Alys Williams & Cherddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig Y BBC – “Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir” (When The Night Is Long).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I haven’t posted Welsh music in ages! SO I thought I’d post something finally today. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you might remember Alys Williams, I posted a few songs by her already some time ago. I really like her, how versatile musically is, I love her Welsh accent when she sings in English, I love her voice, how strong it is but can also be very sensitive, she’s just great! She easily finds herself in rock, jazz, pop, indie, electronica and folk, and probably other genres too only I’ve never heard it.

This time we’ll be admiring Alys in folk music.

Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir is a song written by Ryan Davies – a composer very well-known in Wales, another very versatile type as he also was a playwright, radio presenter, singer, actor etc. – This song was also played at his funeral. It seems to be quite well liked as I’ve heard quite a lot of renditions of it, but Alys’ is most definitely my favourite, I actually really really love it. In this particular version that I chose, she is accompanied by Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig Y BBC (also known by the uninitiated as BBC National Orchestra Of Wales or BBC NOW).

I’ve also found a translation, which was written by Irene Ryan-Davies, so I’m sharing it with you as well.

Β Β When the night is long
__and the dawn is far away
Battling through the long hours
__without an hour’s sleep
Fighting, tossing and turning
__through the great, long hours
Without seeing the close of yesterday
__nor the end of my journey
Then through the black darkness
__I see your face
I remember the romance
__the eyelid closes
When the night is long.

Then through the black darkness
__I see your face
And fear doth retreat,
__dread disappears
When the night becomes day.

Song of the day – Casi & The Blind Harpist – “Dyffryn” (Valley) & “Rooted”.

Casi Wyn, also known simply as Casi, or as Casi & The Blind Harpist which is her solo project, is a fabulous Welsh folk-pop singer from north Wales, Bangor more exactly, who sings both in English and Welsh (and has such a delighthful north Welsh accent in English!). I first heard her, quite unsurprisingly, on BBC Radio Cymru, although as for this particular song it’s something I’ve discovered only some weeks ago thanks to the online radiostation called Cymru FM. I’ve always liked Casi’s music, the way that she blends folk and pop influences, her very clear and bright voice, and as I said her Welsh accent as well. This piece is a bit more electronic than most of Casi’s music that I have listened to, but I like it just as much anyway.

It has two versions – a Welsh and English one – though they’re not literally the same of course as that would be difficult to achieve in music and I suppose the Welsh version is the original one. – I much prefer the Welsh version of this song, probably because it feels somewhat richer and it just sounds better in Welsh in this particular case. As I said their lyrics differ a bit, and I am not able to make a literal English translation of “Dyffryn” for you as I don’t understand everything perfectly and there are no lyrics of it online that I could help myself with, but the general feel of those lyrics is very much the same as with the English as far as I can tell. Here are both versions, hope you enjoy. πŸ™‚

 

Meinir Gwilym – “Gwallgo” (Crazy).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Here’s another song by Meinir Gwilym I want to share with you. It is Zofijka’s favourite, and the first song I’ve heard from her, on Radio Cymru! Zofijka says it’s very funny, and she understands strange things in the lyrics, and now actually whenever I hear this song it makes me think of her.

Meinir Gwilym – “Ar Hyd Y Nos” (All Through The Night).

Maybe you guys remember when I posted some Meinir Gwilym’s songs months ago? I guess it might have even been last year. Anyway. She has much more great music than that. So, as it is late evening here, I thought I’d share this sweet, beautiful lullaby, which you may or may not know, I guess it’s pretty popular and has had some English versions. I am a sucker for very beautiful, Celtic-themed lullabies, and this one makes my brain melt. I’m not including the lyrics since they are in the video.

Mei Emrys – “Glaw Mis Awst” (August Rain).

So, here’s another song by Mei Emrys. Probably my favourite from his album “Llwch”. And, a little bit of topic, did you know that mis (which means month in Welsh, and is used before the name of every month) is pronounced like Mish (MEESH) in south Wales?! I’m learning north Welsh, so it took me a while to realise that, but since I know that, I always say mish, not mis. πŸ˜€ Perhaps it’s inconsistent or weird but it feels like the only right thing to do for my brain. OK, so here’s the song.

Mei Emrys – “Brenhines Y Llyn Du” (Queen Of The Black Lake).

Hey guys! πŸ™‚

I think I haven’t posted much Welsh music lately, not as much as I used to. So I’m going to share with you this song by Mei Emrys, and perhaps a few more in the near future. He is a Welsh singer-songwriter, whose music, as many other artists’, I discovered thanks to the online Welsh radiostation called Cymru FM, which plays mostly music, and exclusively Welsh language music (apart from a track here and there in Cornish or Breton that I’ve caught occasionally). He does kinda rock music, or maybe it’s pop rock, something along these lines. And I quite like many of his songs.

Song of the day (16th August) – Yr Angen – “Nawr Mae Drosto” (Now It’s Over).

