Laura Cannell ft. Kate Ellis – “Alone In The Wolf Thickets”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have an interesting, piece for you today! It’s from English composer, recorder player and violinist Laura Cannell, whose music I’ve previously shared with you. Her music is a fusion of folk with experimental music, I’d say with inspirations both very modern, new and progressive as well as ancient. The piece I want to share with you today comes from her brand new album, which is the first volume of her collaborative series created with a bunch of other artists and Called These Feral Lands. Laura Cannell seems to be often inspired by nature in her music, and this album is no exception, as it focuses on ancient folklore, as well as feral animals. I recently had a listen to it as I stumbled upon it a bit accidentally and since I had a bit to do with her music earlier I thought I’d like to see what this new thing was. As you may or may not know, I like a bit of experimental music, and I obviously love folk. And I enjoyed listening to it I guess even more than I originally thought I would, so I thought I’d share one piece from this album with you, and I chose Alone In The Wolf Thickets. It has been made in collaboration with Dublin-based cellist, Kate Ellis.

 

Bendith – “Dinas” (City).

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’d like to show you another piece from the beautiful project which was a result of collaboration of two, seemingly very distinct, Welsh band – alt-folk/psychedelic folk Plu (which consists of my most recent faza object Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his two sisters, Marged and Elan), and Carwyn Ellis from indie Colorama. – I wrote about that earlier because I shared with you two pieces from their collective album already. The project is called Bendith (which means blessing in Welsh) and this is also the title of the album. The album is very strongly inspired by Carwyn Ellis’ (who initiated the whole idea) fond childhood memories.

I love how this particular piece is so very atmospheric and evocative, and so rich and simply incredibly beautiful. It’s definitely one of my favourites from this album and I think there’s something totally captivating about it.

Jack Curley – “Alice”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while with some involvement (thanks for that btw) and now saw the name Jack in the title, you may be wondering whether the Jack I’m talking about here is my next faza. I can already tell you that the answer is: no. Moreover, sadly, I still haven’t come across my next faza object (or maybe I have but it just haven’t kicked in?… I somehow doubt it but who am I to know, it’s my brain who’s in charge of it, not me, which kind of sucks but at the same time is kind of a blessing, if that makes any sense, but if it doesn’t, I guess it doesn’t really have to, from my point of view, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t really get where I’m coming from, fazas are generally rather illogical and not many people seem to have them). I had been looking, as you might recall, rather frantically and unsuccessfully, for a good few months for a faza object, even though I know it never works like this that I choose who I want to have a faza on, it’s totally random and sometimes even a bit ironical/paradoxical/illogical like with Vreeswijk, and happens on its own, at the right time. But this time round the time is more than right and there has been a huge delay because my faza on Gwil has faded a fair bit (which does not mean I no longer have a faza on Gwil, it’s always a case, or at least has always been, with my major fazas that I have a faza for 2-4 years and then it’s dominant, and after that, after I develop a new faza, the previous one just goes into the background but is still incredibly important for me, just not on the centre stage sort of and I don’t get such strong faza peaks in relation to that particular person) and I’m left with nothing really. Considering that my fazas, as a huge source of fascination and inspiration are also a large part of what my drive in life consists of, my life has felt much more pointless since then and I’ve had an episode of feeling really quite anhedonic and blah about everything. Now I’m no longer as extremely anhedonic and have sort of accepted the situation, also the good thing is that still, with enough focus and effort, I can make myself feel like I had a little faza peak on either Gwilym or Cornelis, which is always something. There’s also that literary faza I’m having – Ravi Reinsen from Daughters of Life by May Grethe Lerum – but literary fazas are always so much less strong, because with a living person there’s a lot of ways in which you can cultivate and grow your faza, while with a literary character, even the most multidimensional one, you just have the book, or a series as in this case, and how many times can you read a single series? Moreover, how substantial will that single source be for the continuous development and exploration of your faza? So while Ravi has a very important place in my Brainworld, not much can be done with it and it sucks. If the series were more popular, perhaps that would be easier, but as unheard of as it is, there’s no way for me to feed the faza so I’m actually surprised that it still lives on after such a long time (about half a year if not more) anyway. But generally, I think I gave up on my frantic search. I know anyway that it’s probably not going to do anything,it has to come on its own. Whether it will is another thing. Perhaps I’ll just no longer have fazas. That would be really super shitty but I’m sure one can get used to it and live on, though the quality of one’s inner life is rather questionable then but there’s not much I can do.

