Ceri Shaw


 

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Would you please consider signing this petition asking for realistic support for the National Library? Please share the petition.

May I ask you to sign a petition calling for fair funding for the National Library of Wales "one of the world’s great libraries, a repository of the historic, artistic and intellectual treasures of Wales. With no increased support from Welsh Government, 30 jobs are to be cut and services seriously curtailed. Freedom, prosperity and the development of society and individuals are fundamental human values, attained by well-informed citizens with unlimited access to thought, culture and information."


Cymraeg

https://deisebau.senedd.cymru/deisebau/244641

English

https://petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/244641



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988079.jpg She’s Got Spies releases her new album ‘Isle of Dogs’ on the 6th of November. It’s preceded  by the single ‘Super Sniffer Dogs’ on the 23rd of October. 

She’s Got Spies’  second album  ‘Isle of Dogs’  refers to an area of London, Laura Nunez’s hometown,  as well as the state of turmoil of the island of Britain. The follow up album to her debut Welsh language album  ‘Wedi’, ‘Isle of Dogs’ features songs written over the last decade. She’s Got Spies is the project  of Laura Nunez and her cast of collaborators. She spends her time between Cardiff and London, she’s multilingual and can sing in Welsh, English and Russian.  

‘Isle of Dogs’  is a charming trilingual travelogue album, with most of the songs written on the move  while travelling or whilst Nunez was living in various countries. She spent time in Russia, Vietnam, Italy,  Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, and parts were also written in Cardiff, London and other parts of Wales  and England. Threaded with Laura’s knack for a bittersweet earworm melody and surreal yet personal  lyrics, these charmingly wonky songs are underscored with dark psych tinged sounds and an unsettled  feeling which reflects the turmoil of current times. 

With music hall style pianos, bounding percussion, fizzing guitars and a playful vocal, new single  ‘Super Sniffer Dogs'  is inspired by Laura’s time spent visiting Poplar on the Isle of Dogs, an area of high contrast with the rich, banking area of Canary Wharf and large, destitute council estates. It’s about an  imaginary dystopian festival with lots of restrictions in a high walled destitute area. Despite its serious  themes, which is juxtaposed by a catchy singalong melody, it’s a joyous tuneful romp. 



The delightful first single from the album, ‘ Wedi Blino’, was released in 2019 and features a video filmed by Laura in Antarctica when she won a trip there in 2018. Meanwhile ‘The Fear’ is the newest song, written during lockdown. It reflects uncertainty of whether the record would ever see the light of day due to the pandemic, after the last days of studio time were cancelled as the lockdown started. It ended up replacing another song that was meant to be on the album that had not yet been recorded. 

All songs are written by Laura apart from three co-written with Gruff Meredith ( MC Mabon ), who also co produced with Frank Naughton on them. Recorded in Tŷ Drwg studios in Cardiff (with additional recording in various locations including Moscow, London, Vietnam, etc.) with producer Frank Naughton. The album cover was designed by Laura and features a fox that visited Laura’s garden daily during lockdown that she  caught on a night vision camera, and photographed remotely when he came to her doorstep. 

She’s Got Spies band members include Gareth Middleton (guitar) and Mel Beard (glockenspiel/ keyboard) on some tracks, additionally with Pixy Jones ( El Goodo ) on guitar, Andy Fung ( Derrero ) on drums and producer Frank Naughton on piano, synths, guitar, bass, strings and percussion. She’s Got Spies started as a project by Laura Nunez in 2005 with Matthew Evans ( Keys ). Laura’s originally from London but moved to Cardiff and learnt Welsh inspired by bands such as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Super Furry Animals, Melys  etc. 

She’s Got Spies have recorded sessions for BBC Radio Cymru as well as having performed and been broadcast on Welsh television channel S4C. The band have performed at festivals such as Indietracks, Focus Wales, National Eisteddfod and Wales Goes Pop, as well as appearances in more far flung  places including Russia, Bulgaria, Italy and even on an Antarctic expedition ship.

