Trouble - the new single from Kaysha Louvain !
By Ceri Shaw, 2023-01-31
Kaysha Louvain - Trouble out 10/02/23
Kaysha Louvain is an award-winning songwriter and BBC Radio Wales A-Lister based in South Wales, UK. Having learned her craft for over a decade playing and writing with various musicians and bands, Kaysha has developed her unique sound into what it is today.
Drawing heavily on her Welsh roots, love of 80s and 90s Pop/Rock and the honesty and delivery of country music. Through her experiences and influences Kaysha has created a sound that is uniquely hers, not pressured into fitting into a certain box, Kaysha takes her influences and writes from the heart. Her music has been compared to the likes of Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks and KD Lang.
Her debut album ‘The Song Goes On’ was a hugely successful debut with two Welsh a-list spots on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Introducing, a Radio WigWam nomination, song of the year on Indie Top 39 and a song of the year on Glacer FM.
UK Indie Sci-fi Expiry arrives on AVOD in North America
By Ceri Shaw, 2023-01-31
A loving couple is prevented from physically touching by an oppressive ruling authority that deems their union to have “expired” in the UK Sci-fi indie Expiry, now available for free in North America via the Fox Corp-owned OTT platform Tubi TV.
First released through Cinedigm in the early months of the Pandemic, Expiry has found resonance among post-pandemic audiences who were prevented from having physical contact with their loved ones during repeated Covid-19 lockdowns. Expiry, filmed in South Wales, UK, before the Coronavirus dominated global headlines, is an eerily-prescient relationship drama set in a not-to-distant future that could well be our own.
Multi-hyphenate Tom Gatley, who not only wrote and directed the film but also scored its award-winning soundtrack, creates a world in which wearable tech devices monitor relationships and the success of a marriage is governed by a couple’s ability to conceive. Expiry presents a possible future where our increasing reliance on mobile devices to interact with one another results in technology that overrides our personal choices and dictates how we are able to connect.
Following its VOD distribution across major platforms in the US, Canada and UK, and the recent announcement of a distribution deal covering all 52 territories on the African Continent, Expiry is now available free with ads via Tubi TV in the US and Canada. The film’s listing can be accessed via the following link:
Daniel Lyddon, the film’s producer for Seraphim Pictures, said: “The creative team welcomes the addition of Expiry to Tubi TV as the film continues to expand its distribution across the globe. With over 50 million monthly active users on its ad-supported streaming service, Tubi TV presents a significant opportunity to increase Expiry’s audience reach.”Tom Gatley, the film’s producer for TG Films said: “We are excited to see our feature film Expiry build its audience further, this time via TUBI TV. This is a great deal for the film and all of the team involved, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. I will be sharing the platform and news with friends and family.”
For more information please contact:
Things to do to celebrate Saint David's Day. - Rhai pethau allwch chi wneud i ddathlu Dydd Gwyl Dewi.
By AmeriCymru, 2021-02-12
This year, our Americymru Saint David's Day Ambassador, Gwenno Dafydd, has decided to create a 30 minute presentation about some of the traditions she has instigated since 2005 which have contributed and enabled the growth of Saint David's Day celebrations not only in Wales but also worldwide.
This year the covid crisis means that any Saint David's Day celebrations will have to be virtual and on line. However, singing the Saint David's Day Anthem has always been a way of celebrating our patron saint's day and can be sung by virtual choirs and virtual schools.
Ysgol Gwaun Cae Gurwen have embraced the idea suggested by Gwenno of singing the anthem whilst doing a 'virtual' parade with family and individual banners. The anthem is available for choirs and individuals from here. Saint David's Day Anthem
Eleni, mae Llysgenad Dydd Gwyl Dewi Americymru i'r Byd, Gwenno Dafydd, wedi penderfynu i greu cyflwyniad 40 munud am rai o'r traddodiadau mae hi wedi eu creu a'u hybu ers 2005 sydd wedi cyfrannu tuag at, a galluogi twf aruthrol dathliadau Dydd Gwyl Dewi nid yn unig yng Nghymru ond hefyd ar draws y byd.