Anyway, as you also might recall, I am a huge Jackophile and because none of my previous faza objects was called Jack or anything similar, I thought it would be so cool having a faza on a Jack, so I was particularly looking for people named Jack, or anything related whose music I could like, also for Hamishes because I’ve recently fallen in love with the name Hamish (my Mum made me realise that it almost sounds like “Hey, Mish! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ “, but with Hamishes it was a total failure. I mostly used Spotify for that.

And if not that I am fairly sure that Spotify doesn’t have any such algorithm, cuz in what way would it even work, I’d probably think that it must have picked up somewhat on my looking for Jacks, because while in the past it would be a really rare thing that Spotify would recommend me any Jacks, now I get at least one, or one band featuring a Jack, per month (or thereabouts, I guess) in my Discover Weekly playlist. Never mind that I’ve known and listened to many of them previously, but to some I haven’t or hadn’t had a clue about their existence.

And today, I want to share with you a song by one of these new to me Jacks – Jack Curley! – In fact, he’s super new to me because Spotify only recommended him to me this week. I haven’t even had time yet to sit down and listen more carefully to his other music except this one song.

He’s most likely not a material for my next faza because while I liked this song of his and I think he’s very good vocally and all he’s just a little bit too normal. Yeah, that’s almost always, with a few exceptions, a problem with my Jack candidates for a faza. Actually Jack is such a normal and simple name so perhaps it’s always the case with Jacks, that they’re cool, likeable, but, uh, too normal! Like I said though, I haven’t had a listen to more of his music. Maybe if I will, something will click. Also, one of my major fazas that I’ve had so far – Declan – is also quite normal, I’d say about the same degree as this Jack, and still I developed a faza on him. My criteria are quite narrow anyway so perhaps that’s one reason I can’t find a faza. Maybe people who say I’m snobbish when it comes to music are actually right? Maybe I shouldn’t hold my brain back and get rid of any criteria? But I have to say I’d be kind of afraid then what my brain would pick, seriously you never know with brains. ๐Ÿ˜€

As far as I understand, he’s relatively new to the music world at least when it comes to releasing his own music. He’s also a Mancunian (I did think at one point it would be so cool if my potential new faza object, apart from being a Jack, was from the north of England, because that’s where Jack Rutter was from and that was what prompted me to think I’d like that at this point, oh and Jack Rutter was one of the few less normal Jacks that I’ve found who appealed to me). So here is Jack Curley’s debut single – Alice. – It’s very normal for my standards but it’s great nevertheless.

Jess Ward – “Cowrie Love”.

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’d like to introduce to you a singer and harpist who is very new to me. I only heard her for the first time on Blas Folk Radio Cymru a couple days ago and I really liked her. For now, I don’t know any more of her music, but I am definitely going to check it out. I think both her vocals and harp play are really nice. I didn’t know what cowrie meant when first hearing this song, so just in case you don’t either, that’s how sea snails are called.

Hywel Pitts – “Ailadrodd” (Repeat).

For today, I chose to share with you a Hywel Pitts’ song. I only know two solo songs of his, it’s possible that he has more of them and I just don’t know (that’s what the lyrics of this song may also kind of suggest, haha). Currently he is the vocalist of a Welsh-language rock band I Fight Lions. Both these songs by Hywel Pitts that I know have always sounded to me like they have very interesting lyrics but since I’m still like lower intermediate or so, and couldn’t find the lyrics anywhere online to help me understand them, there was always a lot of guessing and assuming involved. However now I understand at least as much of this song to be able to grasp the context, although I fear I have no clue about what this repeating bit in the chorus means, and I feel like it’s important. Oh well…

