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Wales In Lorient 2015

Wales In Lorient 2015

WELSH CULTURE EXPORTED TO MAJOR CELTIC FESTIVAL IN BRITANNY

Folk band Calan, singer songwriter Lleuwen Steffan, harpist and singer Gwenan Gibbard and Aber Valley Male Voice Choir will feature in a delegation of Welsh artists and performers setting sail for Brittany at the beginning of August for the Festival Interceltique de Lorient (7 – 16 August festival-interceltique.com) to promote and showcase Wales’ unique national culture, and celebrate our strong connections with our Celtic cousins.

Wales in Lorient 2015 – Welsh culture exported to major Celtic festival in Brittany

Every year Lorient hosts some 700,000 people who gather on the Breton coast to enjoy the finest music, dance and performing arts that Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Cornwall and the Isle of Man have to offer.

Wales is always a popular presence in Lorient, and this year audiences will be treated to performances by the contemporary young folk band Calan as they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies; Lleuwen Steffan who brings to Lorient her unique fusion of jazz and Welsh folk music; harpist and singer Gwenan Gibbard, who stands at the forefront of today’s thriving Welsh traditional music scene, whilst not forgetting how Lorient audiences love the Welsh tradition of male choirs, and this year Wales is represented by Aber Valley Male Voice Choir.

Artists who perform in Lorient gain a unique experience. As well as being a professional development opportunity, it has often been a catalyst for new collaborations, inspiration for new work and an opportunity to perform in the largest festival in France.

With such a large number of people in Lorient over the ten days, it’s a perfect platform to promote the various aspects of Welsh life and culture to a receptive audience who are looking to engage with Wales.

Music is at the heart of the festival and Wales has a wealth of music talent available to take advantage of this significant opportunity. Other performers appearing in the Wales Pavilion include René Griffiths, Chris Jones, Dylan Fowler, Gwilym Bowen & Elidyr Glyn and the trio Elfen. And if art of a different kind is what you’re after then you can head to the Euro Celtic Art exhibition and see Cefyn Burgess’ wonderful woven tapestries and textiles on display.

The festival takes over the whole town of Lorient for 10 days, with spectacular concerts in the town’s football stadium, a major Parade of the Celtic Nations to some 30,000 spectators, gigs in a variety of halls and marquees around the seafront, and entertainment on the streets that creates a vibrant and distinctive atmosphere that is hard to match. In all, there are some 200 events and shows with 5,000 performers on the bill – all immersing themselves in Celtic culture.

Wales’s Pavilion presence this year at the Festival Interceltique is funded by the Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales and Cerdd Cymru:Music Wales. It provides an opportunity for the Arts Council of Wales to build on other events such as WOMEX, the BBC Horizons programme, Celtic Connections and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, as well as supporting the Memorandum of Understanding between the Welsh Government and the Regional Council of Brittany with regards to developing cultural links and exchange.

Welsh folk and traditional music is experiencing something of a renaissance, with a range of exciting musicians and bands reinterpreting our traditions in varied and imaginative ways, performing internationally.

Antwn Owen-Hicks who is leading the delegation across the Channel says:

"Again this year there’s an exciting line-up of talented performers with a wide variety of styles and approaches. The Lorient Festival is a significant international stage to showcase Wales’ cultural traditions to thousands of people who always show a real appreciation for Welsh culture."

For further information please contact: Antwn Owen Hicks

antwnoh@ntlworld.com

Notes to Editors

Further information on the partnership between Wales and Brittany:

http://www.bretagne.bzh/upload/docs/application/pdf/2008-10/plaq_paysgalles_web.pdf

Calan

Fiddles, guitar, accordion, bagpipes and step dancing explode into life as Calan perform songs and tunes from their latest album - Dinas. They breathe fire into the folk tale of Merlin and The Two Dragons, a song that tells the story of why there is a dragon on the Welsh flag.

Lleuwen

Lleuwen Steffan is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from north Wales. Lleuwen has work with Breton musicians and recorded Tân, which was co-produced by Vincent Guerin and was awarded Album of the Year for France 3 TV's FR3 Awards yn 2011.

Gwenan Gibbard

Gwenan is harpist and singer from the Llyn Peninsula in north Wales. She has released three albums and specialises in the unique art of ‘Cerdd Dant’, the ancient form of singing Welsh poetry to the accompaniment of the harp.

René Griffiths

A singer and songwriter, René was born of Welsh descent in Patagonia, Argentina. His music is at the heart of his unique heritage. He sings in Welsh and Spanish and his music is a blend of Argentine rhythms, traditional Welsh songs and his own compositions.

Elfen

Elfen is Welsh for ‘Element’ and three rich elements come together in this trio of talented musicians to create a soulful soundtrack for a new folk music in Wales. With old tunes and songs at its heart, Elfen re-imagine the traditional.

Gwilym and Elidyr

Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Llywelyn Elidyr Glyn are both young men in their 20s from North West Wales. Welsh is their first language and over the last couple of years they have been singing and performing traditional Welsh folk songs together, informally in their local pubs.

Dylan Fowler

A guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Dylan has developed an international career that has seen him collaborate with great British and international musicians. He recently collaborated on a new performance of Celtic guitar music with Soig Siberil from Brittany and Ian Melrose from Scotland.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones is a singer-songwriter and ‘contemporary folk balladeer’, brought up near Caernarfon in north Wales. He started singing traditional Welsh songs unaccompanied, but then learnt to play the guitar and began arranging songs to suit his own unique style of playing.

Aber Valley Male Voice Choir

Aber Valley Male Voice Choir, was founded in 1959 in the village of Senghenydd, south Wales. The choir has given over 1200 concerts throughout the world and particularly in Britain but also in France, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, the United States and Canada.

Cefyn Burgess

Cefyn Burgess was born in Bethesda, North Wales. He designs and makes woven fabrics including a range of Welsh blankets and quilts. Cefyn’s designs are inspired by his Welsh language cultural background, a contemporary interpretation of the traditional.

28/07/2015

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