Eleni mae amgylchiadau y Cyfnod Cofidus yn golygu y bydd rhaid cynnal unrhyw ddathliadau Dydd Gwyl Dewi yn rhithiol ag ar lein. Fodd bynnag mae canu Anthem Dydd Gwyl Dewi wastad wedi bod yn ffordd o ddathlu ein Nawdd Sant - ble bynnag yn y byd a gellid ei ganu gan gorau ag ysgolion rhithiol.Mae
Ysgol Gwaun Cae Gurwen wedi ymfalchio yn syniad Gwenno o ganu'r anthem tra'n cynnal gorymdaith 'rithiol' gyda baneri teuluol ac unigol. Mae yr anthem ar gael i gorau ac unigolion o fan hyn. Anthem Dydd Gwyl Dewi
North American Festival of Wales 2020 - An Interview With Megan Williams
By AmeriCymru, 2020-08-20
AmeriCymru: Hi Megan and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to tell our readers a little about the history of the NAFOW event?
Megan: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. The North American Festival of Wales is an annual event held over Labor Day weekend. It is organized by the Welsh North American Association and first started in 1929 as the ‘national gymanfa ganu’. The host city of the festival changes each year and it is held in both US and Canadian cities. In 2020, the festival was scheduled to return to Philadelphia for the first time since 1976. Unfortunately, due to the global health crisis the 2020 festival was cancelled. Plans are already under way for next year’s event in Ottawa and we will return to Philadelphia in 2022. While not what we originally had planned, we look forward to bringing a new version of the festival to a broader audience this year as we host; ‘North American Festival of Wales ~ On Demand’
AmeriCymru: Would I be correct in saying that this is the first year in a century or more that the event will not be held live?
Megan: The first event was held in 1929 and was held every year since apart from twice during WWII. So this is the first time in over 70 years that there is no in person festival.
AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about the exciting plans for an alternative online event?
Megan: We have an extensive line-up and are grateful for the many people were willing and interested in taking part. We decided to go with an ‘On Demand’ format making the whole program available from Sept 4-30. With over 20 hours of programing, we want allow viewers as much time as possible to enjoy our lectures, concerts, films and greetings and of course, our tribute to the gymanfa ganu.
AmeriCymru: Who will be the main guests and headliners this year?
Megan: We have so many people taking part that it is really hard to pick who would be considered a headliner. We have many familiar faces returning to our program from presenters who have been to previous festivals. We are including programing from some of our musicians who were meant to be with us in Philadelphia; Cor y Penrhyn from Bethesda, Hogia’r Bonc and Philadelphia’s own Kathy Crusi who won our top Eisteddfod prize at the 2018 festival in Washington, D.C. We are also partnering with the Welsh government, the National Eisteddfod and Undeb Cymru a’r Byd to bring some new and exciting programing and welcome former First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones to our line-up.
AmeriCymru: Will the winners of the online Eisteddfod be announced at the event?
Megan: Yes, the winners of our new poetry competition will be announced and recitations of the winning poems will be included in our ‘Eisteddfod’ element. This was a great addition to our Eisteddfod and we are excited to say that we received entries from four continents. A promising start for what is to come as we carry this competition forward in the future.
AmeriCymru: Just to make sure that people know where and when to catch this years NAFOW, can you provide us with dates, times and platform details here?
Megan: Of course, the full program will be available, free of charge, on our website www.nafow.org starting on September 4 through Sept 30. We hope to reach as broad an audience as possible so please share with your family and friends, even if they may not have a specific connection with Wales. I promise they will find something to enjoy!
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Megan: I hope you will find time to tune in and enjoy our programing. If you have been to a festival in the past, you will see familiar faces and things to remind you of what being at a NAFOW is like. If you have not been, we hope this may pique your interest and you may consider joining us next year in Ottawa or in Philadelphia in 2022.
The Welsh Englynion of the United States – A Call for Help
By AmeriCymru, 2020-08-14
As I’m sure most of you will know, the Welsh, when they emigrated to the United States, brought with them their language and their culture, and very often built chapels in order to maintain them. If you look around the graveyards you will quite often find brief four-lined stanzas, commemorating the deceased. Unbeknown to most, this represents a tradition stretching back in to the Middle Ages and quite possibly further, into the mists of early Celtic poetry.