Anyway, the song is about how the lyrical subject (can we talk about lyrical subject in pop/folk lyrics? ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t know, but I also don’t know if it’s Hywel Pitts’ own experience or just something he felt like writing so let’s say it is a lyrical subject) dreamt in his teens about being a rock star. Years later, he finds himself doing just small gigs. He is wondering whether perhaps he’s not charismatic enough, not talented enough, not confident enough. But how can he be confident if he has no fans? Maybe it’s because he isn’t good at laughing at himself, or because he doesn’t have family in the BBC, maybe he’s not fashionable enough, or doesn’t write enough hits, or his songs are bad, in any case no one buys his CD’s or even downloads his mp3s. He has tried a lot of things (everything basically) to achieve his dream – he has tried dressing like a guy, like a girl, he’s been working very hard for free, trying to be folksy, punkrocky, fat, thin, courageous, interesting, funny, honest, different, entertaining, straight, gay, bi, support Tories, Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales – this is a socialist-nationalist Welsh party), Labour, he tried praying, joined Zoosk, Tinder, OK Cupid, he’s been writing in Welsh, English and French, etc. etc. etc. I don’t understand all of that unfortunately, but the point is that still, despite his efforts, no one’s paying any attention. Eventually he concludes that – I am not sure if I understand what he does not need, but I’m pretty sure that what he does need is “four chords and a smile”.

If this is indeed Hywel Pitts’ experience, that makes me very sad because, while I know only two songs by him, except for I Fight Lions, I like them both and I think I could consider myself his fan, even if I’m the only one. I like things that others don’t, especially if they have anything to do with minority languages and Celticness and are quirky. So perhaps that would increase his self-confidence, if he knew that, lol, and maybe that would help him to gain more fans, in turn. I am hoping for the best here.

Song of the day (16th November) – Child Of Mind – “Maybe We Can Find A Way”.

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d like to share with you a song by one of my main fazas, more exactly the object of my second faza – Declan Galbraith, aka Child Of Mind. I’ve shared some of his music, earlier and more current, before, so you may know that he has started his singing career at the age of 11, and is from England but has a lot of Celtic heritage on both sides of his family. Currently he has this Child Of Mind project going on, and although in the earlier years of his career he mostly covered some popular songs, now he writes his own lyrics and they are very interesting and often quite deep or at least can make you think. The song I want to share with you now is one of these and is called Maybe We Can Find A Way. I chose to show you a live version, for no other reason that I saw it first when looking for you on youTube, and lives are typically more genuine so if they’re good audio quality and well performed I’m all for lives instead of album versions unless I have some strong preference for the album version for some reason. As you’ll be able to hear, this is from his gig in Italy.

Song of the day (15th November) – The Harriet Earis Trio (Kitchen Devils).

Just a couple days ago, I shared with you guys a very interesting piece by this group called Cadair Idris. Later I thought that actually, this whole project is so quirky (and obviously I’m all for quirky on here) and there’s so much to like about their music that I’d like to share something else from them, especially that I’ve been sharing a lot of harp music lately and catching up on that I hadn’t done that a lot in the previous years of this bllog. So the piece I chose now is called Kitchen Devils. It is much more experimental than jazzy, and I really do like experimental music. It’s so fun and quirky and there’s no boundaries. Here, you really see it. Well, I do. I’ve never heard something similar I guess. It’s such a genuine blend of folk and electronica, it tastes really good to my synaesthetic, auditory-gustatory brain. More exactly it tastes a bit minty and lemony (or maybe limey?) at the same time. The dance beat made me think how cool it would be if harp was used in some kinds of club music. Instead of vocals or keyboards? It wouldn’t need to be folksy at all. I’ll have to look around if someone has ever come up with such an idea and did it. ๐Ÿ˜€ Or maybe the final result wouldn’t be cool at all and very different to what I imagine, and instead it would turn out to be a total harp profanity. For now, let’s enjoy this quirky piece. ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day (14th November) – Celia Briar – “Farewell To Craigie Dhu”.

