A Manifesto for the Traditional Arts of Wales

Your Responses

In preparing for the Arts Council of Wales’ Investment Review (ACW), we had an opportunity to make the case for a proper investment in our traditional arts and asked for your input.

We wanted to use this review to put forward a vision for our folk traditions for the next ten years, outlining what we – the sector – want, how we get there and why it’s important. We invited you to contribute, to hear from you your ideas and your passion.

Welsh language responses

Some Personal Views

Huw Williams

Welsh music gained a high profile at the womex trade fair held in Cardiff 2013.  We need to take advantage of the attention given to music based in Wales and seek out potential traditional music performers, develop their skills and present them on a world stage.

Traditional Welsh music is one of the most unique arts in the world and yet outside traditional music circles in Wales and occasional workshops it is little known.  Wales has many classical singers, classical harpists and choirs which is fantastic. But there are very few people who can play traditional music in a traditional style.  Wales needs a project that will be the first step in creating and developing traditional bands and singers in Wales with the intention of making them ready to perform on a world stage.

A priority I believe should be to travel to all parts of Wales to examine what traditional music talent we have and how it might be exploited for use by a booking agency so that performers can take Welsh music further afield and create employment for themselves.

This idea was inspired by the growing interest by young people in Welsh folk music and to take advantage of the profile and focus that has been given to traditional music due to WOMEX taking having taken place in Cardiff.  We need to build on this legacy.

The opportunity to bring an old tradition up to date with fast paced tunes performed with energy and verve is what really excites me about the future.  Also I would like to bring this music to a main stream audience and make it commercially accessible which will raise the profile of a fantastic tradition.

Folk music is experiencing a revival at the moment with artists such as Bellowhead, (English folk band) and Mumford and Sons gaining airplay on Radio 2 and Radio 1.  Wales should be attempting to follow suit with some of its own bands.  Also organisers of folk festivals in the UK and abroad are keen to include music from all Celtic countries and find it difficult to book bands from Wales due to the lack of knowledge of the music and not being aware of any performers that are readily available.

We need work done that will make people aware of an art form about which the majority of people in Wales know very little. I learnt about traditional music and dance when I was young and I have had 40 years of travel, fun and keeping fit.  It’s an activity that can last a life time whether you do it for fun or for a more serious reason.  Creating  bands and performers  involving traditional music can only help raise the profile and encourage people to be involved.   It’s been recorded that after Riverdance there was a bigger demand than ever for Irish dance lessons.

Also I would like to be able to  travel to various locations in Wales and offer workshops and talks to local organisations to help publicise the projects such as traditional guitar playing, singing and performance skills.  All members of a community can be involved-children, the disabled and able bodied along with older members such as senior citizens groups who may enjoy a demonstration and talk.  Children and young people can benefit greatly from learning how to perform particularly in particularly in Community 1st areas.  I have taught in such areas on previous occasions and can say it really works.

The important aim of these kind of projects would be to research, experiment and develop traditional music products that will be entertaining and accessible to a general audience with the intention of eventually  making it commercial enough to stand on its own feet.  I believe projects such as these will eventually be an asset to Wales both culturally and economically.

There is an opportunity at the moment to market and promote folk music-it’s actually fashionable now.  But we simply do not have enough players in Wales and no infrastructure that includes agents or marketing experts in this field.

TRAC have begun some remarkable work with young people who are playing traditional music through courses and various events throughout Wales.  It’s a brilliant start and TRAC have already doubled or indeed tripled the amount of interest in this music.  It’s important that they are able to follow up on all the work and interest the organisation have created.  But we need to accelerate the process.  One can only do so much with the money available.

Meurig Williams, Clera

A foundation for developing and supporting folk culture within Wales

What Trac (ie. the development body for our traditional music arts) needs to provide as an infrastructure to support our musical heritage:

1. Information

  • getting it in, out and around
  • national base which catalogues all the organisations active in the area
  • access to national archive of music, song and dance eg. as portal to dedicated organisations

2. Coordination

  • working with others and helping them to do the same
  • central reference point for the active organisations and networking facilitator
  • development strategy based on consultation within networks

3. Organisation

  • arranging things and helping others to do so
  • BEAM, one day mini-BEAMs
  • following workshops with concerts