These little poems may look quite innocuous but, in fact, they are composed on one of the most demanding metrical systems of the world, a craft which can often take years to master. Each line of this 30-syllable stanza is composed of closely alliterating or rhyming phrases, and this is simply a summary of the most basic rules of cynghanedd (harmony). These aren’t strict rules meant to pretentiously elevate the poem to some idealised level of complexity – they are all about playing with sound so that a piece appeals not only to the mind but to the ear as well. It is only the better poets who master this. This meter is commonly known as an englyn , with englynion as the plural. Our earliest good examples are from about the twelfth century, where they formed parts of a much longer poem, an awdl . By the fourteenth century at least these englynion were being used as independent poems, often for lighter issues than the elegy and praise of the great court poets.
In 1654, in the middle of the Cromwellian interregnum we our first known example on a gravestone, from Llanigon in south-east Wales, very close to the English border, composed to a young student of the law at London. This tradition grows slowly for the next centuries, as the traditional poetic order declined and the was maintained by the lesser gentry, priests and other enthusiasts. Nevertheless the tradition is unbroken. About the 1830s, with the growth of chapels, increase in literacy the proliferation of Welsh journals and newspapers and books the number appearing on graves increases dramatically. The content is quite often a stark warning about the briefness of life, a statement of the hope for resurrection but quite often we find poems to important figures or ones commemorating murders or deaths in battle, tragic accidents, midwives, surgeons, a British prime-minister and so on.
One could confidently estimate that we have at least 25,000 of these with great numbers not having been recorded from large parts of Wales. We have many in England too, especially in Liverpool which sported an immensely Welsh-speaking community a little over a century ago. There are many on the graves of the war-dead, especially from the First World War, in Belgium, France and Palestine for example. More relevant is that we know of many from the United States but it seems that few have been recorded and we are rapidly losing the local knowledge about the deceased and the poets, as the language has receded and the stones are deteriorating with time. We desperately need to find volunteers willing to search the graveyards where the Welsh were buried, record the inscriptions and ask for further information.
The earliest known to me is from 1852, dedicated to the 23 year-old Mary Thomas, 1852 and is in Paddy’s Run (Ohio). The poet is her father.
Tiroedd a moroedd mawrion – a deithiais,
Nes deuthum at estron,
I geisio hawl o’r gŵys hon
I orwedd gyda’i feirwon.
Vast lands and seas did I travel
Until I came to a foreign land.
To seek my rights from this furrow
To lie with its deceased.
The highest known englyn in the world is from Russel Gulch (at 9,150 feet) in the Colorado Rockies. Owen Jones died in 1856 at 56 years. Many coalminers had emigrated, having the necessary skills to work in the industry. Owen died from complications after a ball of dynamite exploded in his hand, blowing off one of them and many fingers from the other.
O afiachus wael fuchedd – o afael
Pob gofid a llygredd,
Aeth at ei Dad i wlad y wledd
Y nwyfiant a’r tangnefedd.
From an unhealthy poor life – from the grasp
Of every misery and corruption,
He went to his Father to the land of the feast
Of passion and peace.
There is a shorter couplet, to John Tyson, 1857 (52), in Slateville (Pennsylvania). This is where many north-walian slate quarrymen emigrated.
Dirymwyd edau’r einioes
Yn grwn gan yr hwn a’i rhoes.
Life’s thread was undone
Completely by he who gave it.
Sometimes, the deceased is commemorated on the family grave in Wales, such as Barbara Owens, Tre’rgarth, 1859 (22), Eglwys y Santes Fair; MW.
Er marw yn nhir Amerig – ac aros
Mewn goror bellenig
Byr hanes Barbara unig,
Huna draw, y fan hon drig.
Despite dying in the land of America – and tarrying
In a faraway land,
Brief was the life of lonely Barbara
Far away she slumbers, but here she lives.
