So that wasn't a good sign as the "march" he was referring to was actually supposed to be the St. David's parade. Needless to say, the "march" was very meagre. Not too many Welshies take to the holiday I guess. Fair enough. I suppose it's more for ex-pats and us foreigners. Shame. I used to really enjoy handing out daffs and eating welsh cakes.
I had heard there was a choir at the Library so I headed over there. There wasn't a choir, it turned out, but Guto Dafis was there performing. I had heard loads about Guto before and had listened to his music on "Rough Guide to Wales" and on an album called "Megin". He's a great squeeze box player. For this particular show, he was doing a mix of story telling and box playing. He was brilliant! Very good story teller. He did everything in both Welsh and English, which I really enjoyed. He told some classic Welsh folk tales and also tackled the second half of the first branch of the Mabinogi. The story of Pwyll and Rhiannon. A very hefty and wonderful story which he pulled off nicely. I'm glad he's brought that story to modern listeners... can't have it sitting in the dusty desks of scholars...
There's me, "......."
Bwahahaha. Now there's ridiculous. Would much prefer to be known for my harp playing than my blogging but there it is...
It's always a bit strange when someone tells me they've read my blog. Of course, it's flattering at the same time. I would have loved to talk more to Guto but he was on his way to visit the Gododdin manuscript that was on display in the Library.
I had considered staying at Mel's an extra day but they were quite busy, so with a gentle push she sent me on my way. She very generously paid for my taxi and bus trip! There's nice!
On Thursday I went over to Cei Newydd to play a gig with Sam. Nigel the owner was very interesting. Great fellow. He had these crazy stories about when he and a load of others were living in some subway station in London... Paddington Station, I think. The working homeless with suite and tie and all.
|Poems and Harp|
I played mainly harp and a little bit of trombone. The trombone didn't work as well. I'm just not as into the trombone these days. The harp stuff went alright though. There were times where I was completely in the moment and I think I managed to capture the spirit of the poems. There were some that didn't work quite as well. Generally, those were the ones where I fell back on a tune I knew rather than free improv. Anyway, I would love to have another try at it. Hopefully.
Julie and Ceri "Fliwt"'s mom came to the show. Sam was thrilled to meet Julie. She'd seen Fernhill at Oxford about ten years ago and had loved the show. Elsa was there as well with some friends. She's so supportive! Anyway, that night I went back to Pencader. Ceri's mom gave me a massive compliment and compared my style of playing to Llio's. Duw! That's absolutely massive.
There was a decent sized crowd. A bunch of young foreign exchange students that had worked with Jason were there dancing away. Martin was fab at the calling. Not an easy job at all. Especially as many in the crowd lacked the english and some were truly cursed with two left feet. I played a nice set with Jason and Ceri "Ffliwt" which I really enjoyed. The tunes that Corelw play and the manner in which they play them, make them stand out from other bands. Julie sang a great a-cappella Breton tune while she danced along. Brilliant! Sille ended the night with some hurdy-gurdy. It was a seriously good night.
I played some more with Julie on the Sunday. I also talked a bit of Welsh to Julie which was cool. My Welsh has stepped backwards in a serious way. Ceri "Ffliwt" wasn't into it but I understand why. It's that feeling... the same feeling I had about playing for Kate and previously for Grant and Helen. If it's not natural, I don't want to do it. Any hint of showing off and I'm out.
It reminds me of when my Canadian friends want me to say something in Welsh. I know they mean well and are just really curious, but it always seems a bit as if Welsh and I are side-show freaks or something. Anyway, I love the Welsh language and very simply wish I could speak and understand it better.
Maybe I'll write something about that struggle another time.
Right, next, I watch an anniversary fly by...
|Ceri "Ffliwt" and Julie|