at the very least, I could become passionately interested. Not because it’s any kind of requirement for my faza subject to be called Jack, or anything specific, for that matter, but, just like I said, it was just some sort of a criterion I used to narrow down what I was searching for, and I really love the name Jack so I thought it would be cool to finally have a faza subject named Jack. Later on I also started looking for people called Hamish because quite recently, being a name nerd who often falls in and out of love with different names, I’ve become enamoured with this name, according to my Mum it’s because it almost sounds like “Hey, Mish”, which is possible but in my opinion it’s mostly just because it’s so Scottish and both strong and kind of cute at the same time.

Despite my huge efforts, it just failed massively. Well, I did find a lot of great music so that was a plus, but none of these people were seriously interesting for me enough as individuals, nor did I feel their music enough to be able to consider them as my faza candidates for long. In fact most of them always turned out to be more Sofi’s thing, which means they just absolutely couldn’t be my thing because our tastes in most things vary a whole lot and thus it was just almost physically impossible. ๐Ÿ˜€

On January 13, I decided to finally do as mundane a thing as cleaning of all my gem stones and their appartments (which I normally make sure to do regularly and generally like doing but now somehow hadn’t done in quite some time and totally didn’t feel motivated as it really takes some time because different stones often need different kind of handling, and I’ve got lots of semi-precious and precious stones). So on January 13 I just got down to doing it. I put some music on just to play in the background , and even Misha came to entertain me with his company.

I think I was listening to one of Spotify’s Daily Mixes (if you’re not familiar with Spotify, Daily Mixes are mixes of music that it makes for you based on your listening activity, with stuff you’ve liked and things you might like but might also not have heard, there’s up to six of them depending on howย  varied your music taste is). I wasn’t really paying much attention to it, being deeply engrossed in my own thoughts, but just as I was polishing my lovely Fulk the Pyrite, I suddenly did start paying attention to the music because there was a rock piece I’ve never ever heard before and someone was “singing about [Welsh] independence” in a way that first made my heart wrench because of the hopeless lyrics, and then all of my brains melt with delight because it was so good overall and my synaesthetic experiences were bliss when listening to it. I had a quick look to see what that song was and by whom and that’s how I’ve first heard about a band called Y Trลตbz. It’s interesting how even small, minority language music scenes have just so much going on that even if you’re as familiar as I am/feel I am with the Welsh-language music scene, there always seems to be something you won’t know about, even if it’s not exactly very new.

Much later on that same day, just out of plain old curiosity, I looked Y Trลตbz up. What was my surprise to learn that one of the people in this band is Jacob Elwy – the same

Jacob Elwy

whose song (together with Mared Williams) I shared just two days prior to that, saying that I didn’t really know much at all about him. How fabulously ironic! ๐Ÿ˜€ In hintsight, I botched that post properly, because I even wrote that Mared Williams was from Gwynedd even though I knew full well that she was from Conwy, I don’t know what happened to my brain, but now it’s edited so hopefully my crime is forgiven and forgotten. While I’ve always found that song of Jacob and Mared that I posted really nice, it hadn’t exactly made me feel anything special which could suggest any forthcoming fazas, and I’ve listened to it many times, it was just that – very nice and pleasant. –

That in turn sparked my interest with Jacob himself, and, while I couldn’t find a whole lot about him, I thought I’d see if he’s doing anything solo. It appears like he’s just started spreading his wings in this respect last year, starting with the 2020 edition of Cรขn i Gymru (so the second one in a row in which he took part), where he sang a song called “Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I’ll Be 80), which I could vaguely recall and I knew I loved it to bits but I didn’t know who did it or how it was called or anything, I just heard it once on Radio Cymru while laying in bed half asleep with a migraine or something and thinking that it was really cool and reminded me of something very pleasant.

So I had a listen to his solo pieces as well and with time that priceless feeling I always get when having a new faza was getting stronger and stronger. I only had some doubts because I still knew precious little about him as an individual, and this is so key with fazas, but he has both rock and folk leanings, and also seems very much into reggae (which is cool because I used to be madly into reggae before I discovered folk so I have a bit of a sentiment for it) so at least musically I believe I feel him, although, a little surprisingly for me, even though I am a bit more into folk than rock, in his case I somehow prefer his more rocky side so far.

