S4C will celebrate the exciting revival in Welsh folk music by broadcasting an S4C Folk Week between Monday 14 April and Sunday 20 April. The week of programmes will showcase a raft of contemporary performers who are giving our national music international prominence.
S4C Folk Week will launch a major new series Y Goeden Falad (translation: The Ballad Tree) on Tuesday, 14 April when the magnetic singer with that iconic voice, Cerys Matthews, tells the story of Welsh folk music.
Other highlights include Noson yng Nghwmni Al Lewis on Saturday, 19 April where the acclaimed singer songwriter from Pwllheli performs some of his favourite songs. We’ll also hear about his tour with Jools Holland last year. A special acoustic performance by the legendary Meic Stevens on Thursday 17 April is not to be missed, as the musical genius plays many of his classics.
We can also enjoy an unforgettable visual and aural journey into the wonderful world of traditional Welsh folk in the new two-part series Y Ffwrnes Gerdd (translation, The Musical Furnace) on Friday and Saturday, 18 and 19 April.
S4C Content Commissioner Gaynor Davies says, “Contemporary Welsh folk music merits a stage of its own – that’s why we have decided to broadcast this week of programmes. There is an exciting revival in Welsh folk music and we want to be at the heart of it by broadcasting a wide variety of programming that celebrates, entertains and sheds new light on this tradition.”
The S4C Folk Week begins on Monday, 14 April with an S4C programme from the 1980s which followed the Welsh band Ar Log to the USA. On Tuesday, in a programme from 1986, viewers can see Scottish band Runrig performing at the Majestic, Caernarfon. The band celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
There will be another opportunity to follow world famous harpist Catrin Finch, as she traces the history of our national instrument, the harp, on Wednesday, 16 April. On the same evening, S4C pays tribute to the late great Elfed Lewys – preacher, folk singer, songwriter and one of the founders of the Cnapan folk festival.
In Gwerin o’r Stiwdio Gefn on Sunday, 20 April there are highlights of some of the folk performances in the music series Y Stiwdio Gefn.
In her new series on S4C, the singer Cerys Matthews will take viewers on a journey as she delves into the history behind some of Wales’s oldest folk songs.
“Each week we’ll explore two songs, and use them as a compass to see where in the world they take us,” says Cerys. “Their stories constantly throw up real surprises. I’ve spent my whole life following the stories of songs. Songs about famine, war, motherhood, suicide, love, there are no taboos; a two minute song can contain an awful lot of truth about life.
“Often the songs we consider so Welsh are linked to other countries – Norway, England, America and even Russia for example.”
For further details on the S4C Folk Week and programme time, go to s4c.co.uk.