Laura Barton’s Radio 4 series Notes From A Musical Island looked at the way that landscape can shape and inspire music and musicians, from instrumentation to rhythm and lyrics. In a live version of the programme taking place on the Caught by the River stage at The Good Life Experience next Saturday Laura has invited local musicians and music experts to help explore the music of North Wales.
Here’s the lowdown on the guests:
In the early 80s, near Welshpool, Rhys Mwyn and his brother started a Welsh language punk band named Anhrefn. The band soon grew into a record label and quickly began a vibrant scene, earning Europe-wide success and appearances on the John Peel show. Mwyn’s influence upon and passionate interest in the Welsh music scene continued long after Anhrefn ceased touring — he would go on to manage Catatonia and today hosts a weekly show on Radio Cymru. He is also an expert on the archaeology of North Wales.
Singer, musician and producer hails from Anglesey and first came to attention in 1989, recording and releasing the first Welsh language acid house record Lledrith Lliw, with his band Nid Madagascar. He has recorded with The Serpents and released three solo albums, including 2010’s critically acclaimed Spades & Hoes & Plows, which includes re-workings of revolutionary folk songs, plus an instrumental based on the Rebecca Riots. As a producer, engineer and mixer he has worked with Race Horses, Caribou, Bat for Lashes and Georgia Ruth.
Singer-songwriter and harpist Georgia Ruth grew up in Aberystwyth and performs in both English and Welsh. Her stunning debut album Week of Pines was released in 2013 to rave reviews, and won the Welsh Music Prize. A regular presenter on Radio Cymru, her weekly show champions both Welsh music and the Welsh language. Her new album, Fossil Scale, is set for release this October and is inspired both by the landscape of Caernarfon and her move to Cardiff.
Flint Male Voice Choir
Founded in Flintshire, on the Dee estuary, in 1975, the Flint Male Voice Choir sing a broad range of music — from traditional Welsh hymns and folk to contemporary pop. Twice winners of the National Eisteddfod – among many other prizes, they have performed everywhere from the Interceltic Festival in Brittany to the Albert Hall – as well of course as at the Good Life Experience.
Notes From A Musical Island, presented by Laura Barton, is on the Caught by the River stage next Saturday, 17 September, at 16:15. Tickets for the festival are on sale here.