Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jac-Yr-Oil”.

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am still very much in love with Gwilym’s last album, Arenig, so thought I’d share something else from it with you, this time an instrumental, three-part piece. And, since I am a Jac(k)ophile, in line with the song of the day that I shared with you yesterday – by Jac Richards – this one has also to do with Jac, with its title being “Jac-Yr-Oil”. I have no idea where the title comes from or what Jac is doing in it, I tried doing some research but it hasn’t made me any wiser. In any case, the track is beautiful. Just as the previous one I showed you a month ago – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” – was haunting, emotional, intense and rather melancholic, “Jac-Yr-Oil” is positive, energetic, refreshing, uplifting and full of enthusiasm, which just shows in a nutshell a wide range of emotions one can feel listening to this album. I love this about it so so much!

As I said, it is a three-part music piece, consisting of three folk tunes, one is composed by Gwilym, the second comes from Anglesey’s 18th century fiddler, John Thomas, and the last is a re-arranged composition of Stephen Rees’ “2 Cardi 3”. Here it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle moon, colour of the day).

Oh my! I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys something from this album! I was talking about it some time last month, well I guess around the beginning of May, it was released on May 1st. But as you can see it took a while because it’s only available on the streaming services since yesterday so although I have the album since as soon as I got to know it was released, only now I can share something with you. In a way that’s actually good though because I could familiarise myself with the whole album, with my music crushes it always takes me loads of time to wholely satisfy my musical cravings when they release something new and I always want to know it thoroughly and from all the possible angles.

I am really so, so impressed with this album! I wrote about it on my blog already earlier so I won’t be repeating myself but it just made me fall into pieces the first time I listened to it, so fascinated, engrossed, bewitched and just full of emotions I was, and even though I listened to all the songs and the album as a whole for many times already it still has theย  power over me, and I’m listening to it right now as well. It’s always hard to pick something you think is the best or that you love the most from things of which you love all, but I wonder whether it’s not the best album of Gwilym so far in my ranking, or whether it would be if I had a ranking. ๐Ÿ˜€ I am just so happy that my current music crush is so artistically fertile and unlike all my previous music crushes I am actually able to thoroughly celebrate all the joys that come with an appearance of a new album. ๐Ÿ˜€

This new album is called “Arenig”, which is in reference to Arenig Fawr – a mountain in Snowdonia in North Wales, and also the title track of this album is a poem written and read by Gwilym’s great uncle – Euros Bowen – about this mountain, which is a really beautiful poem. It’s hard to believe for me in a way that this beautiful album is an effect of improvisation, but that’s apparently how it is. I know it’s often so that things come out much better when improvised in music, but it makes me think that they all – Gwilym and all the people who contributed to the album – must be remarkably skillful improvisers, which I think is fairly rare. Talking about the contributors, there is Patrick Rimes on violin, he plays in the Welsh folk band called Calan which I also like, brilliant harpist from Scotland but with Welsh roots and who also speaks Welsh Gwen MaIri (I love her harp skills ๐Ÿ˜‚ ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit Fรคlt, who plays viola, and, if I understood correctly, (I suppose I did given her Scandi-sounding name), she’s from Norway, so there’s even a little bit of a Nordic accent here! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a real problem with what I am going to choose as the first piece from this album to share with you, I even thought maybe I’ll just link to the entire album and maybe write some extensive review or something but felt too shy to do such a grandiose thing as seriously publicly review one of my crushes’ album, I always write down my reviews of albums I love for myself and I relish in doing so but never published that anywhere. ๐Ÿ˜€ But after some deep thinking I came to the conclusion that the most beautiful piece on this album for me, regarding the melody, the performance and the lyrics is “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd”, which is a traditional song, though the second verse is known to be written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It’s incredibly evocative, magnetic and enchanting, and just don’t know how else to describe it adequately. ๐Ÿ˜€

The thing I really like about traditional music, one of many things, especially from Gwilym, and there are also a couple other Celtic people I can think of right now, is the words. I mean, when I was listening to this album before I read the lyrics and translations, I understood some bits and pieces, it wasn’t very much, but I could still thoroughly enjoy music because that’s how it is with folk music very often – even if it is in the most out there language you can still understand the language of music itself and connect with it almost as deeply as through the actual language. But when I read the lyrics, I realised that there are not only plenty of new, enticing, luscious, colourful, magical Welsh words for me to discover, (I didn’t even know that moon is lloer, I only knew the word lleuad for moon in Welsh but it seems like they have two! I now can’t stop wondering what’s the difference, will have to do some research after I write this post, I lthink loer sounds even better), but also a fair handful of English words in the translations that I didn’t know previously. I just love such discoveries! And all those linguistic findings also satisfied my synaesthesia very much, so it’s not only the music. The same was with the previous album “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, well actually there were even more new English words to me. That shows how sophisticated folk music can be at times, even if it might not always seem so. ๐Ÿ™‚

OK, end of my elaborate. Here’s the translation of the song, which I’ve taken from

Gwilym’s website,

and below is the song, although it’s on Spotify, so very sadly only those of you who have Spotify will be able to listen to it whole, I didn’t see it on Youtube or anywhere that would be a bit more inclusive.

