Ceri Shaw


 

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Category: Music



A SELECTION OF WELSH PIPES VIDEOS FROM JOHN TOSE YOUTUBE CHANNEL PIBYDD (CLICK TO PLAY)


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01 Pant y gafel 7415.JPGAmeriCymru: How did Estron come to be formed?

John: We're basically a family and friends band - I've been doing stuff with my daughters, Micky and Danny ever since they were quite small but in 2012 we started playing with Holly Robinson, a really talented and well known fiddler here in Pembrokeshire, and coined the name Estron for the band. Jess Ward joined us with her harp two years later. I suppose the band really got going after Micky and Danny moved on from the instruments they'd learned at school to things they wanted to play for themselves. Micky learned clarinet to begin with but took up the ukulele and now she plays both with Estron, while Danny abandoned the trombone for the Welsh pipes - she borrowed a spare set I had and taught herself how to play surprisingly quickly. I suppose it helped that she'd been exposed to my own playing her whole life!

AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about your most recent album 'Gwawr'?

John: We recorded Gwawr in May 2015. We wanted to capture the music we had been playing since we started and before we moved on to new material. I've been playing this music for a long time now and I guess the reason we're playing this stuff is mostly that the girls have been exposed to it all their lives so that to them this is what they associate with Welsh pipes, whereas for Holly and Jess it was all new and exciting. To Micky and Danny this music is just `normal' everyday stuff. I suppose that's what makes it `folk' music.

AmeriCymru: When did you first become interested in the Welsh pipes?

John: I started playing bagpipes in about 1990. The first set I had was a set of smallpipes from the Early Music Shop which I made from a kit. After putting it together I realised that I could make these things so I then went on to make a set of, I suppose you could describe them as `Border pipes' in G which I mostly played for the Morris team I was a member of. Then in '97 or '98 I met Ceri Rhys Matthews and became a member of Pibau Pencader, a Welsh piping club he'd started. There was something like ten people in it, a mixture of raw beginners and experienced pipers. There was a need for instruments and myself and John Glenydd started making pipes for the other members, and later to sell to other people as well. We were making all kinds of things from simple diatonic clarinets to bombardes and pibgorns, and bagpipes based either on the Breton veuze or ones which used a pibgorn as the chanter. Meanwhile Ceri was teaching us all his Welsh pipe music which by the nature of the instruments is quite a lot different from much other Welsh folk music. It was a great time and later I also played with Ceri in a pipes and drum band called Pibe Bach, playing both here in Wales and further afield. We even got touring work with the British Council in places like Oman, Palestine and Libya.

AmeriCymru: If someone wished to master the instrument, where would they go to acquire a set of Welsh pipes? How hard is it to learn to play the pipes?

John: Acquiring a set of Welsh pipes is not so easy at the moment. I don't know whether John Glenydd in Llanfihangel ar Arth in Carmarthenshire is still making pipes - I don't have his contact details but you could probably find out by contacting Ceri Matthews. I was making pipes myself until a few years ago but I went down with asthma which is very sensitive to wood dust so I've had to keep out of the workshop. Having said that, recently I've been teaching Danny how to make pipes and she's managed to acquire very good woodturning skills so we'll have to see how this develops. There are other people making pibgorns - Gavin Morgan in Merthyr Tydfil springs to mind. A lot of pipers here also play the Spanish Gaita which is pretty good for playing Welsh music on.

The pipes aren't particularly hard to play - they have open fingering much like a tin whistle which beginners find much easier than that of other pipes, such as Scottish ones. The hardest part is disassociating the blowing from playing the tune - with a bagpipe you play the instrument with a constant pressure on the bag with your arm and you only blow into the instrument when you need to keep it topped up with air.

AmeriCymru: Where can readers go online to buy or listen to your music?