Here’s another lovely harp-driven tune for you guys, from a harpist whose music I shared with you before. This composition sounds contemporary to me, and turns out that that’s what it is. It was composed by Scottish folk singer songwriter Dougie MacLean, and the Craigie Dhu in the title was a place (property) where he lived. I think moving houses, especially such that are dear enough to you that you feel like capturing them in music, is a very stressful and unsettling thing but this farewell doesn’t sound all that sad at all, it sounds very hopeful, don’t you think? So if you need a bit of hope for the future in your life, maybe you can find it in here.

Song of the day (13th November) – Georgia Ruth – “Brychni” (Freckles).

A couple days ago, I had an absolutely lovely dream. I don’t remember much of it now as it has faded but I remembered a fair bit after I woke up and it was so happy. As you may know, I always sleep with the music from Spotify or some radio station playing quietly in the background as that helps me with the sensory anxiety and is generally fun. I also like having a soundscape to my dreams, haha. And when I woke up from that happy dream, this song by Georgia Ruth was playing. And since then, it’s been stuck in my brain and brainworming me. Which I have no problem with.

I shared some music from Georgia Ruth earlier as I really like her music, but in case you don’t know, she is a Welsh singer, harpist, and even has her own evening show on BBC Radio Cymru. So here’s this beautiful piece.

Song of the day (10th November) – The Harriet Earis Trio – “Cadair Idris” (Idris’ Chair).

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a very new group for me, which I first heard on Blas Folk Radio Cymru and thought their music was very interesting. The Harriet Earis Trio, consisting of Harriet Earis on Celtic harp, Andy “Val” Coughlan on double bass and Sam Christie on drums makes a sort of jazz-folk fusion. Harriet Earis is a young harpist from England who currently lives in Aberystwyth and has studied Irish, Scottish and Welsh harp, so in her music she draws from the Celtic harp tradition of all of these countries, but also goes beyond the tradition. I am generally not a jazz person, although you may know that thanks to my faza on Cornelis Vreeswijk I’ve become more flexible in this regard and I do like some jazz now, thanks to Cornelis), but still this is far from being my favourite genre and even jazz with a very prominent harp doesn’t always convince me, for example I don’t really feel harpist Dorothy Ashby’s music. But I like what this trio is making, I really do! I like how spontaneous and unconventional it all is and the whole idea of Celtic jazz has a little bit of a quirky feel which I love.

This particular piece is called Cadair Idris which is the name of a mountain in Wales. It is located in Snowdonia National Park in northern Wales, on the territory of former county Meirionydd/Merionethshire which is part of Gwynedd these days, near the town of Dolgellau. It is a popular place with hikers. Its name means Idris’ Chair and refers to Idris Gawr (Idris the Giant) a medieval prince of Meirionydd, who won a battle with the Irish on this mountain.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Cรขn Y Lleisoniaid/Cรขn Y Droell Bach” (Song of the Lleisons/Song of the Little Spinning Wheel).

Today I’d like to share with you a set of two harp songs by my most favourite Welsh harpist – Gwenan Gibbard. She is from Llyn Peninsula in north Wales, and apart from being a harpist, she’s also a singer, and a Welsh language native in whose life music has always played a huge part since her early childhood.

Sadly I have no idea about who composed these songs, whether it’s Gwenan herself or whether they are traditional, but since I cannot find any info I think it’s safe to assume that they’re traditional. The first song is called Song of the Lleisons in English – Lleison is simply a Welsh surname. I’m curious who they were. I really like this composition as it is so melancholic and so very beautiful. And the other is Song of The Little Spinning Wheel, which has a much more happy, upbeat feel which is also why I like it a lot. I don’t know which one I like more. Do you have a favourite?

Grace Carter – “Say Something”.

I’ve shared a lot of British acoustic pop music on here and a fair bit of British pop lately as well, so thought I’d share one more interesting song, this time by London-based British-Jamaican singer and songwriter Grace Carter. I don’t like all of her music necessarily, but this song is quite cool, and since I prefer its acoustic version, I’m sharing this version with you.