The inscriptions are largely in Welsh, something which might present a challenge to the survival of local knowledge. The following is to Henry Williams in Slateville, from Nant y Graean by Bangor. He died in an accident on January 4 th , 1868.
Y gwir Oracl ef a garai – gair Iôn,
Yn gywir gyhoeddai,
Ac i’w fedd mewn hedd ydd ai
A dir ei ofn a derfynai.
The true Oracle he loved – the word of the Lord
Correctly he would announce,
And to his grave in peace he went
And the hardship of his fear ended.
The following is to a noted poet, preacher and writer, Richard Foulkes Edwards (Rhisiart Ddu o Wynedd), 1836- 1870 (34) Oskosh, Wisconsin. He was originally from north-east Wales and had won the chair in the 1864 Eisteddfod in Llandudno. This is the one attended by the great English poet Mathew Arnold, who so fervently wished to see the end of the Welsh language and culture.
Mawr gwyn fu rhoi mor gynnar – weinidog
O nodwedd mor lachar,
At feirwon mewn estron âr,
Y Bardd Du i bridd daear.
Great was the grievance of placing so young – a minister
Of shining qualities.
To the dead in a foreign field
The Black Poet to the soil of the earth.
I guro, daeth llaw trugaredd – at ddôr
Risiart Ddu o Wynedd;
Am hyny’r sant, o bant bedd,
Waredir i anrhydedd.
Llonydd yw’r bardd a’r llenor – a dyn Duw
O dan dalp o farmor;
Bydd gwae dwfn i’r bedd gae dôr
A throi dros y fath drysor.
Eos Glan Twrch
The hand of mercy came to beat upon the door
Of Richard the Black from Gwynedd.
For that the saint from the valley of death,
Will be saved to glory.
Motionless is the bard and writer – a man of God
Under a slab of marble;
Great, deep woe that the grave closed a door,
And turned over such a treasure.
I have yet to ascertain where the following is located, the details not having been noted in the online site. Margaret Williams, 1875, 58 years old.
Fy mhriod hynod sy’n huno – yma
Wiw mwyach ei cheisio.
Ataf ni ddychwel eto
Gwael ei grym mewn gwely gro.
My remarkable spouse sleeps here
Futile now is to seek her.
Never again will she return to me
Feeble is her strength in a bed of shale.
Another commemorated in Wales is Thomas J. Williams, 1908 (34) in the graveyard of the church of Llanfihangel-y-pennant; He was buried in Boulder, Colorado.
Pell o’i wlad yn Colorado – hunodd
Tom heinyf ei osgo;
Ond, o unfryd ei hen fro,
Cu hafan, car ei gofio.
Far from his country in Colorado – he fell asleep
Tom the vigorous his bearing.
But with one voice in his old land
A fair haven, will remember him.
Occasionally the englynion are noted in Welsh journals. We need to search Y Drych, at some point. The following occurs in Y Gwladgarwr (The Patriot, 1839), but states that the poem is on the gravestone. Gabriel Davies, Cincinnati, Ohio:
I'w gorph gwan wele'r anedd , - ac obry
Mae Gabriel yn gorwedd ;
Trueni troi o Wynedd
I chwilio byd , a chael bedd.
See the abode of his feeble body – but above
Does Gabriel like;
Tragic was turning from Gwynedd
To explore the world but to find a grave .
These are but a brief selection of the dozens currently known to us, but works in journals and comments from the United States indicate that we may have a far larger corpus of important poetry waiting to be recorded. If anyone can help in visiting graveyards and just asking around this would be hugely appreciated. It is already late to be embarking on this work, but hopefully not too late. Please do snap away with your smartphones and take pictures of the gravestones, the chapels and the cemeteries. All information is important. There is an urgency to this work. You can either contact me directly at email@example.com or otherwise upload photos and comments to the Facebook group Englyn Bedd . In advance I’d like to say diolch yn fawr .