John: Gwawr is available as a download (or as a CD) from Bandcamp. There's a link to it from our website (www.estronband.blogspot.co.uk). You can also find a solo album I made a few years ago, `Cerrig Dymuniad' on there as well as Jess's first solo harp album `The Mermaid's Lament'.

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

John: It's important that we keep this music going in this age of globalisation - otherwise we're going to lose it. Welsh culture has always been under a lot of pressure from across the border in England and it's important that we keep our cultural differences. We all need our roots, our differences.


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horizons_facebook_avatar.pngBBC Wales and Arts Council of Wales are today announcing that the search for Horizons artists to join its 2018 project is now underway.  The applications process is now open and the 12 successful acts will be supported and promoted in various ways by Horizons over the next 12 months.



Horizons is a unique showcase of new, independent contemporary music in Wales.  Now in its fourth-year, Horizons is a collaboration between BBC Wales and Arts Council of Wales.



Since its inception in 2014, Horizons has given a platform to over 36 emerging artists from Wales giving them support and mentoring to help them reach new audiences in Wales, the UK and beyond, and supported many more at festival stages and help release ambitions through the Launchpad fund.



The Horizons project aims to be a comprehensive showcase of promising talent in Wales.  From providing promotional and performance opportunities, over the past four years Horizons has provided new Welsh acts with a breadth of support and some unforgettable experiences as they start their journeys into music.



Horizons acts have been showcased at some of the biggest festivals at home and internationally from Glastonbury,  The Great Escape, Festival No.6, Sŵn, to Eurosonic and SXSW and performed sessions at the legendary Maida Vale Studios.  In the three years of the project previous Horizons alumni include Candelas, Swnami, CaStLeS, Violet Skies, Afrocluster, Baby Queens, Kizzy Crawford, Seazoo, The People the Poet, Reuel Elijah, Danielle Lewis and many more who have benefitted from the Horizon’s Project.



- The 12 artists will be offered a platform at events across Wales and on BBC Wales’ national services - BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales.



- Acts who want to be considered fill in a form online via bbc.co.uk/horizons. Horizons acts will be selected by a panel of experts from within the partnership and the wider music sector.



The Horizons project will be bringing music to many festivals over summer 2018 and will offer more exciting opportunities to Welsh musicians later in the year through its Launchpad funding scheme.



Also new for this year, The Horizons Project has hand picked 12 'Horizons bloggers' who will help spread the word about the Horizons 12 new acts for 2018. Providing personal, insightful and in depth coverage of the acts selected with blogs, podcasts and exclusive content. Horizons Bloggers will also be appearing on panels and on the BBC to help promote the acts and the project's work online and on social media.



Music fans can follow the Twitter account @horizonscymru for all the latest news.



Violet Skies, one of the artists from the 2015 Project says:



“It’s was a mad year for me as part of the Horizons scheme. I’ve been lucky enough to tick off a lot of things from my musical bucket list - The Great Escape, Festival No.6, Sŵn, Maida Vale and now, I’m looking forward to Eurosonic and SXSW festival. It's been a lovely little Welsh family of talented musicians and a really good support team - it's nice to turn up at festivals or a show knowing you have people there to help you. Writing and collaborating with other artists has been a highlight too, and having so many others going through the same as you is so reassuring.”



Lisa Gwilym, BBC Radio Cymru presenter said:



“What I enjoy most about the Horizons project is the opportunity to get to know 12 artists so much better. To be able to follow their journey over the year – from all the festivals to the famous Maida Vale studios – is extremely exciting. I can’t wait to hear and see the range of music on offer from the Horizons artists this year.”

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Dydd Miwsig Cymru 2018 Playlists


By Ceri Shaw, 2018-02-01


GET READY FOR FEBRUARY 9th - DYDD MIWSIG CYMRU




For your convenience - a link to all the Dydd Miwsig Cymru Playlists posted so far. You will need to be signed in to your AppleMusic, Spotify or Deezer accounts to play these lists.