4. Networking

  • bringing people together and working with them
  • forming collaborative networks
  • one day multi-discipline events

5. Governance

  • setting up and maintaining a framework for action
  • tutor registration and accreditiation
  • developing guidelines for tutors
  • 6. Promotion and Advocacy
  • promoting our culture in Wales, Europe and the world
  • in music colleges, schools, venues throughout Wales
  • providing a Welsh folk presence in significant cultural events within Wales and beyond

Meurig Williams
Clera
Trysorydd ac Ysgrifennydd Aelodaeth
Cymdeithas Offerynnau Traddodiadol Cymru

Treasurer and Membership Secretary
The Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales

www.alawoncymru.com
www.sesiwn.com
www.clera.orwg
www.yglerorfa.com

Rob Bradshaw

With initial support from trac and subsequently further funding from Clera and elsewhere I have been able to run a Welsh Tune Club in Llantwit Major for over 3 years. The Club functions by having a mixture of taught workshop sessions and practice sessions. Each workshop session has an invited Tutor, and tunes are learnt preferably by ear, but music is always available. Practice sessions are simply that, and range from a couple of hours to a full day of music. About a year ago, with the huge amount of music which we had gathered, we embarked on a project funded by Creative Rural Communities to collate everything into a series of 3 tune books. We’ve called these Notebooks because effectively they are Notes from the Workshop sessions. We now have about 150 pages of music and songs in these Notebooks.

Of course, the main objective was to play music in local pub sessions. The Old Swan pub in Llantwit Major has been incredibly supportive and we have played there regularly at what are now monthly sessions.

Creative Rural Communities were keen for us to promote the playing of music collected and associated with Glamorganshire, in particular that of Iolo Morganwg, but also of Maria Jane Williams and Llewelyn Alaw. In collaboration with Guto Dafis this has led to the creation of a performance of local songs and music. In addition there are several other songs associated with others local singers and musicians which we are studying.

It might appear from this that we are well set up and could continue as long as the membership is willing. However your request has got us thinking more widely as to what other possibilities could be available for us.

Some 20 years ago Robin Bowen was associated with the National Library, and published a number of books of Welsh music. There were 3 little books covering the music of particular collectors, and I understand that there were proposals to produce more. In addition Robin produced a book of Hornpipes, sadly now unavailable, but I understand there were proposals to produce further books. I do understand the Welsh tradition of learning everything aurally, but as Steve Jeans says “without the dots you can’t learn the tunes nobody plays”. Perhaps this is the reason the Welsh repertoire appears somewhat limited. Recent tune books by Sioned Webb/Sian James and also Sian Phillips are lovely, but haven’t exactly extended the repertoire. I think what I’m trying to say is that I suspect that there are loads of bits of music in the National Library and elsewhere which could be unearthed and published.

Of the historical music books which are available, Nicholas Bennett, John Owen, for example, an initial inspection doesn’t fill one with much inspiration. However if one spends time working on these tunes, some seriously excellent music can be created. Robert Evans has worked hard on Gems of Welsh Melody, and has given us some fabulous Workshops with music from this book, which is now included in one of our Notebooks. Here the difficulty for the layman is to be able to extract the tune from its Victorian setting.

Some years ago I discovered that Morley Harps produced facsimile copies of a number of Welsh Manuscripts, including some from Edward Jones and also from both the John Parrys’. I’ve no idea if these are still available, but it would seem a good idea if they were also published in Wales. I note that a number of books are available as print on demand books, but the quality of these seems very disappointing.

Let us assume that all this music were more readily available, what then? I’m sure there would be a lot of folk interested in bringing it back into the repertoire. Facilitating this is something that could be done. There are experts around, but how about organising a course on how to approach this material, how to look at a piece of music and get a tune out of it, and how to distribute the result to an eager audience.

I trust this doesn’t appear too negative, and I recognise that I am not offering to contribute much if anything, but maybe there is something here which could be developed in the interest of the traditional music community.

Thank you for the opportunity of responding to your development manifesto.

Rob Bradshaw.

Clwb Alawon Llantilltud Fawr.

