Gwenan Gibbard - Cymdeithas Gymraeg Hong Kong

Gibbard, Gwenan

This journey to Hong Kong included opportunities to perform for audiences in Hong Kong including public concerts for a harp school, The Harp Chamber, and two concerts for the recording label, Sunrise/Grandview Culture in two branches of shops selling Eslite books and music. I visited schools and colleges and performed in the British Council's College Fair.

I was able to make invaluable contacts through these performances – particularly at The Harp Chamber. I managed to raise my profile as a harpist in Hong Kong, and in a very exciting period there too, because the world Harp Congress will visit Hong Kong in 2017. I have strong links with Welsh people in Hong through my performance for the Welsh-speaking Society there and they are keen to invite me back. It was nice to have a sing-along with some prominent singers from Wales over there, including Rhys Evans, who is an extremely good singer and working in the construction sector in Hong Kong.

The trip was an eye-opener in musical and cultural terms. I realised that the harp features prominently in Hong Kong and that audiences are open and willing to listen to music from other cultures, particularly from the Celtic countries – they were extremely interested in Cerdd Dant and Welsh music and singing in Welsh and full of a desire to listen to a different styles of playing the harp. I made many contacts on a professional and musical level and I look forward to developing the friendships and contacts there in due course.

The journey to Hong was a landmark for me in terms of my career as a performer. It made me realise that there audiences everywhere for my music and that there are many possibilities for the future in terms of travelling to foreign countries and performing my music. The support that I received from Wales Arts International was invaluable and made the tour possible. It would have been almost impossible for me to be in Hong Kong for the period of 10 days without financial backing from Wales Arts International. It enabled me to take full advantage of the potential opportunities. It meant I could hold a number of concerts and thereby reach a wider audience. Here is a link to a short video made by Sunrise label / Grandview Culture in Hong Kong which shows clips from the performances. Here is a link to a concert I gave at ’The Harpy Place’ (harp shop) in Hong Kong.

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