Legends



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Workout



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Acoustic

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Welsh Electronica



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Chill



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Campfire sing song



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After a successful fan funding campaign, John MOuse releases his fifth album ‘Replica Figures' out through Keep Me In Your Heart Records on the 19th of February 2018. For ‘Replica Figures’ John returns to work with original band member Sweet Baboo. It's been 15 years since the two worked under John's previous moniker JT Mouse and the result is a touching album with glimpses of John's black humour, which has been a signature throughout his career.

"We had talked about working together but other commitments had taken president. This is the type of album I have been wanting to release for some time.” Says John of his decision to work with Steve Baboo “ Steve understood straight away what I was trying to achieve and we worked really quickly on just letting the songs breath and be themselves. Nothing was over thought or overworked."

‘Replica Figures’ features Steve Black (Sweet Baboo) on piano and bass, former guitarist of early 90's indie band Hopper (who were signed to Tony Wilson), Paul Sheppard, and John's daughter Maggie Lola on backing vocals. The album circulates around the concept of memories, different memories, how they are created, the lack of memory, enforced and false memories...

"We wanted the album to have restrictions in place, a limited palette of instruments and sounds, and most importantly a vocal performance to capture emotion and the moment.” Says John about recording the album “We are so used to listening to perfect vocals and I wanted to create a snapshot, much like a memory."

‘Replica Figures’ is John’s first album since 2014’s greatly received long player ‘The Death of John MOuse’ that was praised by The Line of Best Fit and Louder than War websites and its brilliant lead single ‘I was a Goalkeeper’ which featured Gareth from Los Campesinos. John MOuse, real name John Davies, has been described as ‘A Welsh Beck,’ and ‘A Less Funny Half Man Half Biscuit'. 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’. Airplay support for John MOuse includes Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio, Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Steve Lamacq 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

“A Welsh Weezer… arty and not afraid of whopping melodies”  The Line Of Best Fit

“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

www.facebook.com/JohnMOuseMusic

www.twitter.com/johnmousemusic

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John MOuse shares lead single


By Ceri Shaw, 2017-12-05

John MOuse shares lead single "Bunkbeds and broken" from his new album "Replica Figures" via Youtube.



The crowdfunded album which is officially released Feb 19th is a collaboration with Sweet Baboo, who produced and played on the album. It's the first time in 15 years that John has worked with Steven Black since they were in the band JT Mouse.

The album also features Paul Sheppard, former guitarist of 90's indie band Hopper who were signed to Tony Wilson's Factory Too records, and who's debut album was produced by Bernard Butler.

The Video is filmed entirely by John's daughter Maggie Lola Davies who also features on backing vocals on the album.

https://youtu.be/3T2O3hqq50k

John MOuse is promoting the single and album at

Crofters Rights, Bristol Dec 11th

Morgans, Rhondda Valleys Jan 1st

The Moon, Cardiff Jan 12th

Price Albert, Stroud Feb 10th

Le Pub, Newport Feb 17th

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Bryn Yemm Releases 'Across The Bridge'


By Ceri Shaw, 2017-12-04



BRYN YEMM

sensational new album - released 1 December 2017

ACROSS THE BRIDGE

an album of songs to inspire & lift your spirit

to reflect upon treasured memories of loved one

Across the Bridge”

the latest album release from

international best selling artist

Bryn Yemm



bryn yemm.jpg“I am immensely proud of this album; an album that I never thought I would record”, explains Bryn. “Like many parents who lose a child, it takes something exceptional to begin a normal life again – my longstanding friend John David gave me the song “Safe N Sound” and rekindled my desire to sing and record again”.

“Listen to ‘Safe N Sound’ it expresses all our wishes for a dear one who has passed”.

“I have gathered one of the most talented teams in South Wales to perform on and produce this album. It was recorded at Nick Brine’s Leeders Vale Studios – Nick is a young dynamic producer who already worked with Oasis, Thunder and Chapel Row after learning his craft at Rockfield Studios. Nick was assisted with ‘mixing and mastering’ by talented sound engineer Jon Constantine”.