26th April 2015

Anon

Youth development

My daughter is at a primary school in a predominantly Welsh speaking area in Gwynedd (90% Welsh speaking in last census). Not one teacher at the school has music skills. The instrumental teacher who comes in one day a week to teach piano, clarinet and flute has no knowledge of Welsh music and song (the teacher doesn’t speak Welsh). This means that none of the children who attend this school do any regular singing in school, never mind having exposure to traditional Welsh music and song. These children are being denied their own heritage. I would like situations such as this to change, via various avenues, such as:

  • To have the option of learning to play instruments following a Welsh “traditional” curriculum, not just the classical route.
  • Welsh folk songs to be part of the junior school music curriculum. There needs to be “teacher training” for teachers to achieve this.
  • Welsh traditional music (instrumental, folk songs, and cerdd dant) to be a balanced part of the WJEC GCSE and A Level Music Curriculum. The people who set the curriculum need educating – I know some of them and they have limited knowledge in the field of traditional music and just don’t understand my complaints regarding these gaps.
  • Local junior folk orchestras, like mini Glerorfa’s in all areas of Wales, under inspiring leaders. Leading on to a National Junior Glerorfa, for the most talented youngsters.
  • Young harpists to be encouraged to follow the traditional small harp pathway, not just the classical pedal harp route, which is foisted upon them as the only option. This would mean learning the harp would be more accessible, as many are restricted by the cost /size of the pedal harp.
  • Regular weekend workshops / residential courses for enthusiastic youngsters. Like the orchestral model.

Adult development:

Wales is FULL of adults who have learnt to play instruments at school, many to a high level, following the classical / orchestral route, who packed their instruments away at 18 and forgot about them. They don’t consider trad music to be an outlet for their skills and musical needs. I try to get parents to attend workshops with their kids, as, if you can get the parents involved too, it becomes a family affair = bingo! If the parents are involved and are enjoying, they will encourage the kids, and be happier to be the taxi! I have SOOOO many friends with harps in their dining room or fiddles in the spare room wardrobe, who just need a nudge in the right direction. Many of whom, having gone through Welsh Medium education, have the songs and tunes in their psyche, so the transition and learning process for them is very quick. The struggle is getting them through the door. Once they’re in, it’s easy!

Projects such as 10 Mewn Bws are very effective in capturing new audiences’ attentions and interest, those from beyond the folk world. Therefore, such projects really do work.

Ty Gwerin has been wholeheartedly welcomed, by all – not just folkies, as a long needed addition to the National Eisteddfod.

National Centre:

The fantasy would be to have a Cecil Sharp House for Wales, in Aberystwyth. Tŷ Roy Saer? I’m not sure that Tŷ Siamas is the right model . This would need further research

A Centre with:

  • comprehensive library (books, manuscripts, audio, relevant academic dissertations and research papers) and study area.
  • Learning rooms
  • function room (enough capacity to make a profit on events)
  • bar suitable for sessions
  • regular classes and courses in all aspects – song, instrumental, cerdd dant, dance.
  • offices for the 4 societies (dawns, alawon gwerin, Clera, cerdd dant)
  • shop / information area.

A one stop shop for the Welsh traditional music and dance diciplines.

Funding ensured to employ good staff to run the place and to fund learning.

Persuade people to leave bequests in order to fund such a project. This is how the Welsh Language Society continues and manages to employ staff.

A new, comprehensive online digital archive would be wonderful.

Courses, such as the research element of 10 Mewn Bws project, but open to the public, would be great.

A trad music degree course, like at Newcastle University.

A trad music MA research course, such as the new one at Sheffield University.

Societies working together:

It would be great to get the various societies to work together more often. I have tried and failed to get the Dance society to work with Clera on workshops. (playing for dance type workshops).

I would like to see the Dance, Song and Cerdd Dant societies doing more education work, with children and adults, via courses and workshops. Events, festivals, large showcase shows.

Re. involve more non-Welsh speakers, I have found organising workshops over the years non-Welsh speakers and Welsh learners are very open and enthusiastic and do attend workshops in much greater numbers than indigenous Welsh speakers. I really struggle to get Welsh speakers to attend. Why?

Would it be possible to study how trad music and dance education has developed in Scotland / England / Ireland, through the Feisean/folkworks/Comhaltas systems, then distill the best of each to create a suitable Welsh model. Work with the Urdd?

