Stuart: The Welsh male voice choir book is simply an overview of the history of men’s choirs in the South Wales area, from the past to the present day.
It explores what is happening when you join a men’s choir and what to expect.
AmeriCymru: When did you first become interested in Welsh Male Voice Choirs?
Stuart: I was told about male voice choirs when I joined my first choir at 16 years of age. My first job was to be the choir guest accompanist for Cor Meibion Morlais at the age of 16. I missed their tour of Canada. I couldn’t go as I couldn’t afford it and didn’t know the repertoire but I soon became known as a good musician by pupils from Ferndale Community School when I was known to play the piano for the choir of Ferndale Community School / Maerdy.
There was also a family history of my grandfather singing in Welsh male voice choirs and I got him back into singing again after a long spell of absence since Ferndale Male Voice Choir fell apart around 1989.
AmeriCymru: Why, historically, do you think that choirs became such a central part of Welsh social and cultural life?
Stuart: Men’s choirs need to keep on attracting students in schools and doing creative projects and events.
All choristers must remain positive and not sit on their bottoms and do nothing all day. Every human must try and make an effort by giving up their time to bring something to young men to come in. They can’t go to a coal mine now to work and say "hey mate do you fancy coming for a drink with me after" and have a sing song and something to do and also keep you company.
They have to forget all that and having music marketing in mind and offer digital products and more and more networking live music events wherever they can travel globally.
When there are no youngsters we won’t have male choirs. They can’t ask young people to pay if they are unemployed. Wherever you're from.
If more choirs were thinking of that psychological strategy more and more young men wouldn’t be isolated and would actually get out more and learn more about life exactly as I did.
AmeriCymru: Do you have any favourites? Any choirs whose achievements and current standards merit a special mention?
Stuart: Pendyrus Choir are currently outstanding. At the moment their sound is as good as I’ve ever heard them before. I don’t want to give an opinion on certain songs that hit me whenever I hear a male voice choir because wherever you are depends on the venue. I have emotion and some people don’t when they listen to or play music.
I’ll leave that opinion up to you.
AmeriCymru: Do you think that the future of the Welsh choral tradition is assured? The rate of recruitment of younger members is declining. Is anything being done to reverse this trend?
Stuart: No I disagree, with this opinion, I actually feel younger members have a big role to play in men’s choirs and we are seeing more young singers entering men’s choir not just in Wales but over in England too. I think young men just want to just do something different now. They want to distract themselves from the women if they can afford it. The reason why, if any, young men are not in men’s choirs is because they can’t afford the subscription costs which are often a worry or burden for many young men even though they live with their parents or if they are on their own it’s much harder. If you adapt a range of styles youngsters will just come because the music won’t be the same repertoire. It has to be constantly rapidly changing for concert audiences.
I don’t just talk about Music, but I am making contradictory opinions on what I think happened in the male voice choir’s industry and arguing that not all men’s choirs are suffering for young members declining.
I actually think a lot of training work is being done to attract singers from schools to come to choirs and there is evident research that this does happen from peripatetic music teachers that connect with youngsters in the schools to come to the choirs.
AmeriCymru: Where can people go online to purchase 'The Power & Glory of Welsh Male Voice Choir Singing'?
It’s actually free for Amazon Unlimited account users.
AmeriCymru: What's next for Stuart Street? Do you plan any more publications?
Stuart: I can offer paperback editions of my book when the publisher says they are interested in my book.
I am currently doing a Master of Music in the University of West London – London College of Music so the future is still unknown and I may turn my writing into digital or book publications just a bit like I have been doing with this.
I am going to record a track promotional CD of Bass Trombone & Piano music and also new Bass Trombone repertoire music on YouTube and Vimeo.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Stuart: I haven’t been on here for a while, but I am also a musical artist and my digital sales have actually risen quite well however it won’t harm to trigger further music marketing hyperlinks so that your members can have complete access to my free music tracks in full and there is an option for you to download or stream my music products too. I recorded classical crossover piano music and I think you’d agree that I tried my best with them and tried to upload them on digital aggregator tunecore.com to put my music on all the websites / apps that you love. iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon mp3 Digital Music, band camp
Discover the formations of male voice and go on a journey with Stuart to see how communities have formed male voice choirs. Learn how singing goes good with sport and why the Welsh love to sing. Why is male singing, so powerful and rich? Why do we still like singing? I talk about the formations of tonic - sol - fa and I follow my roots in the Rhondda Valley's in the mining industry of South Wales. I interview local Rhondda men and women who have actively been involved in music making in the Rhondda. You'll be convinced that singing in Wales is a good interest and everyone should have a go and sing!