At the same time, as I was listening to him, somewhere in a corner of my mind I could feel that his music reminded me of something very vaguely but persistently. Something I couldn’t identify. And then I had a realisation! His voice, particularly in the lower register, reminds me of Jacek from Helsinki – my Polish Finnophile friend whom I’ve written a bit about on here who passed away from cancer a couple years ago. – Jacek was a rather musical creature who liked to sing sometimes, but most of all play the cello, which instrument I will probably associate with him forever and ever so it always makes me a little nostalgic. I really needed some validation of my experience so I even reached out to our mutual Polonophile Swedish friend although we’ve barely been in touch since his passing and I showed her the song of Jacob which he sang at last year’s Cรขn i Gymru, where he sounds the most like Jacek in my opinion and asked her if she feels the same. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if Jacob could also play the cello. Honestly, I would be very surprised, because while they sound very similar sometimes, I don’t suppose they are very similar in other ways and I just can’t imagine Jacob playing cello! ๐Ÿ˜€ But, if he does, that would be a cool surprise.

But I didn’t want this faza to be just based on the fact that Jacob reminds me of Jacek, that would be just so bloody unfair, especially that by then I’ve already started to like him overall, not just because of some sort of similarity to Jacek! So, to avoid that, I am starting to get to know him the best I can without actually knowing much about him directly – because it’s not like he’s very popular outside of Wales or perhaps north England so naturally I won’t be able to find a lot of information about him like I could with one of my previous faza subjects, Cornelis Vreeswijk, for example. I am also limited by the fact that I can’t see (and when you can see you can figure out a lot of things about a person easier, obviously), and that I’m not on most social media, but oh well, we can deal with that. With my own online research I actually learned more about his family rather than himself, which was also interesting.

Jacob is from a village called Tan y Fron near Llansannan in Denbigh in the Vale of Clwyd, however currently I believe he’s studying music in Manchester or was doing so not very long ago. If I’m guessing right (I may be guessing totally wrong because I’m shitty with counting as you know and I only guessed it based on other things I knew) he’s probably 26-27 and he has a lot of siblings for these days’ standards which I think is so fun and they all sound very cool! Sadly what also seems to be the case is that his family has been through a lot of hardships, I personally think more than what would be considered a fair share, which is perhaps just the reason why they make an impression of being very close with each other. I’m not sure I can talk about this because I didn’t really find most of it as something in relation to his music career, the only thing that does somehow connect to his music out of these is that his father had an alcohol problem, and died quite early on, when, I believe, some of his siblings were still teenagers. He left behind a book of penillions – which are, if I understand that correctly, poems which are sung to music – and they discovered them later and Y Trwbz made a few of them into great songs, they also wrote a song about him.

I always ask Sofi to tell me what my faza subjects look like and what she thinks about them subjectively (she summed her description of him up saying that she thinks he looks like Justin Timberlake ๐Ÿ˜€ ), and Sofi’s usually the first to know about my new fazas. And she made me notice a thing I didn’t even realise before. I told her that I’ve got a faza on a guy called Jacob Elwy and she was like “Oh wow, so your dream has come true! You’ve got your Jac- someone”. I was dumbstruck for a moment. Yes, I am a Jackophile, so I was looking for a Jack, or a Jac, or a Jacqueline, or a Jacek, or a Hyacinth (because it’s etymologically related to the Polish Jacek as you may recall from

this post)

but despite the name Jacob obviously starts with Jac-, and even despite Jack Vreeswijk’s full name is Lars Jacob, it never fell under the same category for me because it neither sounds like Jack, nor shares the etymology with either Jacek or Jack. And then I realised one more thing. Namely that, after all,

Hamish is a, somewhat distant, but still, etymological cousin of Jacob.

And then poor Sofi got quite confused, because I just couldn’t help myself and started laughing my brains out. It was as if God – or perhaps my Guardian Angel or one of my purgatory soul friends, because God probably has more urgent stuff to deal with, especially right now in these hectic times, than my fazas – was smiling at me mischievously and saying: “Hey you, Bibielle, you wanted a Jack or a Hamish, why not all in one, eh?”” I was always rather neutral about the name Jacob, given that it’s so popular for children in the US and I’ve got a lot to do with baby names every day so it seems a tad bit overused to me, and here Jakub has been nauseatingly popular for baby boys for decades, but I’m gradually changing my view on it now, obviously. Edited to add: a few days after writing this post I learned that, in case of this Jacob, his name is pronounced like Jack, as opposed to like Jay, which makes the situation even more hilarious and also really cool because I actually like this pronunciation a lot more, and don’t know why I couldn’t figure it out on my ownn that this must be the way it is pronounced in his case, since with Welsh phonetics it makes all the sense in the world.

I also had my doubts about whether it will really be so cool to have yet another Welsh faza in a row after Gwilym, but now I think it’s the perfect situation. Because I’m nowhere near fluent with my Welsh yet, and if I got a faza subject who would speak another of my favourite languages, I’d get distracted. Last year was very fruitless for me Welsh-wise because it was such a techy year, with my eventful computer transition and then the iPhone and getting used to the touchscreen reality which for me took a lot of time even though it went much better than expected. This year, even before I got the faza, I’ve decided to catch up on this and that’s what I’m doing. It’s good to be back on track again.

