Llio Rhydderch – “Ffarwell i Gymru” (Farewell to Wales).

Hiya people! 🙂

For today, I’d like to share with you a piece from the Welsh triple harpist whose name you’re probably very familiar with from my blog already. This hiraethful (or hiraethus in the actual Welsh language; if you don’t know what hiraeth is, you can read

this Wikipedia article

although it’s very far from exhaustive, but is always something to start with) piece is definitely one of my favourites by her, though of course nothing can beat

Gwenllian.

Sian James – “Cariad Cyntaf” (First Love).

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Like yesterday, today I thought we could listen to another Welsh traditional song, also played on the harp, but this one has lyrics. This is a fairly popular love song from a male perspective and has been sung by a lot of folk musicians, the version I myself was first acquainted with was from the band 9Bach, whose music I’ve also shared on here in the past. I guess the most well-known contemporary version of this song has been sung by Bryn Terfel though. The translated lyrics are below, andI’ve taken them from

here.

There is beauty only second to Eden

In your warm bosom, fair maiden.

Dear loved one, bright and happy;

Beautiful star, hear this lovesick one.

Promise your love to me tonight,

We’ll make vows before we leave

To engage, come what may.

Place your trust, and say you’ll come.

Bright happy one,

Love of my breast

Fairest that I ever loved

I will take you as a partner.

In your eyes I have truth

That shines like stars

Of Grace and virtue;

To see you is to rejoice.

Nansi Richards – “Wyres Megan” (Megan’s Granddaughter).

Hi guys! 🙂

For today I chose to share with you another traditional Welsh tune played by the amazing late Welsh triple harpist and Celtic harpist Nansi Richards (aka Telynores Maldwyn). This is a lovely little waltz, which apparently is particularly often played on fiddle though I know no other recordings of it than this one. There’s also another tune that seems to have some association to this one though I never heard it before, it’s “Merch Megan” (Megan’s Daughter). That makes me wonder if there’s a tune dedicated to Megan herself and what Megan that was, though the latter would probably be difficult to find out, unless folk music experts and nerds bigger than myself know it and it’s just me who does not.

Delyth & Angharad Jenkins – “Pantyfedwen”.

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Today I’d like to share with you a Welsh Christian hymn, a Presbyterian one, more exactly, praising Christ. It’s a very recent one really because it has only been written in 1960’s, by a Welsh minister as well as a bard, William Rhys Nicholas. The name of the hymn comes from a farm in today’s Ceredigion, in which the hymn was sung for the first time. This is an instrumental version played by the mother and daughter duo whose music I’ve frequently shared on here before – Delyth and Angharad Jenkins, also known as D&A or DNA. – In this piece, however, Delyth, who is primarily known for being a Celtic harpist, plays the piano, as you’ll be able to hear.

Delyth & Angharad Jenkins – “Pantyfedwen”.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Moel Rhiwen/Cam Deiniolen/Morgawr”.

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Haven’t shared anything from Gwilym Bowen Rhys in a while. This set of three pieces comes from his amazing debut album “O Groth y Ddaear” (From the Earth’s Womb). They’re the only instrumental pieces on this album. “Moel Rhiwen” and “Cam Deiniolen” are Gwilym’s own compositions, both are dedicated to specific places in Gwynedd in North Wales where he is from. Moel Rhiwen is a summit in Snowdonia, whereas Deiniolen is a village in Gwynedd. I must admit though that I’m not really sure what Cam Deiniolen as such means, I know that cam means step in Welsh, or apparently also things like stage, or footpring, but I have no idea what it means in this specific context. Then the third piece – Morgawr – comes from the late Welsh piper and composer Simon Owen. – I’ve heard several other versions and arrangements of this tune but, probably not very surprisingly if you know me, I like Gwilym’s most. Morgawr is a creature in the Cornish folklore, a giant sea serpent. As on the rest of the album, we can also hear the harp of Gwen Mairi Yorke (whose music I have also shared a few times on here) and the fiddle of Patrick Rimes from the band Calan, who both frequently collaborate with Gwilym not only on his albums.

Mared – “Dos i Ffwrdd” (Go Away).

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Today I’d like to share with you another song from the very talented and versatile Welsh singer Mared Williams, a fair few of whose songs I’ve already shared on here, either solo or with her as the vocalist for the band Y Trwbz. This song comes from her debut album Y Drefn (The Order) which I really love, because it shows so well how she seems to feel perfectly comfortable in all kinds of genres. While my favourite from that album is probably Gwydr Glas which I’ve already shared before, from less folky pieces, I think this one wins for me.