Helen Adam

I would like to see a system of ‘micro grants’ for the many small community groups and sessions that are already running and promoting Welsh music. There are many groups and dedicated individuals putting in time, effort, and often their own funds, and tiny grants of maybe £200 or £300 would really give these groups a boost, motivate the organisers and make them feel valued. This would be good value for money in terms of numbers of people who engage with Welsh traditional arts.

I would also like to see some support for helping people to access their traditional cultures, especially those with learning disabilities. I know from personal experience that there is very little money to support this social group, but that the benefits to them are huge. Engaging those with learning difficulties in Welsh traditional music and dance would connect this group with their country and wider community, lead to social opportunities, learning experiences, mental and physical stimulation, and a chance to express their own creativity. Some small grants to run workshops and develop supported performances with this target group would result in lots more people being able to access traditional artforms and to participate in the culture of their country.’

best wishes
Helen

www.fiddlebox.net
www.helenadam.com

Bernard KilBride

Well you did ask . . .

As to the thing generally – well sorry to say it but Wales is a predominantly an English-speaking nation, and thus any funded initiative, in my opinion, should reflect that. Trac does marvellous work, genuinely I am a great fan. But nevertheless (probably to do with funding) it is biased towards the Welsh language, and as such does not adequately represent the nation. Great stuff for the Welsh stuff. Well done. Etc. But that is nevertheless self limiting – the language and much of the musical tradition was all-but extinct in the not too distant past, and what has survived is not the folk traditions of the common man – the Hardy-esque village quire rambling between church services, village fairs and summer dances – rather it seems to be some king of sanitised choral or pseudo-classical notated tradition. I am no scholar nor musicologist but I am certain that written, scored, music has no part in an oral tradition – it renders the very natural and native art of music making into a simple cryptographic decoding exercise, i.e. dots = notes. We need feelings = notes!

Linguistic and cryptographic issues aside, Welsh traditional music is not a thing in isolation. Rather it is a mixture of the folk traditions of our neighbours – Irish, Scottish, English, etc. Cardiff has maybe 30 different languages and mini-cultures, and Welsh music and culture, as manifested in South Wales, is a mixture of influences from all of these. So my view is that Trac must accommodate and further support and embrace these diverse musical styles, and particularly the English language aspects as they are at its heart and represent the nation as a whole.

Getting down to basics, Irish trad music has become ‘cool’, and is widely recognised and accepted worldwide. So what if it took Riverdance, it is nevertheless inescapable. In the past 10 years or so Scottish trad has similarly been gaining a young cool status. There are Celtic festivals worldwide that feature the best of Ireland and Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and bands. Where is Wales? Frankly, and sorry, but no-where – I have been to Lorient Interceltic Festival over many years both as a punter and a performer (100,000 visitors the publicity says). Wales is always sadly the Celtic ‘poor relation’. Come on people – these are the global events that we should be targeting. We have ‘cool’ talent, but so far our cool seems to remain in the fridge. The focus to date is too much on the tradition that has survived on paper – the miserable harp-focussed drivel – which is just not (and sorry again) cool. Trac, and/or its funders, should focus on musical pioneers – it can’t change Wales’ musical history, but it can change what we do with it!

So basically stop focusing on the boring written Welsh formal music that represents no-one in the real world, and start supporting individuals and groups with a passion to stir things up and popularise their very grass roots:

  • Broaden your scope
  • Broaden your audience
  • Embrace English speakers and multi-cultural South Wales
  • Support living individuals not dead traditions

Etc

Rant over . . . . . 🙂

Bernard J KilBride

Questionnaire Responses Summarised

Q1 Learning
We want to see more people participating in our traditional arts. What should we be doing to ensure this happens? Here are some priorities that we have identified:

  • Bringing traditional music into our schools curriculum
  • Teaching Welsh through traditional songsI
  • Instrumental tuition using traditional music
  • Running courses like the Big Experiment Arbrawf Mawr and Gwerin Gwallgo
  • Mentoring young musicians, pairing them up with experienced tradition bearers as a kind of apprenticeship

Tell us your vision for passing on our traditional arts in Wales.


Responses

For traditional instrumental music, local tune clubs and sessions are essential, as well as tutorial workshops etc. The biggest problem is awareness, with so few Welsh people realising their is a corpus of WTM which is not song and is not “Irish”.