“Adding an extra dimension to the vocals are the amazing Katy Dann and the Kidz R Us choir; they truly enrich this album”.

“I have recorded an album of songs to inspire, to lift your spirit, to reflect upon treasured memories of loved one”.

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AmeriCymru: Hi Dion and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What can you tell us about The Routines? How did you settle on the name?

Dion: Well, we are The Routines, a three piece from Caernarfon in North Wales. I play guitar and sing, we've got Jamie on Bass and Gethin on Drums and backing vocals. We grew up together through school but only started playing music together around 2014. We formed the band in 2015, playing locally while taking that time to write as many songs as possible. The name comes from the everyday lives of people around us. We all work 9-5 jobs and a lot of what we wrote revolve around the characters we see while following the daily routines of jobs.

AmeriCymru: Care to tell us something about your recent single releases?

Dion: We have just finished recording a set of 3 Welsh singles. The first of those is called 'di Arfar which translates to 'used to this'. A song about the mundanity of a 9-5 job, not really living. The song was released on all major digital stores and streaming services on the 31st October. The video for 'di Arfar can be found on our facebook page and on our youtube channel. We were able to use the factory that Geth works in to film the video, which, for us, was a nice touch. We also have released videos for two English songs via Youtube previously, 'Chrsitening' and ' Twice In A Blue Moon' which remain to be favourites in our live shows. Two more Welsh singles to be released in the coming months with a view to get back to the studio to record our first English album in 2018.]

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AmeriCymru: You have played in the US before. Care to tell us something about your experiences?

Dion: Well between Feb 2014 and sometime in April 2015, I actually was living out in California. I was playing a lot of solo shows at that time in places like The Riptide and Neck Of The Woods in San Francisco as well as The Starry Plough in Berkeley. I met a lot of brilliant musicians out there such as Jeff Desira and Vessna Scheff who continue to release really interesting tunes. I also used to busk quite regularly around San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf meeting all kinds of weird and wonderful people. I played a few times down in LA and San Jose while out there. For a few months before heading back to Wales I lived in New York state too, playing on Caroline Street and at Cafe Lena in Saratoga Springs was a highlight. Although I would love to go back there and play a decent rock n roll show with The Routines as I know that town loves a loud, 100mph show, The amount of acoustic talent for a small town was unbelievable.

AmeriCymru: Any plans to revisit the US?

Dion: We all would love to go and play some The Routines shows out in the US and we've received an offer a while ago from a place in Big Sur, California, which is a place that reminded me a lot of Wales while I was out there if I'm honest, but unfortunately, we were unable to travel to fulfill that show at the time. We are most definitely open to play some US shows while I think working with a promoter out there for a tour sounds like something that would really work for us to be able to make that happen.

AmeriCymru: Where can people buy your music online?

Dion: Everything's available on our website iawncont.com

AmeriCymru: Care to tell us a little about the Welsh language music scene in your part of Wales?

Dion: Well, to be honest we are quite new to the Welsh music scene really as we have only released one Welsh language tune to date. We are hearing a lot more Welsh bands than we knew we around so it seems to be having a resurgence while there are a lot of Welsh music festivals happening each year alongside the Eisteddfod and other various things.

AmeriCymru: What's next for Dion Jones and the Routines?

Dion: Gigs, Gigs and Gigs. We are currently working our b***s off behind the scenes booking as many shows for 2018 as possible. A couple more Welsh tunes on the way which are ready to go and hopefully we'll be able to record and finish our first album not too late in 2018.

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

Dion: Keep your eyes on us for the coming months as a visit out there I feel is inevitable. I experienced the Welsh stuff you have out there and was extremely surprised at the amount of people who could also still speak Welsh. We feel you here at home. Iechyd Da.

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The Tates release their new single 'Water' on the 1st of December as a digital download through Libertino Records.