‘Isle of Dogs’ album cover ‘Super Sniffer Dogs’ single cover

‘Isle of Dogs’ Tracklist: 

1. Super Sniffer Dogs (2:31) 

2. Mariah Pariah (2:54) 

3. Despair Over Here (3:08) 

4. All Outta Tears (3:38) 

5. Harasho (3:22) 

6. Vladivostok (3:18) 

7. Vietnam (3:23) 

8. Mank Shoreshank (3:08) 

9. Cwympo (3:02) 

10. The Fear (2:41) 

11. Wedi Blino (2:30) 

12. Where Did You Go? (4:04) 

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the man in black - peter moore - Wales' worst serial killer, book cover The lawyer who represented “Wales’ most dangerous man” has revealed the chilling moment serial killer Peter Moore confessed to stabbing to death four men and saying the brutal attacks were easy - “like a knife through butter”.  

The shocking inside story is told for the first time by former solicitor Dylan Rhys Jones in a new book,  The Man in Black - Peter Moore - Wales' Worst Serial Killer , which was published to coincide with the 25 th  anniversary of the vicious murders which Moore said he committed for “fun”.

It was in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning, 1995, at Llandudno police station that Nazi-obsessed Moore admitted the killings in a three-month spree that had begun on Anglesey in September, terrorising the gay community in North Wales and Merseyside.

With Mr Jones, alongside him, Moore, a softly spoken film fanatic from Kinmel Bay who owned a chain of cinemas in Bagillt, Denbigh, Holyhead and Blaenau Ffestiniog, told two North Wales Police detectives he had slain the four men.

He said: “I want to admit to both of the murders in Anglesey, the murder on Pensarn beach and also I want to admit to another murder that you don’t know about which I committed in Clocaenog Forest near Ruthin.”

Moore was known in the area for his eccentric dress sense and was dubbed  “The Man in Black”.

And when prosecuting barrister Alex Carlile QC opened the case against Moore at Mold Crown Court in 1996, he called him: "The man in black - black thoughts and the blackest of deeds."

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 1996 with a recommendation that he never  be released.

Moore is still alive, locked up almost certainly for ever, in Britain’s Monster Mansion, Wakefield high security prison where the Supermax wing has been home to murderers like Dr Death Harold Shipman and child killers Ian Huntley and Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones in Machynlleth in 2012.

But at 2.32am on that chilly morning in Llandudno the lawyer calmly took notes as Moore, in his quiet, effeminate voice, told Detective Sergeant Ian Guthrie and Detective Constable Dave Morris about the killings.

They began  in the September when Moore stabbed 56-year-old Henry Roberts to death at his home near Caergeiliog, Holyhead – there were 27 wounds in the retired railway worker’s body.

The reign of terror continued as Edward Carthy, a 28-year-old man whom Moore met in a gay bar in Liverpool, was stabbed to death in  Clocaenog Forest  in the October, followed by Keith Randles, a 49-year-old traffic manager from; in November 1995 on the A5 in Anglesey.

His final victim was Anthony Davies, 40; stabbed and left to die on Pensarn Beach, near  Abergele  in December.

The book tells how Moore called on Henry Roberts’ home in Caergeiliog dressed in black with a Nazi-style cap and armed with a hunting knife with Roberts pleading that he wasn’t Jewish before he was killed, how Keith Randles pleaded for his life and how the killer hid mementos of his victims in his garden pond.

A knife bearing traces of the blood of a number of men was found in a bag belonging to Moore.

On a shelf in Moore's bedroom were a police helmet, two German military caps and a pair of long, black boots.

Hanging on a cupboard alongside the bed was a truncheon and a sergeant's uniform hung in the wardrobe.

Speaking about the murder of Keith Randles, Moore told the detectives: “He asked me why I was killing him as I stabbed him, and I said that it was for fun.

“He fell to the floor. I just thought it was a job well done, and left and returned to my van.”

And when asked how he felt when he killed his victims, Moore replied chillingly: “It was easy. Just like a knife through butter.”

Moore confessed to attacking “many men” in the Conwy Valley over a period of 20 years before the murders started.

He said:  “When driving around, I would sometimes notice someone walking along the road late at night and I would stop and attack them.

“I would assault them with a police truncheon and strike them on the body and their heads many times. Usually I would be dressed as a policeman or in a Nazi uniform or something similar, just to scare them. I heard that a few of these men had been seriously injured after the attacks.”

In the book Mr Jones also describes the traumatic effect on himself and on the two police officers of hearing Moore tell his grisly tale in a calm, measured way.

Mr Jones, who lives in Abergele, added: “It was like watching a cold-blooded lizard move towards its prey, slowly, calculating every move not using its energy unnecessarily, just describing the bare essentials of the deed ... It was the desensitized description by a killer dispassionate as to the implications of his actions.”

