Plu – “Milgi Milgi” (Greyhound Greyhound”.

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Today, I’d like to share with you a little children’s song by Plu. You may remember, if you have been around here for a while, that Plu is a Welsh alt-folk trio, consisting of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (who has been my most recent faza subject) and his two sisters Elan and Marged, with Elan being the leader of the group. They have recorded an album solely dedicated to songs about animals for children, it’s called Holl Anifeiliaid I Goedwig (All The Animals of the Forest). Naturally, being a children’s songs album, it feels a bit different from their usual, otherworldly, psychedelic music, but I really like it. It has such a fun, carefree, innocent feel to it. I believe that at least some of these songs are traditional, but I have no clue as for who wrote/composed this one, Spotify credits don’t say anything and I don’t know any other version of this song. Milgi means greyhound in Welsh, and that’s exactly what this song is about, and also about a little hare. I think that, musically, it’s my favourite one from this album. Well maybe except Melangell which I shared a few years ago.

Mari Mathias – “Ysbryd Y Ty” (Spirit of the House).

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Today I’ve got a song from an exciting artist for you. I’ve first come across Mari Mathias on radio Cymru FM, and the song I’m sharing with you was the first one from her that I’ve heard and instantly liked its folksy but at the same time quite contemporary and indie feel, her voice is also great. I had a listen to more of her music and also really enjoyed it. But still, that first song, which generally seems to be the most popular of hers, is my favourite.

Mared Williams ft. Jacob Elwy – “Gewn Ni Weld Sut Eith Hi”.

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Time for yet another Cรขn I Gymru song, this time from 2019. I honestly found this one of my most favourites in that edition, I think it’s so nice and cool. While I don’t know much at all about Jacob Elwy, Mared Williams has already been known to me as a great singer, she’s from Gwynedd, and had been a part of Cรดr Glanaethwy, a great choir at Ysgol Glanaethwy, a Welsh drama school in Bangor. Right now she has her own YouTube channel and I’m a big fan of hers. I didn’t translate the title of this song this time around as I’m not exactly sure myself what it means.

Mali Melyn – “Aros Funud” (Wait A Minute”.

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Today I’d like to share with you a more pop-y piece, which to me also has a slight soul feel or something. I’ve shared with you quite a few songs that were sang by Cรขn I Gymru (Song for Wales) contestants from different years, and this is another one. Cรขn I Gymru is a Welsh-language music competition which takes part every year, around March or February if I remember correctly, on a Welsh TV channel called S4C. The singer whose music I want to show you today – Mali Melyn – was one of the participants in last year’s edition. So far, I haven’t heard any other music from her, but this piece is quite nice.

Y Bandana – “Dal Dy Drwyn” (Hold Your Nose).

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Today, I’ve got quite a quirky song for you. As some of you perhaps remember, Y Bandana is a band fronted by Gwilym Bowen Rhys – my most recent major faza subject. – He was the vocalist and guitarist in it, and apart from him there were also his two cousins – Tomos Jones on keyboards and Siรดn Owens on bass guitar – and Gwilym’s school friend Robin Llwyd Jones on percussion. – It was something they were doing in their teens and early twenties, and the band is no longer alive, however it shows in such a cool way how musically versatile Gwilym actually is. For those who don’t know – albeit I write so much about my fazas that I’m not sure there is someone reading this who doesn’t know already – Gwilym’s main musical interest evolve around Welsh folk/acoustic music. Even in this genre alone, he can be very flexible, but it’s fun to see that he’s also had some experience with pop-rock like this and they were really good at it. They had very characteristically catchy songs, and usually somehow mischievous/humourous lyrics. And that’s definitely the case with this song. I really regret that I can’t translate it to you so that you’d have more of a context but my understanding of it is a bit patchy so that probably wouldn’t be the best idea, however I do know enough to say that it’s all about another person being very smelly. I like when people are inventive with song topics, even when they’re sometimes a little gross like that. :DIt really made me laugh when, after having listened to Y Bandana for a while already and starting to learn Welsh, I started picking up some bits of lyrics and figured out very roughly what this song is about, that really made me laugh. It’s funny when listening to music in other languages that you barely know or not at all, to realise that something you’ve been listening to concerns such a fascinating topic.