Song of the day (6th November) – Ailie Robertson – “Glimmer”.

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had already shared one piece by this great Scottish harpist on here. This one comes from just the same album. It has a more reflective vibe, and I find it very relaxing. Hope you’ll find it enjoyable. ๐Ÿ™‚

This track is not available on YouTube, so I’ll embed it from Spotify and for those of you who do not have Spotify but use some other music streaming service, I’ll include a link to Songwhip that you can follow and find it on your streaming platform of choice.

Bendith – “Lliwiau” (Colours).

Hey guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I have a very beautiful song for you from an album which is a result of collaboration between two quite distinctively different Welsh bands – Colorama (which is more like alternative rock with some psychedelic and indie stuff as well as folk motives thrown in there) and Plu (which is classified as alt-folk or psychedelic folk). They called this project, as well as the album that came out of it, Bendith, which means blessing in English. The album focuses on pleasant childhood memories and so generally feels rather nostalgic, more specifically it evolves around Carwyn Ellis’ (the leader of Colorama and the initiator of this collaboration) fond childhood memories of Carmarthenshire. Plu is one of the bands where Gwilym Bowen Rhys – the object of my most recent major faza as you may know – is involved as a singer, guitarist and other stringed instruments player. I love Plu so this album is very special to me, even though it’s not exactly what you’d expect from your typical Plu album. I shared one song from this album in the past and a few others from Plu. I think, despite it came out in February, it’s a great listen for autumn. And I wonder whether they’ll be doing something more together. This song is one of my favourites from this album because it sounds very much like the sound of Plu. It just has a great feel to it.

Floraleda Sacchi – “La Chasse” (The Hunt).

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I have a delightful, classical piece for you. While I can appreciate the value of classical music and highly respect people who have an authentic and deep understanding of it, I myself do not feel like I have it. I don’t know whether it comes from a sort of aversion I’d gotten for this type of music at school and it still is there somewhere, or is it more a thing of my lack of emotional maturity, which I think is necessary to understand complex classical pieces and feel them.

However, as you may know, I love harp. Especially |Celtic harp, and especially in a folk setting, but I also adore classical music where the harp is very prominent, or even jazz or pop music with harp but in such genres it’s easier to screw it up so I don’t always end up liking it. And so you can imagine that my love is all the greater for solo harp music! There haven’t been many composers who would compose solo music for harp, usually piano pieces are arranged and adapted, nevertheless there have been a handful of them, who usually were harpists themselves. And there is a fabulously talented and versatile harpist (mostly Celtic) in Italy, called Floraleda Sacchi, who has put a lot of effort over the years of her work to popularise harpists and harp composers, especially the more obscure ones like Elias Parish Alvars or Alphonse Hasselmans. This beautiful and evocative piece here was also composed by one of those forgotten harpists, a Scottish lady of Italian descent called Sophia Dussek (nee Corri). Her music does strike a chord with me, and in any case, as is typically the case with me and harp music, is just a pleasure to listen to. This is a long, solo, multi-threated piece, and thus just right for my voracious brain. I don’t speak French but the title of this composition seems to mean the hunt in this language.

Karliene – “Jack’s Lament”.

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yay!!! I’ve been waiting all year to share this song with you, and finally the right time has come! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a song about Halloween. Those of you who know me may be wondering now what happened to me that I’ve been dying all year to share with you a song about Halloween when I’m Catholic and do not celebrate Halloween. But if you know me you’ve also noticed that there’s Jack in the title and you know that I’m a Jackophile. So there you have it, that’s exactly the reason. ๐Ÿ˜€