The following morning, just a few hours later, Moore withdrew his confession, claiming he had done it to protect his friend, the real murderer, a man he called Jason, the name of the killer in the  Friday the 13 th  films he had shown at his cinemas.

Dylan Jones added: “I have reflected often on whether what Moore said during this interview was true. Was it a case of bravado, the man had his audience and he took his opportunity to perform, like an actor on celluloid before a captive cinema audience?

“Were the two detectives and I the gullible audience ready to lap up the gory details of a horrific killer in some B-movie, just for Moore’s pleasure? The three of us were without doubt shocked, horrified and captivated by the performance we witnessed. But was it true?”

The book conveys Moore’s calmness and composure, his descriptions of killing someone told in assured dispassionate terms, the process of killing sounding easy, the process of stabbing a person simple, straightforward and emotionless.

Author Dylan Jones no longer practices as a solicitor but lectures on Law and Criminology and helped create the Criminal Justice and Offender Management foundation degree course at Coleg Cambria and Chester University. He is a regular contributor to TV and radio.

He said: “Moore made killing an emotionless, simple and efficient process. He had perfected the act of killing in a way which had made him a ruthless machine feeding an inner need in the darkest reaches of his psyche to be pleasured by violence, control and ultimately death.

“The impression I had is that Moore had enjoyed what he had done, that he believed it was a job well done and that he had fed his demons in an effective way, the act of killing was like putting ‘a knife through butter’ the pleasure of killing appeared immeasurable.”

The Man in Black – Peter Moore: Wales’ Worst Serial Killer   by Dylan Rhys Jones (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

Review copies available.

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Sera (from Caernarfon) and Lowri (from Newport Pembs) will be especially familiar to Welsh music audiences as two bilingual singer-songwriters that have been writing, performing and recording as solo artists for some time. Between them they have been championed on BBC 6 Music, Radio 2, performed everywhere from Greenman, Festival Number 6, from King Tut’s to the Union Chapel; From Wales to America to France, which is as it happens, where the two met for the first time last year, performing at the Welsh Pavilion at the Lorient Celtic festival in August 2019.

This first meeting sparked an idea to form a female fronted band and to create their own brand of Americana; an act that could headline  and  represent women’s voices. Inspired by  The Highwomen  , a US ‘supergroup’ featuring Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires, who formed as a response to the lack of representation of women artists on country music radio and festivals.  

Their songs take their musical colours from a broad palette that includes Americana, Roots, Folk and Country, all beautifully knitted together through their innate musicality and heartfelt delivery. 

AmeriCymru spoke to Sera Zyborksa about the new band and their plans for the future.


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Two of Wales best known singer songwriters have come together to form a newAmeriCymru: Hi Sera and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to introduce your new band Tapestri for our readers?

Sera:
Of course! Tapestri is a bilingual Americana band fronted by myself (Sera Zyborksa) and singer-songwriter Lowri Evans. I live in Llanfairpwll in Anglesey and Lowri is in Trefdraeth in Pembrokeshire. We’ve both been solo artists for years, releasing music in Welsh and English. This collaboration brings together our ‘roots’ influences, and the whole drive behind the project is to have confident female voices singing about the things that really matter to us and move us. We’ve got a bit of inspiration from Brandi Carlile, First Aid Kit, Sheryl Crow to name a few. The whole vibe of the band is very much inspired by The Highwomen, which is a US all-women supergroup that formed last year in response to the lack of support form women on Country Radio. They don’t just sing sad love songs and they don’t ‘play it safe’ - they write songs about all kinds of topics and their music manages to be both heartfelt and get you on your feet, make you think but also make you feel really good!

"We think that the fact we also sing in Welsh brings a nice Celtic flavour to our brand of Americana and is so important to who we both are."

That’s what we are also trying to do. We love the confident attitude of the artists involved in that project and felt like it resonated with us. We want to put on a great show too, and so the music we’ve been working on so far has a lot of light and shade. Some songs sound great with just acapella; two voices in harmony, while others have a full country band sound and have been so much fun in rehearsals. We think that the fact we also sing in Welsh brings a nice Celtic flavour to our brand of Americana and is so important to who we both are. Tapestri as a name represents the blending of our musical tastes and our personal experiences. The logo itself depicts trees with roots, and this is a nod to the folk and roots origins of our music.

