As part of our ongoing coverage of Beyond The Marches / Dros y Ffin which is now underway, as evidenced by the photos of them all hard at work, we have the first guest blog from Elan Rhys, the lead vocalist of folk group Plu which you can read below.
Don’t forget that the project culminates in new material and 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 which run from Saturday 2nd May 2015 to Monday 4th May 2015 (details below).
Day One: Elan Rhys
I’m currently in the car, travelling north west towards Cardiff, my mind still bubbling with tunes, stories and lyrics I’ve come across throughout this very intense and productive day at Cecil Sharp House.
We began the morning by planning and arranging our performance for Radio 4’s Front Row programme, who came in in the afternoon to record us (it will be broadcast on Thursday). As it was our first day on the project and the first full day in each other’s company, there was a slight sense of sudden pressure, as we needed to create something worthwhile for the show in a very short amount of time.
We decided to use the traditional English song ‘Lord Randell’ and the Welsh version of it called ‘Cweiriwch fy Ngwely/ Mab annwyl dy fam’ (Make my bed/ Dearest son of your mother). We arranged the performance into one song where lyrics from both languages were sung in a ‘question and answer’ kind of way. I think the surprisingly very positive outcome, including the great reaction from the Front Row producer, gave us an extra buzz of confidence for the rest of the week.
In terms of information gathered at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, it was very broad. We found exciting snippets that connected Wales and England in very unexpected ways. More insights will certainly be written about those on the blog in the next few days, as these snippets and ideas flower into brand new songs.
Tomorrow takes us to Sain Ffagan, the Museum of Welsh Life and its fantastic resources. But first, Archie and I will go to the BBC Radio Wales studio to talk about Beyond the Marches/ Dros y Ffin on Good Morning Wales.
While on the subject of media, a film crew from ITV Wales will also join us at Sain Ffagan later on in the morning to film an item about the project for the evening news going out on ITV tomorrow night!
I’m so glad that there seems to be a lot of excitement and hype brewing about the project and our performances later on in the week – which feels so far away at the moment!
Check back on Folk Radio UK for more updates from Elan and David Gibb in the week.
Saturday 2nd May 2015 – Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 8pmhttp://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/music/beyond-marches
Sunday 3rd May 2015 – Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, 7.30pmhttp://www.wmc.org.uk/BeyondtheMarches
Monday 4th May 2015 – London, Cecil Sharp House, 7.30pmhttp://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.