Youth development: My daughter is at a primary school in a predominantly Welsh speaking area in Gwynedd (90% Welsh speaking in last census), in which not one teacher at the school has music skills. The instrumental teacher who comes in one day a week to teach piano, clarinet and flute has no knowledge of Welsh music and song (the teacher doesn’t speak Welsh). This means that none of the children who attend this school do any regular singing in school, never mind having exposure to traditional Welsh music and song. These children are being denied their own heritage. I would like situations such as this to change, via various avenues, such as: – To have the option of learning to play instruments following a “traditional” curriculum, not just the classical route. – Welsh folk songs to be part of the junior school music curriculum. There needs to be “teacher training” for teachers to achieve this. – Welsh traditional music (instrumental, folk songs, and cerdd dant) to be a balanced part of the WJEC GCSE and A Level Music Curriculum. The people who set the curriculum need educating – I know some of them and I know they have limited knowledge in the field of traditional music. – Local junior folk orchestras, like mini Glerorfa’s in all areas of Wales, under inspiring leaders. Leading on to a National Junior Glerorfa, for the most talented youngsters. – Young harpists to be encouraged to follow the traditional small harp pathway, not just the classical pedal harp route, which is foisted upon them as the only option. This would mean learning the harp would be more accessible, as many are restricted by the cost /size of the pedal harp. – Regular weekend workshops / residential courses for enthusiastic youngsters. Like the orchestral model.
I have taken Welsh music and dance into my Brownie Group, thanks to my session friends. Taking stuff to such groups, outside schools can also be good.
Just let it happen. It always has, it always will. That’s how traditions work.
Mentoring is especially powerful, and what’s more, a traditional way of learning traditional arts! Storytelling in Welsh is also a very good way of supporting Welsh learners.
All these and more… Grow programmes like Noson Allan in the community by mentoring potential local promoters, Grow community singing groups / choirs, Comprehensively promote Welsh music by providing a free online directory of performance and courses.
A degree level course in Welsh traditional music based somewhere in Wales would be a good start! For years now, we’ve encouraged younger musicians to join with us and play in our group. This revitilises us and we all learn from a new perspective, when they need to ‘fly away to pastures new’ they go with our blessing and it is wonderful to see and hear them ‘blossoming’ in new situations. This could be replicated in other groups.
Ensure children are engaged at an early stage and understand the iportance of retaingig their Welsh heritage and traditions
Traditional music in all primary schools as the medium through tuition is given for “trad” instruments eg. fiddles, flutes, etc. Traditional music and dance in schools for more than just a 3 or 4 month period of training for competing in the urdd eisteddfod.
Our stories should be known and treasured by all the people of Wales, not just those who speak Welsh. I would like to help bring traditional stories and songs in Welsh and English to children in English medium schools and to English speaking audiences.
I like options 3 and 5 on this list. I think that these stand the best chance of making a positive difference.
I would like to see all the work done by dance teams over he past 30 or so years and convert this into public dancing of our traditional art. None dance team members tend to be intimidated by “professional” dancers and so don’t take part. Not sure how but you could look to Scotland a d how they do it
I love all of this but think that in a digital world engaging in a digital/online space is also key
All of the above plus encouraging young role models like Calan
instrumental tuition using traditional music
Don’t forget older people. A lot of people are looking for new hobbies in retirement and traditional arts could well be what they are looking for – they just don’t know it yet!
Need to have a venue in every town that hosts traditional music which is available for all ages to participate / listen and enjoy. It needs to be part of the everyday experience.
Supporting county youth choirs… Supporting the establishment of choirs in schools…
singing traditional songs to practise Welsh – local groups
Would be great to see a degree course at RWCMD for Trad music
Ensuring the traditional crosses over in to the contemporary, collaboration with contemporary musicians and other cultures, not necessarily celtic
Bringing traditional music to people of all ages and levels of experience
Including traditional dance in what you do, utilising local and teams form all over vWales that can teach and pass traditions on

Q2 Young People
Without young people engaging and participating our traditions will disappear. Here are some projects that we have identified to address this:

  • Annual dedicated Folk Week for youngsters run in partnership with Urdd Gobaith CymruProjects running in schools and youth clubs across Wales
  • A National Folk Youth Ensemble providing an alternative to the classical youth orchestras
  • Creches at festivals in Wales teaching traditional songs, dances and tunesPlease tell us your vision for engaging with our rising generations