AmeriCymru: When and where did you and Lowri meet and decide to form the band?

Sera: So although Lowri and I have been making music and performing for years as solo artists here in Wales, I don't think we've ever played on the same line-up as each other, which is actually quite strange. There are a lot of similarities between us, both acoustic bilingual acts, and I would have thought our paths would have crossed long before now! We are based in opposite ends of Wales, so that might have something to do with it, but also many festivals unfortunately don't tend to book too many women on their line up. And as it happens, was one of the driving forces behind forming Tapestri. It’s an issue we bonded over when we first met, backstage at the Welsh Pavilion in the Lorient Interceltic Festival last year in August 2019. Lowri was there performing with her partner Lee and I was there on my own, as a last minute addition to the line up that year. It was nice to talk to another woman in the ‘folk/singer-songwriter’ music scene who seemed to share many of my frustrations, goals and drive. After coming home, I remember  feeling really inspired, musically, ready to take on the world, and wanting to start something new, something exciting.


"I remember talking to my husband about wanting to form an all-woman Americana band. I started thinking of who could be in it. I thought of Lowri."


I remember talking to my husband about wanting to form an all-woman Americana band. I started thinking of who could be in it. I thought of Lowri. At about the same time, I got a message from Lowri on Facebook asking if I'd be interested in forming an all-woman Americana band. It was really weird indeed! But obviously something was going on here, and I think we both felt that it was something that had to happen. We decided to have a writing session and see if it would lead anywhere. Soon after that Lowri came up to my house in Llanfairpwll, and we spent the weekend writing songs. I think we wrote 4 songs, all really different to each other, and it seemed to be working! It was a really interesting process. Spending so much time with someone new and trying to write really honest songs together requires you to get to know each other fast! Wine helped, as did just talking and listening to music! It made the songwriting bit come quite painlessly then, and it all felt quite organic. Which was quite the thing considering we barely knew each other at that point. After that, I went down to Trefdraeth a few times and we started laying down some tracks, making plans and pretty soon we were officially ‘Tapestri’! By Christmas, we had Lowri’s partner Lee Mason on bass and drummer Iwan Hughes on board and we had our first jam. It sounded great! Plans were put in motion for some February launch gigs and we were all set!

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AmeriCymru: How difficult has it been launching a new musical project against the background of the Covid 19 crisis?

Sera:   Everything seemed to be going so well in the latter part of 2019 that we felt 2020 was going to be epic for us! We were due to launch the band in February at a theatre show. We had worked so hard to rehearse our set, meeting halfway between North and South Wales in an old school hall several times, near Machynlleth. I'd been down to Pembroke a few times, and we'd started recording our EP and booked our summer tour already. We put in a lot of hours in a very short space of time. But the morning of our launch gig was the morning after Storm Ciara hit the UK. We got a call saying that the theatre had severe weather damage. So that was rearranged for July. We were disappointed, but it gave us more time to get the EP ready for the July gig and put on an even better show. Of course, the July show hasn’t happened either, so we’ve still not officially ‘launched’ Tapestri. That show, along with every other date we had in our diary for the summer was cancelled. From festivals to theatres. All gone. What's more, due to travel restrictions, I couldn't drive to Pembroke to carry on recording our EP either. Literally everything had to come to a halt after such a whirlwind few months. 

"It’s now more than ever that bands and artists should pull together and try to support each other as much as we can."

Who knows when we'll be able to play again. However, every band is in a similar situation. So it’s not as though we are alone in this. It’s now more than ever that bands and artists should pull together and try to support each other as much as we can. Help each other promote our music online, even just saying kind words and watching each other’s virtual gigs helps keep with morale. One good thing is that a lot of the groundwork has been done with Tapestri. The band exists, we have plans in place, but on hold, so soon as we can, we’ll hit the ground running again.

AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your first recording 'Y Fflam'?

Sera: Y Fflam (‘The Flame’ in English) will be the first single from Tapestri. It’s ‘Track of the week’ on BBC Radio Cymru from July 20th and then it’s released on all digital platforms on Friday the 24th of July. We really felt it was important to put something out during this time of limbo for us. We recorded a song called 'Open Flame' a while ago - It was one of the first songs we wrote together on that first weekend of songwriting I mentioned earlier.  A little while ago we translated that song into Welsh and called it ‘Y Fflam’. The song is probably the most poetic and ethereal we’ve written, and that made it easy to write a Welsh version. It’s a song about a feeling, a sensation, rather than an event or specific experience, so the translation didn’t need to be completely literal. Although the story and the message remains the same; being drawn to something that may not necessarily be good for us and learning to let go.  