From the Wikipedia :- "Deck the Halls" (original English title: "Deck the Hall") is a traditional Yuletide and New Years' carol. The "fa-la-la" refrains were probably originally played on the harp. The tune is Welsh dating back to the sixteenth century, and belongs to a winter carol, Nos Galan.
The tune is that of an old Welsh air, first found in a musical manuscript by Welsh harpist John Parry Ddall (c. 17101782), but undoubtedly much older than that. The composition is still popular as a dance tune in Wales, and was published in the 1784 and 1794 editions of the harpist Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards. Poet John Ceiriog Hughes wrote the first published lyrics for the piece in Welsh, titling it "Nos Galan" ("New Year's Eve"). A middle verse was later added by folk singers. In the eighteenth century the tune spread widely, with Mozart using it in a piano and violin concerto and, later, Haydn in the song "New Year's Night.
Originally, carols were dances and not songs. The accompanying tune would have been used as a setting for any verses of appropriate metre. Singers would compete with each other, verse for verse known as canu penillion dull y De ("singing verses in the southern style"). The church actively opposed these folk dances. Consequently, tunes originally used to accompany carols became separated from the original dances, but were still referred to as "carols". The popular English lyrics for this carol are not a translation from the Welsh."
The above version ( together with many other tracks ) is performed by Dr J.Marshall Bevil on the Welsh traditional instrument - the crwth. Linked below is a three part interview with Dr Bevil about the instrument:-
Junior Bill release four new self-released tracks on the 15th of November to coincide with a run of dates including supporting Danny Goffey (Supergrass) before returning for a homecoming show in Cardiff.
Junior Bill return after the success of their award-winning concert film “Above Your Station” with brand new music. Their new self-titled release features four fresh, exciting recordings steeped in narratives rooted in the history, myths and culture of Cardiff. The record further expands upon Junior Bill’s distinctive, infectious genre-blurring marriage of ska, reggae, dub, latin, punk and pop songwriting that has won them fans both on stage and on record. It was produced with Andrew Sanders (Jemma Roper, Big Thing) at Kings Road Studio In January 2017 and mastered by Matthew Evans (Keys, El Goodo). Lead track "There's A Wolf In Grangetown" with its ghostly dub and catchy lyrical stream that’s use of accent and lingo is infectious and manages to have echoes of both Jamie T and The Specials but still retains the Junior Bill stamp. It documents the long-held myth that a wolf prowls the streets of Grangetown, a lively multicultural area in Junior Bill’s hometown of Cardiff. Some say the wolf has returned to the area in the past month or so, whilst others say it may simply be a marketing ploy from a certain band. The band's mischievous promo antics have already caused the legendary 'Grangetown Wolf' to become a cult Cardiff figure, with a local tourist gift shop creating their own Grangetown Wolf logos, art being created by its inspiration and even a twitter account posing as the wolf itself.(more here)
Second track “Romas” has a lusher distinctively more latin feel with its use of trumpets and sprightly percussion. Its celebratory chorus was written in defence of an ostracised ethnic community; “This one's for the Romas and the Czechs/They don't get no respect”. Both songs see Junior Bill continue to sing the gritty, street-level stories of urban Cardiff whilst delivering catchy choruses that ring around the listener's brain for weeks, just like the whispered provincial rumours from which the lyrics were born. "The Butetown RATS" begins with a more stripped back a haunting isolated vocal and narrative rooted in the history of Cardiff’s docks. It is then joined by skittering military drums, organs and glistening chords that unravels into an addictive singalong that reminds one of Joe Strummer’s latter work. The song is based on a play written and directed by Cardiff's Kyle Legall called "R.A.T.S. - Rose Against The System". The play and the song documents the plight of rats being forced out of the former docks of Cardiff Bay by the new developments of restaurants, pubs and flats. In the play, the rats come across an unexploded bomb from World War II, and plan to blow it up to return the bay to what it once was. Rob Nichols of Junior Bill performed the song at a performance of the play in the Wales Millennium Centre. A live performance video of the track will also be released on the 15th November. Behind the foot tapping dub pop charm of final track “Old Cardiff Winds” lies one of Nichols’s richest and most incisive lyrical sentiments. The song is based on a folk song written by Mike Johnson, the owner of Cardiff’s historic Coal Exchange venue. Rob recontextualised Johnson’s wistful nostalgic chorus about the glory days of Cardiff’s docks - “Oh don’t you wish you’d been there/there brushing steam from your hair” - to make it a sarcastic comment, bemoaning the superficialities of the city’s modern touristic cosmopolitan drive whilst it forgets its true soul and leaves behind the communities who built the it - "Gonna need a bigger rug to hide all you featherweight thugs/Peoples proud and picaresque, make way for the picturesque". It’s this clash of the new and old worlds, social empathy and political understanding that make Junior Bill’s songs so uniquely pertinent and interesting.