Responses

I don’t have a “vision”, but I’m an available and willing resource!
Keep as much as possible informal so that people of all ages do not feel intimidated. There should be an emphasis on taking part not on trying to achieve anything. That is the strength of folk music. Please keep all involved,( even those of us of lesser abilities.)
Let them in.
I run two Story Circles / Cylchoedd Stori for children aged 7 -11 in Llandudno. I run these with 3 young storytellers (16-25) whom I mentor through this scheme. I would love to see more Story Circles run on this model all over Wales. Is trac interested?
Promote positive images and examples of Welsh folk culture, getting well away from folksy stereotypes (traditional costume??). Encourage Eisteddfods to introduce new performance categories. Look at examples in Scots Gaelic Feis and other festivals where tradition is constantly reinterpreted to make it fresh for young people without a slavish adherence to set ideas. There are some really good emerging Welsh bands and singers which honour the tradition, but make it live..
All of the above…! It would be good if the National Eisteddfod encouraged Welsh folk music and had somewhere on the ‘maes’ where it could be heard all week.
Run projects in schools, youth clubs and other areas where yout and children gather
Make it exciting and inspirational. Encourage youngsters to get together informally to play together.
Continue Y Project Mabinogi – which took place at Aberystwyth Arts Centre this year – a bilingual telling of the 4 Branches with music and song an integral part as well as visual art[ live drawing] It would be great to tour this in schools throughout Wales – English medium schools where these stories are not known.
Options 3 and 4 look like easy and the most effective to achieve their goals.
Good ideas that would help my first comment
Use digital technology – apps, internet, social media etc. too
Rather than a separate youth week, I would suggest a youth programme at the existing big experiment. I run the Menai Bridge scouts and am planning a music camp this autumn, insprational assistace would be very welcome! I am not convinced by a youth ensemble, but a national youth programme would be great – but with more scope for solo and small group activity. Teaching traditional music young is definitely a good idea!
projects in schools
We need to make traditional arts seem normal or even cool rather than something that their parents do.
Continue the above and employ rising folk musicians to host/teach/play/talk/ go into schools. Involve local mentrau iaith.
Training youth leaders and teachers to teach folk dancing…
Projects in schools/youth clubs to engage young people in traditional music making.
Perhaps a demonstration type workshop in schools not only showing different instruments (at a basic level) but also the music, where the young people can actually see some sort of end product with this music. Akin to what many classical musicians take to schools.
Engaging young contemporary musicians with the traditional music
Reach out to parents to encourage them and their children to participate in musical events/classes
Communicate with Dave Leverton at NYFTE, learing from them how to engage young people in traditional music and dance

Q3 Live Music
We want to see a vibrant and busy live scene with the potential for traditional musicians to make a proper living in Wales and across the world. Here are some targets that we have identified:

  • Folk musicians making a living in Wales/UK/abroad
  • Dedicated folk music agents, music managers & promoters
  • Folk/trad music touring in our arts centres & theatres and in informal settings: pubs, folk clubs, bars
  • A network of promoters, clubs and venues that put on folk music
  • A traditional music Festival focussing on the music of Wales
  • A Welsh showcase for international bookers.