We have a lot of light and shade in our set, with many of the songs really upbeat and fun to play, but Y Fflam is not one of those. It’s one of the most satisfying songs to perform though, as it relies totally on mine and Lowri’s vocals connecting and communicating the emotion behind the song and in fact, the language it’s sung in doesn’t seem to matter. It felt like a fitting song to release for the time we're in and also a nice way to introduce Tapestri, which at its heart is 2 women’s voices coming together. On a practical level, as the music was already recorded, we just had to re-record the vocals in Welsh, which we had to do separately of course. Making a music video for it was a challenge as again, we had to film apart. 

AmeriCymru: What's next for Tapestri. Any new recordings / gigs in the works?

Sera:   Ideally, we want to finish the EP and get it out for Christmas. If we can sort a tour out for it for the New Year, we will. At the moment everything is so up in the air and we have to take each day as it comes right now until we know when the UK will be able to have live music again. But we're keeping the creative channels open and we're focusing on launching the band with the single at the moment. This isn’t a project with an end date on it but something we see as a long term partnership, so a little pause right now won’t change our plans. We both write a lot, so we foresee an album in the future. We also are very keen to head out to the States and Canada as our music would probably find a good audience there, being Americana! We also want to explore other European and international scenes - I think the fact that we are a bilingual band opens our music up to different audiences and those interested in languages. 

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Sera:   We’d love to hear from Americymru readers and members what they think of our first song and if there would be a welcome for us Stateside!

Lowri and I would also like to send our love and best wishes to you all during these uncertain times and thank each and every body who has supported independent musicians during this time, whether it's liking their facebook posts or buying CDs. It all means a lot. 

It would be great if you could follow us on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook etc.

You can find us across social media @tapestrimusic

And there are a few videos you can watch on -  Youtube


Here’s the pre-save link to ‘Y Fflam:’ -  Y Fflam

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John MOuse releases his new album ‘The Goat’ via digital platforms on the 31st of July followed by a physical vinyl release on the 28th of August through Keep Me In Your Heart Records. It is preceded by the lead single ‘Le Pigeon’ at the end of this month.

When lockdown commenced John MOuse seized the opportunity to create a new album. The concept behind  The Goat,  was to write, record and release a song on a weekly basis. Each song, accompanied by its own artwork was then uploaded to Bandcamp.

Social distancing meant that the music for the album was created Lincolnshire by long term collaborator Phil Pearce and then sent to John in Cardiff who worked on the lyrics and vocal melody for each track. The result is a typically idiosyncratic and heart on its sleeve, electronic pop album, heavy on spoken word content and catchy chorus hooks, these songs possess musical hints of everyone from  Adian Moffat, Momus  to early  Pulp .

The lyrical subject matter is varied ranging from fleeing from a pigeon on urgent first single  ‘Le Pigeon’  (loosely based on Suskins novella The Pigeon) with its vivid stream of consciousness and chirruping synths. To fragments of bittersweet memories, witty imagery, despair not salved by defunct technology and Anne Summers parties.

Ten tracks were completed and are now set for official digital and physical release on Keep Me In your heart records.

“The Goat”  is John’s fifth full-length album and his first since last year’s limited digital release of The Fen Sessions and 2018’s warmly received  ‘Replica Figures’  which was described as  "In turns touching, hilarious and heart-breaking"  by Buzz Magazine and as  "powerful stuff. Rentokil wouldn’t have a clue how to deal with any of this."  Louder Than War. While 2014’s ‘The Death of John MOuse’ was praised by The Line of Best Fit and its brilliant lead single ‘I was a Goalkeeper’ featured Gareth from Los Campesinos, prompted Steve Lamacq to pronounce it ‘my new favourite football song’.

John MOuse, real name John Davies has been described as  ‘A Welsh Beck,’  under his previous incarnation  JT Mouse  he worked with  Sweet Baboo  (aka Steven Black) while in 2010 he scored a cult hit with a song about a gay romance with another duet, this time with TV presenter Steve Jones lifted from the acclaimed album  ‘Humber Dogger Forties’.  John MOuse has received airplay support from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Mary Anne Hobbes, Steve Lamacq, Stuart Maconie, Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and Adam Walton & Bethan Elfyn on BBC Radio Wales.