 

Gentle moon the colour of day,

in pain and in sorrow, Iโ€™m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shanโ€™t live much longer.

When I saw your face you wounded me like a sword,

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight Iโ€™m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some peopleโ€™s interests lie in material things,

but on the purity of a fair moon

I gave my whole intentions, one and all.

If I could only have you, I would confidently proclaim

that I had more than enough wealth, pure girl.

Gentle moon the colour of day,

I see your light, you with a pleasing face.

From life to the grave, you are my queen,

fair warm farced one.

You are my fire, the inspiration to my song,

the heavens never did behold

through the light of the sunโ€™s cycle,

such a wonderful sight.

I raise up my head, and look to the skies,

shine upon me, white moon the colour of snow.

Some hold the moon responsible

for pulling the threads and strings of the seas,

the ebb and flow of the tides in and out.

But you, my love, are responsible

for pulling the strings of my heart,

gentle moon the colour of day.

Plu – “Calon Wen” (Fair Heart).#DMC

Hi hi hi people!

Today is a very exceptional day. Do you know why? Well chances are you don’t know so I’ll be nice and tell ya. It’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru. And if someone still feels clueless, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is Welsh Language Music Day, yaaaaay! I look forward to it every year at least since I’ve got any idea about Welsh music. So of course I’d like to join the celebrations, and, after listening to Sami music all day long on Wednesday, now I’m listening to Welsh music all the time, and want to share something with you. And since one of my music crushes, my current one, is Welsh and makes lots and lots of very different music, it can’t be from anyone else than him. My crush, as you most probably already know, if you are my loyal reader, is Gwilym Bowen Rhys, and apart from his very interesting solo career in the field of folk music, he is also a member of the band called Plu which also consists of his two sisters – Elan and Marged. – And I want to show you a song by Plu today. Their music is a sort of alt-folk, or psychedelic folk, I’ve written about them here for a couple of times and I’ve said that their music has a sort of otherworldly feel to me which I love about it. They all sing, but also each of them play different instruments, and Gwilym plays guitar and some other string instruments which he does so very well and I like to listen to him playing no less than singing. And I particularly love this song because of Gwilym’s play, and all those intricative, absolutely engrossing harmonies. And Elan’s leading vocals on top of it make it absolutely great.

Y Bandana – “Mins Peis A Chaws” (Mince Pies And Cheese).

Hi guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I have for you another very Christmassy song, from another of my crushes – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and more exactly the first band in which he sang and played guitar, called Y Bandana. It doesn’t exist any longer, but from what I know from a fellow Gwil’s fan from Wales he is most known for being a member of this band as they were so successful on the Welsh language music scene and I guess thanks to the fact that they were making pop music could reach just slightly wider audience. That’s cool and I really like their music, although I think Gwilym’s solo music, folk music, is so very beautiful, so it’s a pity that for many people he is associated only with Y Bandana, and there is also the band called Plu which i also shared here earlier, who make great, sort of psychedelic, otherworldly music.

Anyways, I really like to listen to this song in Christmas season, it’s funny and just great. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Galargan Dลตr Tryweryn (Lament For Tryweryn’s Water).

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

so as I told you recently, Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ new album has come out in digital version a few days ago, and I’m still so excited about it. I’ve listened to all the songs for a few times very carefully already and has made a review in my diary as I always do with any music by my crushes.

and I thought I’d share one of the songs on this album with you guys. I’ve actually known it before I even knew this album will come out because Gwilym has sung it on various gigs before and there is some earlier version of this song he sang, on Youtube as well.

But this album version is maybe even better, I really like it.

The album itself is of course very folky, as all Gwilym’s solo work, and, what’s interesting, it’s entirely acoustic. It has been apparently recorded over a three-hour session with only one microphone, and there’s only Gwilym and his guitar, or just acapella. The whole album is a set of old, traditional Welsh songs, and its called “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, simply Collection Of Old Ballads I. It’s absolutely brilliant and charismatic and energetic. Actually the only potential reservation I could have is that it is so so short (my crushes always make so very short albums lately :/ ), just 9 tracks, while it was a 3 hour session, but hey, you couldn’t contain a 3-hour long live session into one album, and since it’s called “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, it suggests that we can expect a “Detholiad O Hen Faledi II” as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

The song I want to show you is called “Galargan Dลตr
Tryweryn” and was written by Wmffre Ll. Wmffres. It is about Welsh whisky. Wales, just like other Celtic countries has had a rich and long tradition of distilling whisky, although things have changed in 19th century when Welsh whisky wasn’t produced almost at all. Then a guy called R. J. Price Lloyd decided to change it and established his own distillery, producing “Welsh Royal Whisky”, though it turned out to be unsuccessful and didn’t exist for too long. One of the rivers from where the water for the whisky was distilled was Afon Tryweryn (Tryweryn River), hence Tryweryn’s water of course.

