Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Week 28 - Sild gig in Cardiff

I went down to Ystalyfera to rehearse with Martin and Sille for the Sild gig.  I was already getting nervous about the show.  I think we went to the local pub again.  I can never remember the name but they sell these real nice home brews all named after Buddy Holly. 

Anyway, we made the trip to Cardiff in good time.

The gig was cool but strange all at once.  We played in Chapter Arts Centre in one of the little side stages.  In all my years of playing, I've never gotten used to theatre gigs.  It's weird because you can't see the audience and it's so quiet and focused.  And, in general, the sound in a theatre is never great.  I've only done one theatre gig with great sound but that was down in Tucson, Arizona.  But that story's for another time...

Anyway, to top it all off, I was playing the harp and was way out of my comfort zone.

The opening band was really good but they may as well have had a punk band open the show.  That's not to take away from Olion Byw because they were excellent.  Very virtuosic and very very flashy.

I'd seen them at the Eisteddfod and was impressed at that time as well.  And they, Lucy and Dan, are both friendly and warm people.  They played strictly Welsh folk music only about three times faster than normal.  As I said, flashy...

The thing is, they were a massive contrast to Sild.  Sild is lively but introspective, all at once, heavy and delicate.  And the mix of Estonian and Welsh songs are out of this world, an experiment of sound.  So, it was a weird bill.

I played half the show on trombone and half on the harp and sang a little bit.  I was crazy nervous.  I can get away playing trombone with nerves but harp is much more difficult.  My fingers just don't want to cooperate.  But who knows, Lucy mentioned to me that trombone must be hard to keep in tune so I might have been wildly out of tune all night!  lol!  Oh, well...

Martin and Sille were excellent as always.  They might have been nervous, I don't know, but you couldn't tell, they were so relaxed on stage.  The sounds they create are amazing and beautiful.  So unique and so incredibly musical.  It's deep and profound music but as natural as a breath, a story by the campfire...

Before I go all poetic... my cousin Guy and his girlfriend Zara came to see the show.  That was so nice of them to show up.  Guy said he'd like to paint me playing the harp.  He'd never seen me play before in all the years I've known him.  I was thrilled they were there.

I also met one the organizers of Chapter Arts Centre.  Shoot, I can't quite remember his name but I think it was Jason.  He was the sweetest dude I've ever met.  Just really kind.  Martin, Sille and I stayed for some drinks after and had a nice visit.  Not sure, they might have thought the show was strange as well or at least they were in deep thought about it.  That night I stayed with Melody and Paul, Cos and Bob.  They're working hard to fix up the house.

I got a bead on a couple of jazz gigs, something I should have done awhile ago but didn't really want to.  I was hoping to just play strictly folk music.  Well, we'll see.

There are a couple of new people in the house in Aber.  Huw, who's going to school and Catrin, who works at the Welsh language centre.  I had already met her briefly before... man, Aber's a small town.  Catrin likes to bake cakes every other day and is a real character.  Constantly, switching in and out of Welsh if she thinks I don't understand something.  Gwen has been talking a lot more to me now, telling me stories in Welsh.

My Welsh still stinks but I have flashes of understanding.

Oh well.  Next, back up to Dogellau to start teaching...

River Taff running through Cardiff

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