“The blend of unpredictability, wit and sharp reminiscence contained within is the real joy of this latest offering by this highly original artist a Welsh indie pop hero…reminiscent of a South Wales David Gedge” Louder Than War

“An extraordinary piece of poetry” Mary Anne Hobbs on ‘Robbie Savage’.

“There is only one John MOuse, a Welsh Superstar and an impassioned performer.” Tom Robinson


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We are delighted to offer Alwyn 'Taffy' Parry's new book 'A Brush With Love, Life and Laughter' to our readers. The book is available for free download here:- A Brush With Life & Laughter

The book is the story of a boy growing up in Wales during the 1940's and is illustrated throughout with the authors' paintings.

Alwyn told AmeriCymru that, with so many older folk in lockdown, the book might inspire them to record their own family history. We thought this was a wonderful offer and would like to take this opportunity to thank Alwyn for his example and his generosity. It is also a superb (and productive) idea for passing the time during the lockdown. 

For fans of Alwyn's work there is also an interview with the author and a review of his earlier title 'The Quarryman's Son' here:- From Wales To New Zealand

Enjoy / Mwynhewch :)

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Golwg article. Translation by Gwenno Dafydd. Read the article yn Cymraeg here .



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The efforts to encourage people to sing ‘Hen Wales fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers – Welsh National Anthem)  to thank not only the NHS, but also everyone who has played their part in fighting the Coronavirus was ‘a huge success’ according to Gwenno Dafydd, one of the organisers of the ‘Sing for Wales’ project. (Editor – And our very own Americymru Saint David’s Day World Ambassador)

She talked to golwg 360 after seeing that videos of people who sang on Monday night (April the 13th) had arrived in the Facebook ‘Sing for Wales’ group as far away as Jamaica, America, South Africa, Australia, Cambodia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Spain.  

And the Facebook group ‘Sing for Wales’ has attracted more than 120,000 members in a very short time. 
 
After seeing a Facebook message by Sarah Evans from Gwent, just a few hours after Sarah established the group on March the 29th, Gwenno Dafydd was inspired to join the campaign, and they are both now two out of the five organisers, who include Scott Evans, Sarah’s husband, Plaid Cymru Councillor Rhys Mills and song writer Gavin Clifton

“On the Friday before this I was out on the pavement myself singing the anthem to thank the people working for National Health System (NHS)”, said the performer, author and public speaking coach to golwg 360.

“On the following Sunday, I saw that someone called Sarah Evans had established the group ‘Sing for Wales’ and I thought ‘Wow!’.

“She wanted to sing to thank everyone who had been supporting us during this time. So I contacted her and offered to help. 



“It was a huge honour to lead the singing during this really special event and to be one of the five very hard working and active members of the organising Steering Committee,” said a message at the bottom of a video on Youtube.

“I would like to thank Rhys Mills, Gavin Clifton, Scott Evans but especially Sarah Evans who had the idea, and also latterly the BBC and Wynne Evans for their support, and of course, lastly and more important than anything, thanks to over 120,000 (hashtag)Welshies and (hashtag)WorldwideWelshies for their support for the group. We made an amazing team!”

Teaching people to enunciate the words

Having been responsible in the past for helping to create an Iphone App to help people learn how to enunciate the Welsh National Anthem, Gwenno Dafydd – author of ‘Stand up and Sock it to them Sister. Funny Feisty Females’, a book about female stand-up comics, decided to take advantage of the resources she had from the time of the App.

“Although the app is no longer available, I still had the resources and one of those was a video of me clearly enunciating the words with sub-titles of the words beneath”.

“I offered these to Sarah, and I said I would also record myself singing and she could put these up on the group, and that’s what happened.”

Radio Cymru and Radio Wales backing the campaign

Apart from this, she has also been helping to raise the profile of the campaign by being responsible for drawing the attention of the media, including Radio Cymru and Radio Wales, who both broadcast the anthem live at eight o clock on the Monday night.  

“I got in touch with Radio Cymru and spoke to Rhuanedd Richards, Head of Radio Cymru, a few days before the event and told her what was happening, and at that time the BBC really came fully ‘on board’.