I haven’t posted any songs from this Welsh indie rock band I love, even though I still love them very much. So here’s another song from them, I guess this is the one that has been their most famous song in Wales – “Nawr Mae Drosto”.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Jac-Yr-Oil”.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

 

Jac Richards ft. Clary Saddler – “Only Love”.

Hi hi people! πŸ™‚

Today I have something very very unusual for you! In some respects, I think it’s more out of the box than anything I’ve ever shared with you in the song of the day series. It actually appears so niche that I had a little bit of doubt if I actually should. But, while even BBC was writing about him on their website, and he’s been talked about a little bit around the Internet, it feels like the echo wasn’t too big, so I thought it deserves sharing, even just to show what sort of things disabled people can do with the right support, I know for many people that would seem unbelievable.

But what am I talking about. Jac Richards is a 22-year-old boy from Llangennech, Wales (yeah, a Jac from Wales, that’s my territory) who has a severe form of cerebral palsy. In his case, that means he can’t walk, speak, sit or use his hands. He is though well developed intellectually and his senses function properly. Jac has always loved music and going for concerts and his biggest dream was to be able to make music. His dream has become achievable thanks to Forget-Me-Not Productions, who are an UK organisation helping disabled people to express themselves through arts with the use of assistive technologies. They made it possible for Jac to study music and film production and he is able to create music using his eye muscles.

The funny thing is that I read about Jac yesterday… on a Polish website! πŸ˜€ Really! I’m always into quirky music undertakings that people make so I just had to look his single up, and read more about him. You can read more about him here

and here.

By the way, I’ve recently noticed some particular tendency that there are quite a few inspirational disabled people in Wales that have been talked about recently in media or such, even in Polish media, although it could be just that I pay more attention to it or something.

Anyway, Jac wrote the lyrics to his song – which is called “Only Love” – he also composed and produced it, and played all the virtual instruments. The director of Forget-Me-Not Productions is a vocalist in this piece.

I must say that it felt rather odd to me when I listened to it for the first time. It feels highly electronified (does such a word exist? Don’t care πŸ˜€ ) which shouldn’t be a big discovery since of course all the instruments in there were electronic and it’s bordering on R&B, but, even though I do like some electronic music, even very electronic at times, what exactly bothered me in it the first time I listened to it was that it felt kind of overdone. Like, too much of everything at once, a bit chaotic, I’d say subtly aggressive even! But there was something haunting about it! I sometimes have such songs that I don’t really feel convinced to but still there is something that will make want to listen to them again. And so I had a few listens to it so far, and I must say it’s grown on me. I guess the impression of it being overdone was just temporary. There’s indeed plenty of strong emotions (how couldn’t there be, it’s Jac’s first single and I can imagine that, not being able to speak, music is now a huge emotions releaser). So, while it doesn’t feel exactly my style, and doesn’t strike exactly that special chord in my brain, I do like it! And, since that single was made last year, I’d really like to hear something else from him, I really hope we will be able to enjoy more of his music, and that more people will know about him.

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 theΒ  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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‚ ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit FΓ€lt, 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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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, I’m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shan’t live much longer.

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

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight I’m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some people’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 sun’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.

Song of the day (4th May) – Yr Angen – “Boi Bach Skint” (Little Skint Boy).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Here is another song from the band Yr Angen that I want to share with you on my blog, this one is finally on Youtube so all of you can hear it, regardless if you have that weird thing called Spotify or not.

Bwncath – “CΓ’n Lon” (A Joyful Song).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

So, as I promised, I’m bringing you another song by this year’s “CΓ’n I Gymru” winner – Elidyr Glyn – or actually his band called Bwncath. This is a beautiful song, however it’s a bit of an enigma to me honestly! As you’ll be able to hear (hope that you’ll be able to hear at least a bit even if you don’t have Spotify, it’s annoying how it works that if you don’t have it you can only listen to an excerpt of a song) it’s actually a very sad song, both regarding the music, and, as far as I can tell with my lame Welsh skills, the lyrics as well, it even says “CΓ’n o dristwch ydi hon” if I got it right, which means “This is a song of sadness”. Yet it’s called a joyful song. Irony or what?! Seriously, I guess that there just might be something key in the lyrics that I don’t get. Because at the beginning he sings “Mae gen i gΓ’nau o lawn llon…” (I have songs full of joy) or something like that, and I guess later on there is something like that this one is different. Well yeah, figuring out the lyrics while not being fluent in a language, that can be very interesting at times. πŸ˜€ But in any case, I love this song, and if there is indeed something ironic, I like that a lot too, I like some irony in music, like when you have a very cheerful melody and tragically depressing words. And if it’s not irony, maybe when my Welsh gets better I’ll be able to figure out exactly what’s the point here.

Elidyr Glyn – “Fel Hyn ‘Da Ni Fod”(We Are Like This) [?]

