In a new project titled Beyond The Marches / Dros y Ffin, some of our finest contemporary folk musicians will be exploring and celebrating in the shared history and culture of two nations, England and Wales. Along the way Folk Radio UK be getting a unique insight into the project via two of its participants.
Like the Darwin Project and Elizabethan Session this is a residential collaboration where the artists live and work together. Their home will be Tŷ Newydd, the National Writing Centre of Wales and former home of David Lloyd George. They will also undertake a series of research days at various locations including St Fagan National History Museum in Cardiff, Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House and the National Library of Wales.
They will digging into the countries’ national archives to unearth traditional songs and tunes that have transcended the border. They will then create new material which will be performed at three high profile concerts at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, in London in May 2015 (dates below).
The two artists providing us with personal insights from next week are Elan Rhys, the lead vocalist of the contemporary folk group Plu and David Gibb, an award winning song writer, story teller and the tallest man in Derbyshire!
Here’s a bit more about each artists taking part:
Elan Rhys is the lead vocalist of the contemporary folk group Plu, a sibling trio from Caernarfon, North Wales, who have quickly risen to prominence in the Welsh music scene. Plu released its debut album in 2012 followed with the release of the digital single ‘Arthur’ in January 2014.
Elan not only takes the reins while performing but during the songwriting process. She is influenced by contemporary Americana, old country and the music of psych-folk Welsh groups of the 60s and 70s.
Plu has performed in a wide variety of festivals, including Hay Literature Festival and EHZ Festibala in the South of France. They also recorded a live session for the BBC in the renowned Maida Vale studios as part of the BBC Introducing Horizons project.
In December 2014, Plu released ‘Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig’ on Sain Records. This children’s album is an experimental collection of original songs and modern versions of well-known folk songs for children.
Patrick Rimes is a fiddle player, piper and composer/arranger based in Cardiff. Born and raised in Bethesda, North West Wales, Patrick was quickly drawn into the thriving scene of traditional music sessions and workshops in Bangor, alongside his instrumental studies with ‘classical’ teachers. He was twice named junior fiddle champion of Wales, and remains the only person to have won the coveted ‘blue ribbon’ award at Anglesey Eisteddfod for a traditional music performance.
Following periods of study at both the University of Leeds and Janáčkova Akademie Múzických v Brně (Czech Republic) Patrick currently divides his time between the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff and a busy international gigging schedule.
As a member of Calan, he has taken Welsh music to prestigious festivals including Cambridge, Sidmouth and Cropredy, as well as touring regularly in Europe and the USA. His work with Cerys Matthews has seen him play as a soloist at the Womex opening concert and the BBC Proms, and he was recently musical director for a Christmas TV broadcast by Bryn Terfel. Here he is performing with Gwyneth Glyn and Dan Lawrence:
GEORGIA RUTH WILLIAMS
Georgia Ruth Williams is a bilingual singer, songwriter and harpist from Aberystwyth in West Wales. In May 2013, she released her debut album – Week of Pines – on Gwymon Records (read our review here).
Lead single ‘Week of Pines’ garnered sterling support across the airwaves. Steve Lamacq named her his “Favourite New Band” on BBC 6 Music, after she won his Rebel Playlist and invited her on the show as his guest. Jo Whiley picked the single as her “New Favourite Thing” in the same week on BBC Radio 2. Gideon Coe, Huw Stephens, Dermot O’Leary, and Janice Long have also played the song amongst others. Georgia also performed a live session for Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6Music Morning Show.
Week of Pines won the 2013 Welsh Music Prize (nominated alongside records by Neon Neon, Sweet Baboo) and she was a nominee in the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (for ‘Best Traditional Track’ and the ‘Horizons Award’). Georgia presents a weekly music show on BBC Radio Cymru.
Archie Churchill-Moss hails from Glastonbury in Somerset and has been performing around the UK and further afield for around 8 years now and at the age of 21 is one of England’s top young melodeon players.
Having been tutored from a young age by Andy Cutting Rob Harbron and Saul Rose among others, he is well positioned to carry the baton of virtuosic diatonic tradition. The roots of his musical influences range from Southern England to all across Europe.
He performs regularly with BBC Radio 2 Young folk award winners Moore, Moss, Rutter, whose second studio album is soon to be released, and has appeared on BBC Radio 2 and Sky arts HD as a result of this.
Moore, Moss, Rutter have spent the last 5 years touring up and down England performing at some of the UK’s biggest festivals including 2 appearances at Glastonbury festival. Archie can also be seen performing with Breton Folk outfit Dragonsfly in and around Glastonbury and plays Castagnari melodeons.
David Gibb is an award winning song writer, story teller and the tallest man in Derbyshire on a mission to create great music for children and families. At just 24 years old he’s already had his music played on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, performed at Glastonbury Festival (amongst many others), played over 400 concerts, been nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award as part of the duo ‘David Gibb & Elly Lucas’, and won the highly commended prize at the Young Story Teller of the Year competition (2011). Read our review of Letters Through Your Door.
Lucy Ward is an award winning acoustic artist from Derby. She plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument. After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right. In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award and she hasn’t looked back since!
After winning the Horizon Award for best newcomer at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lucy’s career has gone from strength to strength. In 2013 she was nominated for the acclaimed Folk Singer of the Year at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, making Lucy one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for this most prestigious award.
Her debut album ‘Adelphi Has To Fly’ met with widespread critical acclaim. Lucy was named by MOJO as ‘Britfolk’s most vibrant and forthright new young talent’ and attracted 4-star reviews from The Guardian and Maverick Magazine.
Saturday 2nd May 2015 – Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 8pm http://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/music/beyond-marches
Sunday 3rd May 2015 – Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, 7.30pm http://www.wmc.org.uk/BeyondtheMarches
Monday 4th May 2015 – London, Cecil Sharp House, 7.30pm http://www.cecilsharphouse.org/component/content/article/21-shared/shared-events/2282-
The project is a joint commission by trac Cymru and the English Folk Dance and Song Society. It is supported by the PRS for Music Foundation Beyond Borders programme, a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.