Formed in 2013, Junior Bill have been through a few incarnations, but the writing talents of Rob Nichols have combined with keyboard & synth player Joel Beswick and bassist Rory Saunders since the bands inception. The five-piece is currently completed by drummer Jim Strickland and newest member Luke Owen on vocals, samples and guitar. Junior Bill’s live show has been highly praised for its enthralling energy and has earned them the reputation of being one of the best new acts in Wales.This November they will seek to prove it with a run of support shows across the UK with Danny Goffey (Supergrass) before returning for a homecoming show in Cardiff, their first in a year.
Live dates (*supporting Danny Goffey): 16th November – Old Market Assembly, Bristol 17th November – Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield* 18th November – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow* 19th November – Cluny 2, Newcastle* 20th November – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham* 21st November – Soup Kitchen, Manchester* 22nd November – Bullingdon, Oxford* 23rd November – Thousand Island, London* 24th November – Gwdihw, Cardiff
The Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir, and the Band of the 15th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, join forces on Remembrance Day with music paying tribute to those who served to bring peace. The choir toured western Europe in 2017, singing at Vimy Ridge, Menin Gate, Juno Beach and other sites. With those vivid reflections, and the war’s end anniversary, this year’s remembrance concert will be especially poignant for the choristers as they perform with this superb military band.
South Delta - Saturday, November 10, 2018
2:30pm, South Delta Baptist Church, 1988 56 Street, Delta BC.
Tickets available only at Massey Theatre*, or call the theatre box office at 604‑521‑5050*.
* Ticket service charges apply.
Visit our website at www.vwmc.ca to learn more about the choir, our CDs, and opportunities to audition for the choir.
Christmas is coming...
Heads-up for our seven concerts celebrating the Sounds of Christmas. Click on the links below for more information about the concert, venue, and ticket purchase. We are again delighted to share the stage on five occasions with some exceptional school choirs who will present a portion of the programme on their own, and join with us for a few combined songs.
“Ani transcends language with her shimmering take on pop.” Eugenie Johnson – DIY
Ani Glass releases her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) on the 26th of October through Recordiau Neb. She will be performing at Pop Montréal on the 28th and 29th of September and will be attending as part of the Focus Wales delegation, supported by PRS Foundation's International Showcase Fund and Wales Arts International.
Ani Glass is back with her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) underpinned by a tapestry of pulsing and prodding synths, samples and programmed beats bathed in the neon of the city’s industrial glow. Her sublime pirouetting vocal refrains infuses a knowing pop universality into the overwhelming experience of life in the city’s engine room. Ani says it’s about how the “search for identity in a moving city and society insists on a sense of stillness often found in the shadows of progress”.
Released as a single in 2016, the industrial electro-pop of ‘Y Ddawns’ (The Dance) is a rallying call for those seeking inspiration in language and art. Laura Snapes of Pitchfork said it was "a double-edged sword that's as stern as it is hopeful; music for the end of the world, and the start of a new one." While BBC Wales’s Bethan Elfyn named it “Perfect Euro Pop!”
Ani followed this with the release of her debut EP ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’ (Silent Explosion) on Recordiau Neb which included six infectious, socially conscious electronic pop songs. They stand as a document of Ani Glass’s artistic evolution invested with grander themes concerning the Welsh language and politics. A Remix version of the EP was later released and featured reinterpretations by Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci and R. Seiliog.
Ani Glass is the persona of Cardiff-based electronic pop musician, producer, artist and photographer, Ani Saunders. Fiercely proud of her heritage, Glass sings in her native languages Welsh and Cornish, and in 2016 released her first solo material with lead single ‘Ffôl’ (Foolish) being chosen as single of the week on BBC Radio Cymru and gaining plays on BBC 6 music.
Ani is also known for her work with The Pipettes, joining in 2008 to record the Martin Rushent-produced Earth Vs. The Pipettes album. Prior to her stint with the polka-dotted pop band, Glass was a member of Genie Queen, managed by OMD’s Andy McCluskey.
28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)
Ar y 26ain o Hydref, bydd Ani Glass yn rhyddhau ei sengl newydd Peirianwaith Perffaith ar Recordiau Neb. Fe fydd Glass yn perfformio yng Ngŵyl Pop Montréal ar y 28ain a’r 29ain o fis Medi fel rhan o ddirprwyaeth Gŵyl Focus Wales – a hyn wedi iddi dderbyn cefnogaeth PRS Foundation a Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru.