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I’ve just recently learnt who is this year’s winner of Can I Gymru (Song For Wales)! But first, most of you probably don’t know what Can I Gymru is, so I’ll just tell you that it is a song competition that takes place in Wales each year, and the contestants sing only in Welsh, so the aim is popularisation of Welsh language music, and growing of Welsh language music scene. I know about Can I Gymru only since I’ve started learning Welsh seriously, and have never actually watched it, but last year I followed it very enthusiastically. This year was a bit diferent because I missed most of it at the time it was happening because of a few things, and I caught up just recently on who actually is the winner. I haven’t heard all contestants, but of those who I have heard, I also like the winner and his song the most. So, the winner was Elidyr Glyn, whom I already knew from his band called Bwncath (which apparently means buzzard), and I like this band a lot. So I just looked if I had actually shared with you anything by Bwncath before, and turns out that I hadn’t. Therefore I decided that I will share some of their music with you in the next couple of days.

But today, I’ll share that song which Elidyr Glyn sang at Can I Gymru. It’s called “Fel Hyn ‘Da Ni Fod”. I’ve been a bit frustrated with my Welsh lately and my patchy understanding of it, and I was also kinda frustrated that I didn’t really understand much of the song, but if I get the title right at least, it would be something like We Are Like This, or That’s Who We Are, or something like this. I can only understand some little bits and pieces of it, which sucks, I have a theory what it could possibly be about, but because I’m not sure and my Welsh is still in development, I guess I won’t share it in case it’s not true, and I can’t give you any context for the song because literally all that I was able to find was this song on Youtube and the info in different places that this is the song that won Can I Gymru and that Elidyr Glyn composed it himself.

but still, the song is really great.

Question of the day.

What are you listening to?

My answer:

Well as you may know from one of my recent posts, I’ve just recently got hold of my current music crush’s – Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ – new album. And so, as it’s easy to figure out, I’m listening to it a lot. I couldn’t sleep much last night so I was listening to that album, just as I did last night. It’s so powerful and expressive and full of emotions and zest and, as all Gwilym’s solo albums, is so deliciously acoustic. Not as minimalistic as his previous album – where he was singing either completely acapella or just with the guitar – but it’s still nicely minimalistic, just in a different way, and as much brain melting as everything from Gwilym, and I love it to pieces! Well literally haha, when I was listening to it for the first time, I was so engrossed by it and so overtaken by all the emotions in it that I felt as if my soul and brain and everything was shattered into a million of small pieces and flying around the room, throwing themselves on the walls as if they wanted to fly higher. Don’t know how I picked myself together again. πŸ˜€ It is also incredibly flavourful and stimulating from the point of view of my synaesthesia, so, yeah, that was, and still is, amazing. There are also a couple of tracks that I’ve heard before, but didn’t know how they are called or anything, so I’m glad they got published too, as I was very intrigued by them. And many instrumental pieces too. Only when I realised that there are quite a few instrumental pieces on it, as well as some stuff that I”ve already heard, I was really looking forward to one piece – I guess it was a set actually – that I once heard in an interview with both Gwilym and another guy called Gethin Griffiths, and Gwil had such a brilliant guitar solo there, I still have this interview but I had a glimmer of hope that maybe that piece would be there, but never mind, the album is absolutely fabulous, I was craving for some really really really captivating new music for a good while, not necessarily from my crushes even, and finally I am satisfied! πŸ˜€ Also I am normally not as spoilt by my other crushes that they would release a new album or anything new as regularly as once a year or so, well Enya creates masterpieces but it takes her years and years, Vreeswijk was a very fertile artist but I guess I’ve reached the point where I’ve discovered all that I could discover living in Poland and having only the Internet as a source, plus he’s no longer alive, Declan seems to be busy with lots of other stuff, so I haven’t been really used to getting fresh music as regularly as it seems to happen with Gwil! πŸ˜€ I’m most probably going to share something from this album in the song of the day series some time soon, but first I’d like to listen to it some more, and also get some more info on the background of this album if I can, both because of my own curiosity and just knowing the context of it, as well as for the purpose of the blog post, I won’t be giving you just a song in another language with no context at all. It was such a surprise for me that I don’t know much about it yet. But OK, enough rambling about my Gwilosis.

Other than that, today I haven’t listened to much music yet, am planning to do it soon, I only listened a bit to a Northern Irish BBC radiostation, I like to listen to different BBC radiostations just to be in touch with a lot of diverse English.

And you? πŸ™‚

Song of the day (2nd April) – Yr Angen – “Agosach”.

Aww I so adore the guitar in this piece! I mean, as you could see from my earlier music posts, I love all the songs by Yr Angen and their guitar parts are always incredibly fascinating to listen to, but somehow in this track it’s even more captivating. And of course with Jac Davies’ vocal on top of it. πŸ˜‹ Amazing. I hope you’ll enjoy too. πŸ™‚

Song of the day (7th March – Yr Angen – “Unrhyw Un” (Someone).

Here’s another song from one of my most favourite Welsh rock bands, Yr Angen, with one of my favourite Welsh male vocalists, I guess straight after my crush, but how very different from him, Jac Davies. Recently I’ve been listening really much to their music again.

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.