Song of the day (5th January) – Lowri Evans – “Can’t Say For Sure”.

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This time, I’d like to share with you a song from a Welsh singer whom I’ve known for ages – well, maybe not for ages but pretty much ever since I’ve started taking an interest in Welsh music – but I’ve never really listened to her music for longer, or more closely. Now recently I did and I kind of regret I didn’t do it more earlier. Because she’s really great! What finally prompted me to listen to her more was when her rendition of “Tra Bo Dau”

which I shared earlier performed by Plu,

was played on Blas Folk Radio Cymru, and it really captured my attention. It’s possible that I’lll share her version of this folk song sometime in the future, but for now, here’s an English song that I believe she wrote herself.

Llio Rhydderch – “Alaw I Nansi (Teyrnged Disgybl)” (Tune for Nansi (A Pupil’s Tribute)).

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Today, I’d like to share with you a tune from another harpist whom I really love, and only learned about last year. She is from Ynys Mon (also known as Anglesey) in Wales, and plays triple harp. I learned about Llio Rhydderch and her music from my most recent faza subject – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and instantly loved her music. It has such a very special atmosphere to it, it’s hard to describe, but it is there. This is just a lovely upbeat tune, as its title suggests, dedicated to Nansi. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gwenan Gibbard – “Yr Hafren/Heulwen Haf” (The Severn/Summer Sunshine).

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A very nature-themed piece I’d like to share with you today, and a bit summery, contrasting with the fact that it’s snowing lightly over here right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ I shared a beautiful two-piece set by Gwenan Gibbard, and here’s another one. It feels very idyllic to me. The first piece in here is called “Yr Hafren”, Hafren being the original Welsh name for the river Severn. And the othet, summery piece is called “Heulwen Haf” which means Summer Sunrise. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lleuwen – “Cawell Fach Y Galon” (Little Cave Of The Heart).

And for today, I picked a Welsh song, from quite a well-liked and known singer on the Welsh-language music scene. Lleuwen Steffan, also mononymously known as Lleuwen, is the daughter of Steve Eaves – a Welsh poet and singer, heavily influenced by blues. – So she grew up in a very musical household for sure, and one filled with love for her native language. Her sister, Manon Steffan Ros is also well-known in the Welsh speakers’ community, as an author. She’s also very popular with beginning learners of Welsh as her books are very learner-friendly from what I know.

I heard this song today in the morning, and thought it’s really cool, so maybe you’ll like it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day (27th December) – Lisa Pedrick – “Fel Yr Hydd” (As A Hart).

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I decided that, since it’s Christmas time, I’d share a hymn with you – not such that would be particularly connected with Christmas, but any Christian hymns really seem very right to share at this time of year to me. –

Lisa Pedrick is a relatively new artist to me, I come across her music listening to Cymru FM and quite liked her. Lisa was the winner of the first series of a Welsh music talent show Waw Ffactor – the same one that Duffy competed in, in case that tells you something more. –

This song, as you may easily recognise if you’re a Christian yourself or somehow acquainted with Christian hymns, is just the Welsh version of the English well-known hymn “As The Deer”. It’s also known here in Poland, and here it’s neither the deer or the hart, but the doe. This hymn was composed by Martin Nystrom and based on psalm 42. I really like the way it sounds in Welsh. I think generally Welsh is a great language for praying in.

Song of the day (25th December) – Lisa Angharad – “Waiting”.

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It was Christmas yesterday, so I probably should have found something Christmassy for this day, especially that this Christmas season we only had one Christmas carol in Advent and another one on Christmas Eve and nothing more, but I sort of didn’t have very many Christmassy ideas in mind.

Lisa Angharad is an emerging Welsh artist, and this is her first single. I think it’s really cool and it’s gotten some popularity as I’ve heard it played a lot both on BBC Radio Cymru and Cymru FM. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kizzy Crawford – “Adlewyrchu Arnaf I” (Reflecting On Me).