Catrin Finch ft. Seckou Keita – “Yama Ba”.

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I’ve shared with you a few pieces played by Catrin Finch already, but I think only one that she played with collaboration with Seckou Keita. They have been working together for quite a couple years now, so I thought I’d share something else, from their album called Soar. Catrin Finch, as you may remember, is a Welsh harpist, whereas Seckou Keita is a Senegalese kora player. I’d never heard what kora sounds like before I first heard their music together, and I really like the way these instruments sound together and complement each other.

Rachel Newton – “The Maid of Neidpath”.

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A beautiful Scottish piece I have for you today! It’s actually a poem by sir Walter Scott, but played on the harp and sung by Rachel Newton. It tells the story of Jean Douglas – daughter of William Douglas – who lived in Neidpath castle in the 18th century. She fell in love with a man who, although he was of noble birth, was considered not a proper match for Jean, so, in an attempt to make his daughter forget about her love, her father sent him away. That totally destroyed poor Jean, who fell very ill as a result, and was only able to watch out the window for when her lover would come back. Eventually he did, but she was so poorly and sick-looking that he didn’t even recognise her and rode past the castle. That ultimately broke the girl’s heart and she died. Her memory still seems to be alive in that area because she’s still believed to haunt the castle.

Sally Oldfield – “Sun in My Eyes”.

Hiya people! 🙂

Today I thought I’d share with you a song from Sally Oldfield, from the beginning of her career in late 70’s. You may know Sally Oldfield or have heard of her, since she was quite a successful artist, and especially her song Mirrors was a hit iin the UK, or her name may sound familiar to you because of her two brothers, Mike and Terry Oldfield, who are also musicians, and I personally enjoy some of Mike’s music a lot, including his Tubular Bells album, which is probably what he’s most known for. He also collaborated with his sister a fair bit. Sally was born in Dublin – as her mother was Irish – but grew up in Reading in Berkshire, England. Apart from singing, she also used to do ballet as well as other types of dancing, but eventually decided to focus on music. At some point during her solo career, she decided to relocate to Germany and released some albums there, but I guess now she’s no longer active or not so much as she used to be.

 

The Harriet Earis Trio – “Take 5/The Unsquare Dance”.

Hiya people! 🙂

For today, I chose a set of two pieces from an album from which I’ve already shared some music with you and which I really like for its creativeness. The album is called From The Crooked Tree and comes from the Wales-based group The Harriet Earis Trio, with the very Celtic harpist Harriet Earis at the centre of things.

Jacob Elwy a’r Trŵbz – “Drudwy” (Starling).

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I haven’t shared any music by Jacob Elwy, one of my faza peeps, in what feels like ages. So here’s our song for today, one of last year’s singles recorded by Jacob and Y Trŵbz, the band established by him, his brother Morgan, whose music from his most recent album I shared quite recently, their cousin Tomo Lloyd and their friend Gruff Roberts. This song has been written by them in remembrance of Jacob and Morgan’s father – Bryn Williams – who passed away some years ago and although I don’t know any details it seems to have been a premature death. They have actually released a few songs last year that in some way are connected to their father which I think is really great that they are able to channel their grief in such a creative way and I find all of these songs very beautiful each in its own way. He himself wasn’t a musician, but from what I read in one interview with them he did like jamming, and wrote something that’s called penillion in Welsh, which, if I get this correctly, are verses of poetry, traditionally set to some familiar tunes and sung accompanied by harp, except in this case Y Trŵbz created more folk rock arrangements for them. I’ll surely be sharing those pieces written by Bryn Williams in the future. The piece I’m sharing with you today is called Starling and talks about how still despite he’s no longer with them physically, he actually still is in spirit every day and will be forever, and continues to ignite the flame that inspires them, and that they can see his smile among the stars and that he is their hero, although the song is written in singular rather than plural. I don’t understand it in its entirety but these are some of the bits that I do understand.

Nansi Richards – “Cainc Dona” (Dona’s Tune).

Hey people! 🙂

For today I chose another tune from the amazing late Welsh harpist Nansi Richards, also known as Telynores Maldwyn. I’m not exactly sure whether cainc indeed means tune, ’cause it also means things like branch and I guess several other things, but in this context I suppose it’s meant to mean tune.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Paid â Deud” (Don’t Say).