Please tell us your vision for a thriving traditional music scene in Wales


Responses

More of the music we enjoy would be a good thing and maybe raising the value and respect for it could be helpful all round.
Yes, those targets look okay.
Yes to all the above. Informal settings are key to keeping music alive in the community
My vision is one where traditional music has the same status in Wales as it does in Ireland and Scotland. A major international event like the Scots Celtic Connections would go a long way…
Support for Festivals both here in Wales and elsewhere, so that Welsh folk musicians are able to showcase Welsh folk music. Concerts like the opening one at last years WOMAX which did show some excellent Welsh music, but was almost spoiled by including Indian/Asian music in THE Welsh music ‘slot’. Yes, by all means, enjoy the ‘fusion of other cultures’ but not in such an opportunity for ‘our’ bit! Examples of this are popping up with regularity; Beyond the Marches; Welsh musicians working with English musicians, paid for by ACW & EFD&SS & trac. Would EAC pay for Welsh musicians to ‘work’ for a similar venture I wonder? And now Bellowhead being invited to open Cardigan Castle…….the list goes on, but who is questioning the ‘political pressure’ to do these?
Increase the number of venues putting on traditional music, with low cost entrance for audiences
Sessions set up and timed to enable youngsters and adult to play together. More Twmpathau with live musicians. MORE FOLK MUSIC ON PRIME TIME RADIO AND TV!!
Musicians and Storytellers working together
Folk music teaching in schools from an early age
Use of digital technology to sell tickets to the rest of the world – not just venue based
All of these sound good ideas
This is a difficult one. We need to move away from the idea that pubs don’t have to pay bands for performing as “it’s good publicity for them”. We need to encourage more traditional arts in everyday places like pubs to get it heard by people who wouldn’t necessarily go to a folk club/concert.
I want to walk into my local town and spend an evening listening to folk music. It’s that simple. But it’s not on offer here. I can only travel to a venue which hosts something once a month.
All of the above
Network of promoters, clubs & venues that put on folk music. Mini folk festivals throughout the year all over Wales
I would love to see a course for young people aged between 18 – 30 aimed at all kinds of younger musicians playing other sorts of music to get together and work on Traditional music. Many people in this age gap have missed the opportunity to play it when they were younger but perhpas may be put off by amateur adult courses. It would also offer an opportunity for younger professional musicians to meet and potentially start new projects in Welsh music, as many are currently spread across all of Wales.
Especially difficult for any musicians to make a living playing music. Need to encourage venues to pay a proper fee to musicians.
Help those interested in setting up a Cardiff-based folk club, using the experiences as a model to take to cities and towns in wales that don’t have a club of sorts

Q4 Profile
We want our traditions visible and celebrated. Here are some pathways that we have identified:

  • Welsh artists nominated in every category in BBC Folk Awards
  • Tŷ Gwerin established at other festivals in Wales as well as the Eisteddfod
  • Traditional arts linked in to tourism attractions
  • Information on gigs, sessions, folk clubs and festivals available in local media, online and in Tourism information Centres
  • A National Centre for the Folk Arts

Is this the right direction? If so, please say so, if not please tell us your ideas and suggestions


Responses

Looks good to me.
Links with tourism, yes. And local celebrations.
Sounds good. My secret ambition is to see a storytelling competition included in the National Eisteddfod! How can they have disco dancing but not storytelling?!
Yes. Major recognition for Welsh Trad Music in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards should be a priority
The tourism industry in Wales has and is continueing to fail to embrace our folk music, unlike other celtic nations. The potential for tourism to enhance the image and cultural identity is not realised, why? The answer is obvious: Labour do not wish to see Wales as a different identity to England and therefore will not support anything that promotes our unique cultural identity. We can have any culture we like, just as long as its not ‘our’ Welsh culture.
More information on what is on through increased use of existing and new media streams
We definitely need the media to pay serious attention to our traditional music and dance on a continuing basis, not just as an appeasement when a protest is made about the lack of coverage.Otherwise, a good start. I’m sure more opportunities will present themselves as we move along.
Yes!
How about getting ‘placements’ (like product advertising) in programs which are made in Wales and shown elsewhere: eg. BBC and S4C tv programmes.
Sharing of our folk music
Absolutely – and publicise using digital technologies
I would say so
All of the above
I agree that information on gigs, sessions, etc should be easily obtainable. So much of it seems to be word of mouth and it you’re not in the loop you don’t get to find out what’s going on. Sometimes it seems like a secret society.
Yes. Ty Gwerin was my favourite part of Llanelli Eisteddfod and I based my activities around that space.
yes… Sounds good
More info on gigs, sessions, folk clubs, festivals online and in tourist info centres. Regional centres for the folk arts-Cardiff’s a long way from Caernarfon!
Alongside these amazing ideas it would be great to see more Welsh music on S4C and other channels, akin to what BBC Alba do with regular programs covering lives and traditions as well as regular shows dedicated purely to Welsh music, but also it’s place alongside other British folk traditions. e.g. Highland Sessions, Transatlantic Sessions, Taghadh bho na trads.
National, local and international media need to be targeted
Link in with Gower, Tredegar House folk festivals amongst others and take Ty Gwerin to Bristol Folk Festival, Priddy and folk festivals further afield in England, NI and Scotland

Eluned Evans’ Passionate Call for a Digital Folk Archive for Wales

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