Dr Guto Rhys
Turning - An Interview With Poet Tony Kendrew
By AmeriCymru, 2020-07-28
Tony Kendrew is a poet of Welsh ancestry who has made his home in Northern California. In 2014 he completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, the third oldest institute of higher education in Britain - after Oxford and Cambridge. He continues his connection with Wales as one of the editors of The Lampeter Review. AmeriCymru spoke to Tony about his work and future plans. Visit Tony Kendrew's website here
AmeriCymru: The poems of your new poetry collection, Turning , focus on the themes of migration and identity. What inspired this collection?
Tony: My mother was Welsh and went to China as a teacher in her late twenties. There she met and married my English father. So not only did I have to figure out where I came from, but my options were on the other side of the world!
The themes of movement and identity have concerned me all my life, and my year at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, brought them into focus like never before. So I decided to write as my MA dissertation a series of poems that reflect on the urge to migrate and explore, how that urge was expressed in my own family and life, and how it relates to a sense of place and belonging. There are twenty-two poems, and they take two directions, one towards the history of the Welsh side of my family, arranged chronologically, the other towards the nature of nationality and diaspora in general.
A number of poems tell the stories of particular members of the Welsh side of my family, trying to capture some of the characteristics of Welshness with illustrations of the delights and tragedies of family and emigration. I also touch on the influence of my cultural and genetic heritage on my own life and work.
And though the Welsh word hiraeth does not appear in these English language poems, we could say that the collection is really an exploration of hiraeth in poetic form.
AmeriCymru: Your earlier collection, Feathers Scattered in the Wind draws together reflections on the people and places of Northern California and Wales. Care to introduce that book for our readers?
Tony: I would love to. I’ve been living in Northern California since the 80's. Each time I moved it was to a more remote and beautiful place, until fifteen years ago I found the valley I now call home. All of the places I lived inspired what I suppose we could call nature poetry, though the poems aren’t just descriptive, because I always seem to find a human story hidden in the rivers and forests and deserts. And I don’t mean that my poems tell the story of the people living in those places, but that the places themselves give rise to reflections about what it is to be human. We have been living on earth for a very long time, and I think the landscape is intimately connected with our thoughts and feelings. To give an obvious example, the river: constant but changeable, deep or bickering, “wider than a mile,” you can’t push it, and of course “you can’t step into the same river twice.” And it isn’t just landscape either: sudden encounters with plants and wildlife bring insights of their own. Our minds have been sculpted by nature.
About half the poems in 'Feathers Scattered in the Wind' were written in California. The other half come from Wales. They were my responses to my year living and learning and rambling in West Wales, on the Coastal Path, in the ruins of Strata Florida or the beaches of Ceredigion.
I am, I suppose most interested in the communication of awe. The collection has a number of poems that try to communicate that response to beauty and the ineffable, whether it’s nature, or the effect of a painting on the viewer or a piece of music on the listener.
AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your experience studying Creative Writing at the University of Wales?
Tony: Well, it was a wonderful experience! I fell into it by a stroke of serendipity, and knew immediately that the teaching style and the faculty at Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, were going to suit me just fine. The personal attention and intimacy of this small school made me feel cared for, and the sessions with poet Menna Elfyn and dramatist Dic Edwards, and regular visits from Wales’ best writers, meant that everything I wrote went under the microscope. Just what I needed! It was a lot of work, but that‘s exactly what I was there for.
AmeriCymru: Care to tell us a little about 'Seven Views of the South Fork River’?
Tony: The South Fork of the Trinity River runs past the bottom of my property and has been my muse for the last fifteen years. It’s designation as a wild and scenic river means it goes up when it rains and goes down when it doesn’t – something that dams and reservoirs have hidden from the experience of a large part of the population. It is an awesome sight to watch the river rise and spread out across the valley. Some years ago I decided to sing the river’s praises with a group of poems describing places along its course. This became 'Seven Views of the South Fork River', which is embedded in the printed collection 'Feathers Scattered in the Wind'. The poems talk about the river in a blatantly metaphorical way!
AmeriCymru: What's next for Tony Kendrew?