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Today I’m sharing with you a song from Welsh harpist and singer Gwenan Gibbard, already featured on this blog multiple times. I don’t really know much about this song, not eve whether it’s her original composition, or a traditional tune, or maybe someone else wrote and composed it in modern times, but I think it’s beautiful.

Morgan Elwy – “Bach o Hwne” (A Bit of That).

Hi hi hi people! 🙂

Today I have a song in Welsh for you, this year’s winner of Cân i Gymru (Song for Wales) which took place in early March. Since Cân i Gymru is very exciting, and also, as you may or may not recall, Morgan is the brother of Jacob Elwy, who’s one of my

faza peeps,

despite I wasn’t able to watch Cân i Gymru, I was following it at the time of it happening and keeping all my fingers, toes, and brain hemispheres crossed for him, ’cause I’m loyal to my faza peeps and that includes their families too. So he basically couldn’t have not won, physically impossible. But even putting this personal bias of mine aside as much as it’s possible, this tune was very much fit for winning. As I think I have written before, there’s not much reggae on the Welsh-language music scene, or at least I don’t know of many Welsh singers who have done it, only a few, but perhaps it’s just me being ignorant. So with this song and then later with his album he is filling what seems to me an important and quite a big gap in Welsh music, doing something maybe not entirely new (as it’s not like previously Welsh-language reggae was never a thing at all, there’s just not much of it) but still very fresh and exciting, and doing it well (as far as I can tell not being a huge reggae fanatic or anything) and it’s no wonder that people must have fallen in love with it. This song was also included on his album Teimlo’r Awen (Feeling the Muse) which was released in May.

Personally I don’t love this song, it doesn’t necessarily speak to me very strongly, but I still do like it and its very upbeat vibe which can instantly make you smile.

I definitely don’t understand the lyrics well enough to do a translation, or even tell you in detail of what it’s about, but from what I do gather, and from what I understood from Cân i Gymru’s website, this song is about the value of friends and having a lot of fun with them.

Rachel Newton – “Hi Horo’s na Horo Eile”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to another piece from this great Scottish harpist and singer, in Scottish Gaelic. This is a really interesting traditional love song from a female perspective. I’ve found a translation of it, which I’ll share below as usual, but if you like this sort of thing or are intrigued by something in the lyrics, I highly recommend you go visit

the original source

and read the notes below the translation as there are plenty of little geeky linguistic bits explained about the lyrics.

 

You are my love and I’ll never deny it

When I was a green young girl

I fell in love with the young man

who had the handsome appearance;

and I will never love another

I went into the forest of trees and branches

and took an interest in a lovely sapling

it is in Glasgow of the shops

that I fell in love with the manly handsome lad.

The most capable fingers that could write with a pen

or tune the strings of a violin;

it is your music that would lift my spirits

when I was ] weary and melancholy

Your beautiful splendid curly locks,

the hair of your head is like the black-bird’s feather;

your two cheeks are the colour of roses

when the dew of the moring’s mist is on them

Your legs are strong and shapely

like a salmon in a crystal clear stream

and it’s absolutely true that I’ve given my love to you

amongst all the people that are in the world.

But I hope and expect

that the day will come when we will be together;

and if you are faithful to me

I shall love no other while I live.

Llio Rhydderch ft. Tomos Williams & Mark O’Connor – “Ecclesia”.

Hey people! 🙂

Here’s another piece from the album Carn Ingli, on which Welsh triple harpist Llio Rhydderch collaborates with Tomos Williams – trumpet – and Mark O’Connor – percussion. –

Rosey Cale – “Ceidwad” (Keeper).

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For today, I chose a really nice song to share with you from a Welsh singer from Pembrokeshire called Rosey Cale. She is a strongly country-leaning artist, and as you might know country isn’t really my thing, also she mostly sings her music in English, but I really like this one Welsh song from her. It is also available in English and titled Keeper, but I personally prefer the Welsh one so that’s why I’m only sharing this one. I think it’s really cool and she has great vocals.

Gwen Màiri – “Y Feillionen” (The Clover).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today, I decided to share with you another piece from this Welsh-Scottish harpist, whose music I’ve already shared with you on here before. This piece is her original composition and comes from her beautiful album Mentro (Venture, on which she is accompanied by two other great Welsh folk musicians, Jordan Price Williams on cello and Gwilym Bowen Rhys on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti box. I think if I had to pick my most favourite piece from this album, I’d pick this one.