Mae Ani Glass nôl gyda’i sengl newydd ‘Peirianwaith Perffaith’ sy’n frodwaith o synau synth gofodol, samplau a churiadau diwydiannol. Mae pob nodyn o’i llais yn arnofio’n swynol uwchben sain peirianyddol y ddinas. Yn ôl Ani, mae’r gân yn trafod yr ysfa i “chwilio am hunaniaeth yng nghanol dryswch y ddinas a ffeindio cysur a llonyddwch yng nghysgodion gobaith”.
Rhyddhawyd sengl ‘Y Ddawns’ yn 2016 – roedd yn alwad ar y rheiny oedd yn chwilio am ysbrydoliaeth mewn iaith a chelf. Yn ôl Laura Snapes o Pitchfork, roedd y gân yn "gerddoriaeth ar gyfer diwedd y byd, a dechrau un newydd" tra disgrifiodd Bethan Elfyn BBC Wales hi’n “Ewro-pop perffaith!”
Yn dilyn hyn, fe wnaeth Ani rhyddhau ei EP cyntaf, ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’, ar Recordiau Neb. Roedd yn cynnwys chwe chân pop – saif fel ddogfen o esblygiad Ani fel artist wrth iddi ymwneud â themâu ehangach gan gynnwys yr iaith Gymraeg a gwleidyddiaeth. Rhyddhawyd fersiwn remics o'r EP yn ddiweddarach a oedd yn cynnwys ail-ddehongliadau gan Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci ac R. Seiliog.
Ani Glass yw persona’r gerddores gerddoriaeth bop electronig, artist, ffotograffydd a chynhyrchwraig Ani Saunders. Bydd Ani Glass yn canu yn ei hieithoedd brodorol sef y Gymraeg a’r Gernyweg ac y mae’n hynod falch o’i hetifeddiaeth. Rhyddhaodd ei gwaith cyntaf fel unawdydd yn ystod 2016. Cafodd ei phrif record sengl ‘Ffôl’ ei dewis yn ‘sengl yr wythnos’ gan BBC Radio Cymru ac yr oedd i’w chlywed ar sianel BBC 6 Music.
Bu Ani yn aelod o The Pipettes, gan ymuno yn 2008 a recordio’r albwm Earth Vs. The Pipettes gyda’r cynhyrchydd Martin Rushent. Cyn hyn roedd Glass yn aelod o Genie Queen a oedd yn cael eu rheoli gan Andy McCluskey o’r grŵp OMD.
28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Caerdydd (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)
When The Beatles performed in his home town of Abergavenny; Bryn Yemm who was rapidly gaining a reputation as a prominent entertainer was amongst those invited to greet the “Fab 4”.
With over 10 albums of contemporary classic songs, together with performances throughout the world, Bryn is deservedly placed in the list of truly great entertainers. The Guinness Book of Hit Albums testifies this; acknowledging that Bryn was the only UK artist to have 2 chart entries in top 100 albums during 1986.
Today his albums offer a more reflective mood and once again he has identified exceptional musicians to collaborate on a truly inspirational album; a gift he demonstrated with “Gateway to Song” with the Morriston Orpheus Choir, “How Great Thou Art” with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir”, “Across the Bridge” with the Kidz R Us choir and the award winning “Let There Be Peace” with the Richard William Singers. Faith, Hope & Salvation – Bryn Yemm meets Salvation Brass – is an extraordinary collection of amazing songs, songs to inspire, songs to raise the spirit and songs to sing along with.
Salvation Brass are outstanding musicians, drawn from Salvation Army bands from across the UK. They contribute distinctive arrangements to each song under the guidance of the musical director Dean Jones. The Morrison Songsters realise the magnificence of the melody, then highlight and emphasise the essence of these songs. This album contains songs/hymns that are classics from Salvation Army Bands repertoire.
No matter where in the world I perform, I am proud to proclaim “I am from Wales – the land of song”; this is reflected by the inclusion of “Calon Lan” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” (“Bread of Heaven” as sang by Welsh rugby fans worldwide).
Bryn enthuses “I am particularly excited and proud of my version of “McArthur Park”, with the brass band it thunders along”.
A lyric from “McArthur Park” says “I’ll never have that recipe again”; we hope that Bryn Yemm will continue to find the recipe for further collaborations with exceptional musicians and albums to inspire all ages.
A SELECTION OF WELSH PIPES VIDEOS FROM JOHN TOSE YOUTUBE CHANNEL PIBYDD (CLICK TO PLAY)
AmeriCymru: 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.
BBC 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.”
After a successful fan funding campaign, John MOuse releases his fifth album ‘Replica Figures' out throughKeep 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