But seriously, to be more specific, I absolutely love this song because to me, it proves that even Jack-o’lantern doesn’t really like Halloween. It’s so heartwrenching and I truly feel for him! Any time I’m listening to it it makes me want to call out to all the Jack-o’lanterns of the world “Hey! Come to me! You want to have to play creepy here! I promise I won’t be scared of you, you all will have different, better lives”. Actually, as someone who doesn’t celebrate Halloween, I wonder, what do people do with their poor Jacks after Halloween? Perhaps I could become some sort of a Jack-o’lantern collector and people would drop them off or send here for me and I would transform their lives from crappy to happy, from yucky to lucky. I wonder are Jack-o’lanterns edible? Uncle Google says yes but not particularly delicious for purees. Well, I was thinking that my Mum could make a soup out of all them Jacks because she likes pumpkin soup but if they’re not good for it that’s even better because I hate pumpkin, it’s so pulpy and mashy and it tastes gross, so it would be sad to have them all lost in my Mum’s soup, and she wouldn’t eat so much of it anyway so it would also be a huge waste. But I love pumpkin seeds! And My Mum has mentioned to me many times around Halloween how she thinks the Jack-o’lanterns are very decorative and before the Halloween boom came here to the point it is now (not that it’s anywhere near to how much people celebrate it in the US, it’s still seen a rather new tradition) she often thought that she’d like to have a pumpkin candlestick, but now everyone would think she’s a Halloweener too. If I was her, I would do it anyway, but at a different time of the year. And yeah, someone may think I am celebrating Halloween in February but so what? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m all for celebrating things in an unusual way as it’s so eccentric and out of the box. I love it since when I once called my former long-term therapist in the middle of April (we mostly had phone contact because that was often the only option because of me being in the boarding school) and when I called her there was a lot of chaos and people talking in her house, so she apologised to me and said she’d call me back later because she forgot to let me know earlier that they were celebrating New Year’s Eve today. I was of course like: “But… New Year’s Eve? In April?!” “Yes, why not? We’re just weird like that”. And I love doing things this way since then when I realised that you actually can! ๐Ÿ˜€ My family is very conventional so it usually isn’t an option with festivities but I can practice my eccentricity in other ways, too. And now, I could have Jack-o’lanterns all around the house as candlesticks all year round except for Halloween. They wouldn’t be creepy. They would be warm, cosy and inviting and if someone would scream at their first sight it would be in awe of their amount and how beautiful they look. I’m sure with very many of them it wouldn’t be possible or safe to transform them all into candlesticks and it wouldn’t be practical either, but over time I’d become more inventive I’m sure. Oh, I was just about to publish this post when another potentially superb idea creeped into my brains! We, in Poland, have All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days on November 1 and 2. And we have a custom, which as far as I know isn’t a thing anywhere else, of lighting candlelights on the graves of our loved ones. I suppose it would be controversial for many people to place Jacks-o’lanterns on graves, but if it was with the right intentions, perhaps with Jacks having been exorcised or somehow consecrated beforehand if need be, it could be a good idea.

I think I shared something by Karliene Reynolds on here before as I like her a lot and she’s such a prolific singer, but even if I didn’t, here’s Jack’s Lament.

Song of the day (27th October) – Ella Henderson – “Glorious”.

I’d like to share with you another song that I think has great lyrics. Yes, they are a bit cliche, but I think it’s good anyway that we have music like this, which can help us become more accepting of ourselves, of our flaws. I’m not sure I fully agree with it literally that our flaws make us glorious, but the way I interpret it is that we shouldn’t be as harsh with ourselves as we often are about things that are part of us that we don’t like, but which we have little to no control over and can’t change. And there indeed are flaws which can ultimately make us better people.

Song of the day (26th October) – Ella Eyre – “Careless”.

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

This time, I have something in quite a different feel than what I’ve been sharing a lot with you lately, as it’s not folk. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you may remember Ella Eyre from its very beginnings, when I shared her song Even If. I really like her strong voice and she has a lot of relatable lyrics. This song is definitely relatable for me and I think it’s this kind of song that could be easily relatable to many of us. So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day (21st October) – Rachel Newton – “The Changeling Reel”.

Hey guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s another piece from the great Scottish harpist, Rachel Newton. This was one of the first pieces by her that I’ve heard, I like the vibe of it. Also changelings are among the things in folklore that feel very close to me, so that’s another reason why I really like this interesting reel. Hope you will too. ๐Ÿ™‚