Sild – “Annwyl Karjane” (Dear Shepherd).

Hey people! 🙂

If I asked you to name one thing that Wales and Estonia have in common (aside from the obvious stuff like that they’re both European countries) how many things would you be able to come up with? For me, Sild is the only thing I can think of right away. Sild is a music duo which combines music from both these countries. Its members are multi-instrumentalists and singers Martin Leamon from Gower in Wales who plays guitar and bouzouki, and Sille Ilves from Estonia who plays fiddle, as well as the very intriguing talharpa (a four-stringed bowed lyre, which has arrived to Estonia through Sweden and seems to be particularly popular with Estonian Swedes) and I believe some other instruments too. I really like how these two cultures blend so well and interestingly together in their music and I like how the titles of their tunes are often a mix of the two languages. That’s also the case with this one. Annwyl means dear in Welsh, and karjane means shepherd in Estonian. This creativity with which they combine the influences from both countries’ folk music makes their name feel very adequate, as sild means bridge in Estonian.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Bugail Hafod-Y-Cwm” (The Shepherd of Hafod-Y-Cwm).

Hey people! 🙂

For today, I’d like to share with you a very bucolic-sounding, traditional Welsh tune sung by Gwilym Bowen Rhys – one of my faza people. – It comes from his debut album O Groth y Ddaear (From the Womb of the Earth) and is one of several songs on this album that were collected and recorded by Welsh folk singer and collector Meredydd “Mered” Evans from Caernarfon. It is a song sung by a shepherd who lives in a place called Hafod-y-Cwm (hafod was the name used to refer to the higher pastures where people moved to during spring-summer months, as opposed to a lowland pasture where they spent the colder months of the year, and Hafod-y-Cwm means something like a hafod in the valley) and it expresses his deep joy, happiness and satisfaction with his life and the nature around him. I like how it’s filled with such simple yet profound and sweet happiness, the spring-like feel of it (so different from the weather we’re having here right now, haha) and I love Gwilym’s arrangement of it. I’ve noticed that the melody of this song is incredibly similar to an English ballad The Three Ravens, included in Child ballads’ anthology, but I don’t know which one was earlier and whether the melody was deliberately borrowed from one for the other or whether it’s a total coincidence maybe.

The translation is available at

Gwilym’s website

and that’s where I got it from:

 

I am the shepherd of Hafod-y-Cwm,

I sing with jollity even though I’m poor.

I have a wife and three children

Living above the stream,

Falala oh I’m happy falalala.

The gentleman of Plas-Nant walks by importantly,

He is the owner of many a hundred pounds,

But I am happier than he,

Among my bleating flocks,

Falala oh I’m happy falalala.

May, with its sweet and fair days,

And its warm weather is approaching,

The enchanting and resounding melody of the stream

Will gladden all the world and its children,

Falala oh I’m happy falalala.

I am the shepherd of Hafod-y-Cwm,

I sing with jollity even though I’m poor,

And I’ll sing until the day I die

On the slopes of this valley, my seventh heaven,

Falala oh I’m happy falalala.

Enya – “Shepherd Moons”.

Hi people! 🙂

Yesterday, after having wild dreams featuring The Loxian Gate by Enya and sharing the afore mentioned song on here, I’ve started to listen to all of her albums chronologically and still hasn’t finished, and it feels like my faza on her has renewed a bit. Recently I had a bit of a refreshment of my faza on Cornelis – as I was working on another translation of his another song, the results of which were very mixed – and now it’s Enya. It’s very good, as I still don’t have an official, new, major faza, and faza on Gwilym has faded into the background so I do need something to keep me going. It’s a very regular pattern with Enya though. My faza on her never was particularly intense, no huge peaks or other such, but it’s always been very enriching, satisfying and just making my life feel better. And every year since she stopped being my major faza, when it gets autumnal, or more wintry, the faza will always come back and I’ll be listening to her music all the time and reading about her and just feeling very strongly about her music. I guess this time of year is just very right for listening to Enya and I also know I’m not the only one Enya fan who experiences a similar phenomenon.

So today I’m sharing with you another beautiful, space-themed piece which has always been very close to my brain and heart. I like Enya’s wordless, soothing and kind of magical vocals on this, and the keys – don’t they sound like they’re laughing? To me they do. 😀 They sound as if they were laughing quietly about something that only they know and as if they just were very happy in a quiet, calm way. – Shepherd Moons is one of the most special albums by Enya to me, maybe not necessarily the most favourite, but I just have so many significant memories with this, it’s helped me with so many upheavals in life, and this particular track, as well as Caribbean Blue and a few others on this album I find great for any kind of relaxing visualisation as they are very nourishing for the imagination.

The album, as well as its title track, got its name from the shepherd moons of Saturn – Pandora and Prometeus – which was Roma Ryan’s idea.

Blanche Rowen & Mike Gulston – “Bugail Yr Hafod” (Shepherd From The Hafod).

Here’s another Welsh duo I’d like to introduce to you guys, a more folksy one. They both sing, traditional Welsh language music with the accompaniment of a guitar, and are a brand new discovery for me. I love this particular tune a lot, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it in the past in someone else’s performance that I liked even better, but I have no idea who it was, and Blanche Rowen does a really good job too, as here it’s only her singing. I don’t really like the voice timbres like hers but overall she’s very expressive and talented and that’s what counts the most, I think, at least it counts the most in this particular case, haha.

I was curious what hafod means, because I saw this word in a lot of traditional music and believed that it must have something to do with haf (summer), but wasn’t sure what exactly it means. Now I’ve checked it out and, according to Wikipedia

hafod

is a Welsh word referring to the seasonal cycle of transhumance – the movement of livestock and people from a lowland winter pasture at the main residence (Welsh hendre) to a higher summer pasture from roughly May through October.

Intriguing… Okay, so now that we know what it means, and it makes more sense, here’s the beautiful song. I really hope I’ll some day be able to find the version that I originally loved so much.