“We  needed to get a backing track that everyone could use  and the two most important  issues, in my opinion, was to put it up on the group so that people could have a practice before the event, and the other issue was that we needed to have a ‘lead in’, so that we had an introduction.

“I was in discussion with Gareth Iwan Jones at the BBC Radio Cymru Music Department and we decided together that we would use a track of  Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir singing and that’s what happened. Then Wynne Evans also made a video of himself in his kitchen teaching people how to sing the anthem, which proved popular

“Between everything, it came together just like that really, truth be known.”

Raising awareness of a medical condition

And Sarah Evans had an even better reason for setting up the campaign – by seeing an opportunity to raise awareness of her son’s very rare condition. 

“Sarah and Scott have two children and the eldest, Harri, has a very rare condition called Williams Syndrome and Rhys Mills, as their local Plaid Cymru councillor has been very supportive to them with his condition.

“Sarah was very keen to raise awareness of this condition whilst running this campaign."

All the Steering Committee have various connections,  and one of the groups I contacted was ‘Corona’ (Welsh medium Facebook group dedicated to singing – with over 40,000 members)  and we had people from the four corners of the world literally contacting us. 

“Although some people were too shy to record themselves, they did sing the anthem to thank all those who had been looking after us during this worrying time, not only those in the NHS but also those who work in the supermarkets, garages, cross country lorry drivers, refuse workers, those who have lost their businesses, children who stayed at home…….”

Worth the effort’

“To those people who were not in the front line, that was Sarah’s intention, and that’s what I liked, was that we were doing something small to thank everyone for doing their bit.”

“Although I worked day and night on this for two weeks (as did all the others in the Steering Committee) I think it was worth the effort. 

Article by Alun Rhys Chivers. Translation by Gwenno Dafydd.
 
Additional information

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/557557901860425/

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The group will be singing for Wales once again at 8.00pm Monday 4th May. Whether we are singing because we will celebrate coming out of lockdown or because we need to knuckle down again. We will sing! 


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unnamed.jpg The Welsh response to the vandalisation of the iconic mural near Llanrhystud was the spark that inspired Mari Emlyn’s new bilingual book - Cofiwch Dryweryn: Wales Awakening  (Y Lolfa). 

Author Mari Emlyn says:

“We are indebted to the group of young people who went and rebuilt and then repainted the wall. Perhaps the vandals did us a favour, as a mass patriotic awakening has snowballed as a result of their heinous act. Even when some of these new murals have been defaced, the Welsh people have returned quietly, and with dignity, to repaint their tributes.” 

The original slogan was painted by author Professor Meic Stephens, who was a student at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth at the time, as a protest against the decision to drown the Tryweryn Valley in order to provide water for the people of Liverpool. Despite all his literary work, Meic Stephens swore: ‘This is my most famous statement, my most eloquent poem, my most important political act’. 

The book places the mural phenomenon in the context of Capel Celyn’s history, with contributions by three whose roots are firmly in the Tryweryn Valley: Eurgain Prysor Jones, Gwyn Roberts and Elwyn Edwards. Their stories make up the early chapters of the book, as well as a chapter by Emyr Llywelyn who was imprisoned for a year for his part (with Owain Williams and John Albert Jones) in trying to stop the development of the dam in February 1963. There’s also a chapter by radio and television presenter, Huw Stephens, who is the son of the original mural painter. 

Following these contributions, elements of this year’s story are presented in the form of pictures and short written pieces by the public who have been appreciating other people’s efforts during the spring and summer – from Bridgend to Bwlch-y-Groes, from Llangrannog to Llanuwchllyn – and even Chicago! This book is only a taster of the hundreds of murals which continue to be created. 

Siôn Jobbins, Chaiman of Yes Cymru said:

“Destroying the Cofiwch Dryweryn mural was an attempt to destroy the memory and idenitity of Wales as a nation. This book shows that we will never let that happen again. It documents the brave and challenging words on walls across Wales that commemorate our history and demand a better future for our nation.” 

The author and actress Mari Emlyn originally comes from Cardiff, but has long since settled in Y Felinheli with her husband, and has raised three sons there. The Treweryn story has intensified her belief that Wales, if it is to be a proud and confident nation, needs to know its own history. 

Cofiwch Dryweryn: Wales Awakening  will be launched at 7pm in Studio 1, Galeri Caernarfon on Friday, 18 th  October.  

Cofiwch Dryweryn: Wales Awakening  by Mari Emlyn (£7.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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