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I’ve featured Kizzy Crawford earlier on this blog, and today I thought I’d share another song of hers that I’ve known for a long time and that is my favourite of hers. I generally really like Kizzy and am always trying to be up to date with her music, as she is a very interesting musician, blending a lot of genres together, with a diverse cultural bakground and an ear-catching voice.

She is a Welsh-Bajan singer who seems to feel equally comfortable with as diverse genres as folk, pop, soul, rap and jazz. This song is definitely more on the pop-y side and it’s entirely in Welsh, as I think her Welsh music is particularly interesting, at least for me as a Welsh learner.

Another interesting thing about Kizzy that makes her and her music stand out from the crowd (as if singing in a minority language wouldn’t be enough :D) is that she has, from what I know quite recently, been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. There was a documentary on BBC Radio Wales about her, where she was talking with fellow autistic people, particularly focusing on the struggles of women and girls on the spectrum, but also about her own experiences having lived undiagnosed her entire life until now, and what the diagnosis has changed for her, as well as how music has helped her to cope with all of this.

As many of you know, although I am not on the spectrum myself, I have been assessed twice, once as a child, and then once again as an adult, a lot of people have “accused” me of being autistic, ๐Ÿ˜€ and I do feel a lot in common with autistic people, since whatever is going on with my brain, it also appears to be a bit atypical, so that was interesting to learn about her and it’s great that she is so open about it!

She mentioned in that documentary that this song is also inspired by her experience of being autistic.

Harmony Yemanya – “Hiraeth Am Feirion” (Longing For Meirionethshire).

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Today I’d like to share with you a traditional song I’ve recently heard, from an artist who is very new to me. I heard her for the first time on Blas Folk Radio Cymru.

Harmony Yemanya is the artistic name of Hilary Davies, who is a flautist, singer, songwriter and composer based in Gwynedd and London. This particular song that I want to show you though, is, just like I said, her rendition of a traditional tune. I was wondering where her artistic name came from and it seems like there is some, I guess Nigerian, goddess named Yemaya and one of the way to spell her name is also Yemanya so perhaps it’s in relation to that.

The song is about one’s longing to a (now historic) county in northwestern Wales, which is called Meirionethshire in English.

I managed to find a translation of this song into English, on the website of a Welsh band called Ffynnon

and here it is:

 

There is a mountain in the sea which hides Meirioneth

I had sight of it once only before it broke my heart

Wind from the sea and sun from the mountain

Grey rocks instead of trees

And gulls instead of people

I will make a boat of the oak of love

And its mast, the wood of experience

And put longing in its sail to make it go

Wave to wave to my own land

 

Song of the day (11th December) – The Gentle Good – “Ruins/Adfeilion”.

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I’d like to share with you my favourite piece of music from this Welsh artist. The Gentle Good is the name of a project by Gareth Bonello. As you may or may not figure out, its name comes from the etymology of both his name and his last name (the meaning of the name Gareth isn’t known for sure, but it’s supposed to come from the Welsh gwaredd meaning “gentleness, while Bonello apparently comes from the Latin bonum meaning “good”). This particular piece is instrumental, however he is also a singer.

I have no idea what was his inspiration behind this piece, but to me… it just makes my imagination work…! Since I heard it for the first time, whenever I listen to it I always have a pretty clear imagery, almost like some short story, or at least a material for one, a sort of picture that this piece makes me think of. When I hear it I imagine a house on or near a cliff, not too big one but quite impressive nevertheless and very stylish and with a kind of gothic look but inside of it it’s not scary at all. And I always imagine that there lives a big family, with lots of children, mostly teenage or thereabouts. They like to spend a lot of time together, they have a lot of nature around them and a huge garden. They are all very musical, and the mum of the family often reads books to everyone in the living room. It just shows that they’re having lots of fun with each other and love being in each others’ company and there’s such a friendly feel about this place. But one day something scary happens, I don’t know what, and they all die and their house is no longer there, there were just ruins as in the title. And people would come up there and look at this house and think about them, and remember they were like. I think this is a fun imagery and I like music which makes my brain creative like that and evokes some sort of ideas. Does this piece make you think of something in particular?

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.

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 (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 (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.