So this song is the author’s tribute to that whisky and an expression of his disappointment that it ceased to exist. The melody comes from Brittany. That’s what I got to know about the song from Gwilym’s

BandCamp page.

I thought I’d share this song since in my opinion it’s one of the best on this album, but also to manifest my own appreciation of whisky, which is actually the only alcohol beverage I ever drink nowadays, even though I’ve never had any other Welsh whisky than Penderyn, which is actually I guess the only one Welsh whisky nowadays.

Since, at least as of yet, the song isn’t available on Youtube or Spotify or SoundCloud, I’ll share it via Dropbox with you and the link will expire after 30 days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qg0gacmgwt00neb/Gwilym%20Bowen%20Rhys%20-%20Detholiad%20o%20Hen%20Faledi%20I%20-%2002%20Galargan%20Dwr%20Tryweryn.mp3?dl=0

Y Bandana – Y Felan Las (The Blue Melancholy).

Let me give you some background to this post first. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the last question of the day post where I asked you what’s on your mind, I forgot one incredibly important thing in my answer.

Oh, a great news I have for you! Um, well… maybe not so much for you, just for me hahahahaha. Despite of all my moodswings, overthinking, bla bla bla, I’m still incredibly hyper elated excited and I CAN”T WAAAAAAAIT!!! I just can’t figure out how could I forget about it in my last post. I guess the baby naming stuff is developing so dynamically. But generally, I’m thinking about this exciting thing ALL THE TIME. And although I got to know about it last week, still, while thinking of this, even while writing this post, I can’t help and I’m still smiling so widely, that I just hope my lips won’t crack and burst soon.

Guys, my crush, my music crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, is releasing a new album! On 1st September. I’ve already pre-ordered it and I heard one song from it and it sunds fabulous. HIs last album was very sophisticated, idyllic folk, he has shown us so many of his musical identities in the past few years, in different bands and solo, and this album is going to be folky as well, but I guess even more traditional, and more like lively, I’d say.

That led to me having a crush peak, you know, when you have a crush you have it all the time, but at least in my case there are peaks. If I already have a peak, what will be in September, hehehe. And that reminds me, it will be the first time I’ll be looking forward to 1st September. In all previous years it was a nightmare date to me. Because after long summer holidays I had to go back to Hell, which was the more difficult that a new year always brings changes, and in that place, it always meant sudden, unexpected, awful changes in which you don’t have anything to say, even if you’re the main person whom a change applies to. And even when I got out of the boarding school, there still were memories and I always tend to slip into nasty crises at the beginning of September. So I hope this year will be different thanks to Gwil and thanks to the fact I don’t have to go to any school next year, so maybe the memories won’t be triggered so badly.

OK, let’s go back to today’s song.

Y Bandana was one of the bands of which Gwilym was a part. It doesn’t exist any longer, but it consisted of two brothers, Sion and Tomos Owens, their cousin Gwilym and Gwilym’s friend Robin Llwyd Jones. And they were a sort of boys band, with catchy songs and humourous lyrics, in Welsh language. They were very liked. Gwilym was a vocalist and guitarist. So it’s another of his, as I said, musical identities – a more rocky, garrage one – which I really like. I generally like how musically diverse he is.

So I thought that because of this album coming out soon, I’d share something by Gwilym, and I decided on my favourite song from Y Bandana’s last album, the song is called “Y Felan Las”. I think it means something like the blue melancholy in ENglish, though the word las (or glas) has so many meanings in Welsh, including the fact that it even means a few different colours, that I find it a little confusing. But the piece and the lyrics are blue so I guess that’s it.

I don’t know what I like so much about this song, I just really like it, and I can listen to it over and over when I’m blue, but blue in a particular way, won’t go into details right now. I guess it could be Gwilym’s vocals that I like so much in this song, but I couldn’t precise what’s so special about it in thsi particular song, plus obviously I like hsi vocals everywhere.

The lyrics, I wish I could know more about them. I found a Welsh text somewhere lately and spend half a hour or so at it trying to deciffer. What I sure know it’s about growing up, I mean adolescence, loneliness, love, feeling blue, I guess being single and probably fitting in?… there seems to be more to it, but,a s I said, it just was hard to figure it out. I can’t wait for the day I’ll get more out of it.

For some stupid reason the link to Spotify doesn’t want to work here, so I’ll have to give you just the link to my Dropbox, which will expire after 30 days.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/90dtkaszzoj3l5k/02%20Y%20Felan%20Las.mp3?dl=0

Question of the day.

What was the last thing you listened to?
My answer:
The song I posted as a song of the day for today – “Fyddai’m Yn Ddiarth” by Plu, which apparently means I Won’t Be Strange, whihc is very strange. I absolutely love it because of my music crush Gwilym Bowen Rhys singing it. How about you?