Wanderer and Vagabond
Group: Celtic Nation
Realm: Wytheville, Virginia
Here is another interesting article I found at [URL=http://www]http://www.brittany-news.net
Breton traditional singer and songwriter
Born in Poullan, near Douarnenez (Sud-Finistère), Nolwenn Korbell (not to be confused with Nolwenn Leroy, the winner of ?Star Academy?) is a multi-talented young artist, alternating between TV presenter, actress and singer. Daughter of singer Andrea Ar Gouilh, a renowned gwerz (typically Breton form of singing) singer, and Hervé Corbel (whose name she has Bretonised), a musician with the bagad (folk band) of Bourbriac, there was little chance of her escaping the world of music. As a child, she often accompanied her mother, to festivals in Douarnenez, to the Rennes Conservatoire d?art dramatique, to the university language department? It was also thanks to her mother that Nolwenn learnt Breton.
An opportunity arose when Youenn Gwernig, director of Breton programmes at FR3, was looking for a female voice to dub a series of Welsh cartoons. Nolwenn jumped at the chance, adoring the Welsh language, and soon found herself working for several Breton programmes. Meanwhile, she continued her singing lessons at the Conservatory, practising classical singing with the choir-master of the Opéra de Rennes. Nolwenn was chosen to sing with the Welsh group ?Bob Delyn A?r Ebillion?, with whom she recorded two albums and spent the next decade (1990-1999) travelling between Wales and Brittany. She was also the winner of the ?Kan ar Bobl? competition (a famous popular song competition) in 1997 in Pontivy.
Back in Brittany, she undertook numerous dubbing roles, adapting French programmes into Breton for the TV channel Breizh. On the singing front, she appeared at the Quartz, in Brest, and participated in the ?Grandes Voix de Bretagne? spectacle at the ?Tombées de la Nuit? festival in Rennes in 2002, where she was a great success. It was here that she was noticed by Jean-Yves Le Corre, director of the independent Breton record company Coop Breizh, who was to become her producer. At last the opportunity to make a solo recording had come. ?N?eo ket echu? (?It?s not over?) appeared in 2003 and was an immediate success, both within the profession and winning the prize for the best album in 2003 for Breton culture, awarded by France 3 Bretagne, as well as the Grand Prix du Disque ?produced in Brittany? in 2004.
In this album, much is made of Nolwenn?s voice and her songs written in Breton (and Welsh for one song), with light instrumentation (modern instruments, no bagpipes or harp), but these songs still have a strong Celtic feel. Most of the songs were written by Nolwenn herself, except for the remake of the traditional Breton title ?Deuit Ganin-Me? (?Come with me?) and the Welsh one (?Y Byd Newydd?, ?The New World?), written by a member of her former Welsh group, for which she composed the music.
In spite of her success, Nolwenn continued to pursue her other artistic activities, taking part in the play ?La chaise de paille? by Sue Glover in the autumn of 2004, directed by Guy-Pierre Couleau, at the Théâtre 13 in Paris.
This month, March 16-17th, she is appearing at the Saint-Patrick?s Festival at Paris-Bercy (see Brittany News no.6) alongside such well-known names as Gilles Servat and Denez Prigent (one of Nolwenn?s models for traditional Breton singing, see Brittany News no.2). Let us hope that this will make her better known to a wider audience, allowing her to develop the career she deserves as an allround talented artist and promoter of Breton culture. ?N?eo ket echu? is in no way over, indeed things are just beginning for Nolwenn Korbell.
This post has been edited by WizardofOwls on 21-Mar-2005, 08:32 PM
Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman
'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.