‘Water’, the brightly infectious new single by Welsh five-piece The Tates, has been eagerly anticipated after the success of the band’s debut release ‘Electric Girl’. The song was supported by Huw Stephens, BBC Introducing, Radio 1 and gained Amazing radio playlisting as well as being A-listed on BBC Radio Wales.

Energized by their summer tour in support of ‘Electric Girl’ a confident and inspired band returned to the studio in Cardiff to work with producer Steffan Pringle (Estrons, Himalayas, Future Of The Left) again. They emerged with a sense of purpose with a song that will redefine 'The Tates' as the torch-bearers of a new sound, a sound that ranges from The Libertines’ poetic raw energy to the death disco of early New Order and the fuzzed day-glow pop melodies of MGMT.

Lyrically ‘Water’ asks a poetic question exploring themes of nature over nurture, as Tom the guitarist explains: “Are the flaws that we share with our parents who we are, or have we learnt from them? Are we free to be the people we want to be or are we trapped by our genetic makeup and our immediate environment and society?” It is testament to the band that with their unwavering belief in the pop song they are in full control of their chosen genre - they make the pop song theirs. 'The Tates' build from the ground up, step by step until they can reach the stars.

LINKS

www.libertinorecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheTatesOfficial/

https://twitter.com/THE_TATES

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Print/Digital PR contact: Bill Cummings
(Sound and Vision PR) soundandvisionpr@gmail.com
www.soundandvisionpr.com

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Niterooms
are wrapped up in computers and introspection. Their musical landscapes blur the lines between electronica, grime, r'n'b, hip hop, ambient and alternative music, imbuing their personal songwriting with a boundary-pushing, intriguing sound that shifts contemporary music into different places.

The four tracks on Niterooms self-titled debut EP are an unmissable depiction of a swiftly emerging outfit already gathering strong praise, "...they're genuinely trying to do something different without it being a challenge ... it exists somehow, somewhere between grime, dream pop and ambient electronic music..." Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales.

'Headway' the EPs new single, is laced with a deep groove, synth textures and percussive ticks, that vividly demonstrates their mysterious production style. It comes replete with a shape-shifting vocal delivery that tumbles between vocoder and rap, watch the Ed Townend directed video here.

Niterooms are a young three-piece from Brithdir, a small forgotten mining town in South Wales. They are supported by the Forté Project, a new music development project which supports ten young acts from around the region. Their debut EP is the follow up to 'Wash' , their exhilarating minimalist pop debut from earlier this year.

Niterooms debut EP, will be available through Spotify/AppleMusic/iTunes on the 20th of November.

Niterooms Facebook

Niterooms Twitter

Niterooms Instagram



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Songs Of Remembrance




Hi from the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir,

The choir has an exciting season ahead, performing two afternoon Remembrance concerts in November with the 15th Field Regimental Band, followed by five Sounds of Christmas concerts. Our choir toured the Normandy beaches last spring as part of WW1 Centenary events. The memories are fresh in our minds.

For our first Remembrance concert on Sunday Nov.5th we sing at a new venue, Beth Israel Synagogue at Oak Street/West 28th Avenue in Vancouver, with entrance and free underground parking at 989 West 28thAvenue.

On Nov.11th, Remembrance Day, we perform at the South Delta Baptist Church in Tsawwassen. Please check the attachment for details. These Songs of Remembrance will lift your spirits, put a tear in your eye, and send you home singing a familiar melody.

A brief ‘heads up’ on the Christmas concerts; downtown Vancouver on Nov.30th, White Rock on Dec.2nd, New West with Winter Harp on Dec.3rd, North Vancouver Dec.8th, Shaughnessy Heights United Church Dec.16th.

Our website www.vwmc.ca has concert details at both the home page and the 'concerts and tickets' link. Remembrance tickets can be purchased online now, $29, $27, $12 or at the door. Christmas tickets will be available soon. 

We hope you will join us again.  


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