Tony: I am currently on the editorial board of The Lampeter Review, the online magazine of the University of Wales Trinity St. David's Creative Writing Centre. It’s terrific to be at the receiving end of great writing and to be in touch with the other editors on the production of the magazine. I also write a regular piece for the magazine, a sort of letter from America, that gives a personal view of the issue’s theme or a literary topic that’s caught my eye.
I have enjoyed producing CDs of my poems and love to hear writers reading their work, but many people prefer to snuggle down with a book rather than hear poems and prose read out loud. So my next project is a book of short stories.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of Americymru?
Tony: I’m delighted to be able to meet with other Welsh Americans via Americymru. As a writer I’ve been a bit of a hermit, so it’s heartening to see these connections being made through that difficult to define something that is our shared Welshness. Cymru am Byth.
Out Now! Rising Artist 'Dead Method' Releases New Alternative Pop Track - 'Babylon' 26/06
By AmeriCymru, 2020-06-27
Dead Method returns with their hotly anticipated new track Babylon, an assertive alternative pop anthem for outcasts and outsiders searching for their tribe. Taking influence from PC Music without falling back on cliche, the track was produced by Minas who has worked with Dan Betteridge, Tierny & Local to name a few.
The track is taken from Dead Method’s upcoming debut album Queer Genesis, which will release in September, 2020. The album is a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and middle finger to oppression.
They say: “Babylon depicts a great exodus of queer people who have fled their home to find solace and family elsewhere. Drawing from my experience with a previous lover who was flown back to his home country when his family found out he was bisexual only to return as a “heterosexual” with an arranged marriage.
It was also influenced by the experiences of several of my friends who were unable to return to their home countries as they would not be safe. It’s about finding your true family and how members of the LGBTQ+ community get to pick their family despite our troubled circumstances.
Babylon is self-acceptance and finding a home outside of what society told you the concept of home is.” Babylon will be released on all digital stores on 26/06/2020
For more information on Dead Method:
Conformist returns with inventive new remix of Radio Europa's 'Something Beautiful' featuring vocals by Gwenllian Anthony (Adwaith)
By AmeriCymru, 2020-06-23
Conformist is back with a new remix of Radio Europa' s ' Something Beautiful' featuring vocals by Gwenllian Anthony of Adwaith. Out on 31st of July it's the first new material from Conformist this year and a teaser of more to come with his forthcoming third album slated for release in late 2020.
Conformist is the moniker of Cardiff's Michael Simmons, he takes Radio Europa's 'Something Beautiful' from last year's acclaimed " Community is Revolution " album and gave it fresh spin, with an intricate palette of synths, strings, cut up vocal samples and spluttering beats, he shows off his inventive talent to craft insidious sound experiences.
" Community Is Revolution" by Radio Europa was one of my go-to albums from last year, its themes and the narratives referenced within the album spoke volumes to myself and continue to do so as we meander through these dark times, so when the opportunity to remix a track from this album came up i was all over it. Plus getting the opportunity to work on Gwenllians' excellent vocal contribution was too good an opportunity to pass on; Adwaith are, simply put, the best Welsh band in years. Hopefully this release is a catalyst for more Conformist releases, beginning with album number three in the Autumn."
Radio Europa say:
Conformist is one of the most respected names on the Electronic music scene in Wales, with early demos immediately catching the attention and of Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens, John Kennedy and Eddy Temple Morris.
Subsequent Conformist albums " Paid To Fake It" (2013) and " Lifestyle Bible " (2016) earned lavish praise:
"Paid To Fake It" is the sort of record that will take your breath away...bloody brilliant" The 405
" a head-spinning deluge of audacious beats and samples...staggering" Wales Online
Conformists' production work is distinguished and full of unique character; staying leftfield but fresh and ahead of others; meticulous, dense and layered, revealing hidden detail with every listen - taking inspiration from Public Enemy 's Bomb Squad and cut n' paste pioneers Coldcut, Steinski and The Dust Brothers to name a few.
Most recently Conformists' own tracks have been reinterpreted by key figures in the underground Electronic music scene such as Man Without Country, Mark Pistel of Consolidated, Kayla Painter, Odonis Odonis & H O R S E S.
Conformist will return later in 2020 with his eagerly anticipated third full length album.