Because I believe that when getting to know a person, it’s good to know their background and things like that, I made my Dad feel appreciated by asking him to have a look at what Jacob’s area looks like. My Dad loves Google travelling (he’s often like: “When I was in Mexico a few days ago…” and sometimes people get confused but he only was there on Google Maps ๐Ÿ˜€ ), and so I always give him that mission with my new fazas, to go on Google Maps and have a look around where they live or grew up or something and tell me what he thinks, like generally about the place, what it looks like, what there is, whatever. I don’t talk with my Dad about my fazas, he doesn’t know about it, he’s just used to me having weird whims like that sometimes and wanting to travel virtually to some often a little obscure corners of the world, but he seems to enjoy these Google rides a lot and they are very useful for me to form a bit of an idea. He also helped me a bit with my geography, because while I’ve got quite a good idea of north-western Wales, with north-central/north-east I didn’t really know where exactly all these counties are and what distances between different places there are and couldn’t make sense of it on my own. Fazas, you see, can be very educating experiences.

I’ve also figured out (which I may be wrong about, it’s just my suspicion/gut feeling), that while it doesn’t seem like he has written any of his Welsh lyrics because most or all of them are by Rhydian Meilir with whom he collaborates a lot, nor I guess any of the lyrics for Y Trลตbz that he has sung with them, all his solo music in English (he has released only one English song officially but I’ve seen more unofficial songs of his) may have been written by him, and some of it has been written by him for sure. Which is a good news for me because people’s own lyrics usually can tell a fair bit about them. Perhaps not everyone is somehow super exhibitionist but still, it’s hard not to reveal yourself at all.

I’ve also looked at his Instagram even though I’m not on there myself and even though of course it’s not a very friendly place for blind people with so much pics, but still, I made use of all the image recognition stuff I have on my phone (Sofi was out, and I wouldn’t want to take an advantage of her too much) to get any idea of the pics, with mixed results, and luckily Instagram is not pics alone. So now I have a bit more of an idea of what he’s like, for example that he’s very keen on travelling as it seems, and has been to quite a few countries, I guess most recently Brazil before the pandemic has started. I’d read before that he went to Australia for a year, and, nosy as I am about my faza subjects and anything that may fascinate me (I should probably really work on this and become less nosy when it comes to people but oh well I’m an Aquarius and curiosity, which sometimes goes overboard, is the only Aquarius trait I seem to truly have so if I eradicated it out of myself I’d feel like a very fake Aquarius, this is my only excuse), I was wondering a lot about why, I mean whether it was something to do with the music or some other kind of career/education thing he was doing or just for fun, and now the latter seems most likely.

Okay, so, to finally close this lengthy post, I have a bonus song of the day for you. The one which originally caught my attention so much – “Annibyniaeth” (Independence) by Y Trลตbz.

Y Trลตbz is very much a family business, as originally it was created by Jacob as the vocalist and his younger brother Morgan as the bass, and then two other members – their cousin and Morgan’s friend – joined. Later on, Jacob was replaced by Mared Williams who is Morgan’s girlfriend, and then when Mared had other artistic things going on Jacob was with them again. Despite I’ve got a faza on Jacob, I like Y Trwbz with Mared just as much, it’s equally great but in a totally different way.

 

The lyrics are written by Morgan Elwy and I don’t feel like I can translate them for you literally because I don’t know the meaning of some words, but I do understand the point of it well and I can tell you that this song shows how one feels when their own country is not independent and basically facing a lot of unnecessary difficulties which surely wouldn’t happen otherwise, like the flooding of Capel Celyn, which was carefully planned ahead, about losing hope and not seeing the point in fighting for your rights when no one hears you anyway. So there’s a question, when will the day finally come that their country will be strong again, and the Welsh will be singing about independence. I dearly hope for it to happen as soon as it’s only possible, and wish them good luck with regaining their autonomy, just as I do with all of “my” other countries which also can’t enjoy independence.

Melys – “Llawenydd” (Joy).

Hi hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’d like to share with you a song from a band of whose existence I’ve known for a couple years but only recently started listening to their music more. They are from the Conwy area in Wales and are quite a successful band, not only on the strictly Welsh-language music scene but also more broadly, which is probably thanks to John Peel – a BBC Radio 1 DJ and presenter who, while not being Welsh himself, had a great interest in Welsh music and promoted it a fair bit, and seemed to be a particularly big fan of Melys. –

Their name means sweet in Welsh (the word melys does taste really sweet indeed in my synaesthetic, lexical-gustatory brain ๐Ÿ˜€ ). While there are Welsh rock bands that I like more and I’m not crazy about Melys, I definitely do like them and have been listening to a lot. The single I want to share with you is from 2019.