Last weekend I headed to Swansea Bay in South Wales to meet up with Ceri Rhys Matthews, a Welsh traditional musician, record producer, and teacher. He’s been described as “a one man Welsh music industry”, although having met the man and talked previously he’d probably laugh at such praise. My reason for meeting up with Ceri was two-fold, I wanted to talk about the Yscolan musicians retreat that he runs at a 15th Century gatehouse in Preseli, West Wales (next one being run 24 – 26 August) and I wanted to talk more about his thoughts on art and music, basically because I find him an inspiring individual and I wanted others to hear his thoughts.
Like the retreat the interview was approached with no structure or pre-conceptions. We met in a cafe, decided we’d just see where it took us and then headed to the beach where the interview was recorded. As well talking about his unstructured approach to teaching and ‘unlearning’, Ceri shared a wonderful recollection of the late Swansea based artist Pat Briggs that left me feeling inspired. Listen to it below:
Over the years I have known Ceri I have caught him rummaging around in that bag and stood amazed as time after time he has produced, without any ceremony, some of the rarest treasure I have ever seen or heard”
Art Was Everything. Everything Was Art
A film of inside Pat Briggs’ house mentioned by Ceri in the interview.
Premiered at the Mission Gallery, Swansea. Memorial film for Swansea based artist Pat Briggs, an avid collector who, by the time of her death, had packed her house so densely with objects she’d collected it was almost impossible to get through the front door.
Yscolan Musicians Retreat
The next Yscolan musicians retreat is on 24 – 26 August at Pentre Ifan, Preseli, Pembrokeshire, West Wales.
An opportunity to play, learn, un-learn and contemplate music for ten musicians of any technical ability playing in any musical expression. All in the splendid isolation of the magical rural setting of the Preseli hills.
For details on the retreat please click here.