June 30, 2009
A unique collection of music of Wales, `Blodeugerdd` on Smithsonian Folkways.
On June 24th, 2009 Smithsonian Folkways will make available ‘Blodeugerdd: Song of the Flowers,’ a very special anthology of Welsh music and song that was recorded over the course of a week in a 15th-century gatehouse in the luminous Preseli hills in Wales.
In this idyllic setting, each of the artists contributed personal stories, experiences, musical inspiration and a shared passion for Welsh music to create the distinctive musical portrait on ‘Blodeugerdd.’
A number of the CD’s featured artists are performing at the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Performances will illustrate the diversity of the Welsh music scene, from the ancient sounds of the crwth and pibgorn (string and reed instruments, respectively), to evocative vocal and harp renditions, and to lively folk bands playing a range of familiar and experimental repertoires. For more information on the Festival and the ‘Wales Smithsonian Cymru’ program visit:
With fourteen tracks and liner and song notes including biographical and anecdotal comments from the artists, ‘Blodeugerdd’ (pronounced Blod-eye-gerth, “the gathering of flowers” in the Welsh language) highlights modern interpretations of traditional Welsh songs. Each piece was recorded especially for this anthology. Over a dozen musicians are featured, including Anne Marie Summers & Helen Wilding Smith, Jo Cooper & Elin Lloyd and the first artist signed by the Beatles’ Apple label, Mary Hopkin.
Curator Betty J. Belanus provides an insightful foreword, and in a poetic essay producer Ceri Rhys Matthews explains how Wales has maintained its unique, independent identity while nourishing cultural developments that rival her European counterparts.
‘Blodeugerdd’ is the story of Wales today as told by master musicians, but it is not the story of a nation. Rather, it is a reflection on personal journeys -- on the tales told in kitchens and parlors and pubs -- which these musicians recounted while visiting a magical landscape. These interpretations are both steeped in history and gazing forward. The sound on ‘Blodeugerdd’ is as haunting as the history and culture of the land it celebrates.
Celtic Radio Comments:
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has released a new album focusing on music of Wales. 'Blodeugerdd: Song of the Flowers' is an anthology of Welsh music and song recorded over the course of a week in a 15th-century gatehouse in the luminous Preseli hills in Wales.
Welsh music is always welcomed on Celtic Radio and we hope that we continue to receive quality submission such as Song of the Flowers. The CD contains 15 beautiful Welsh tracks song in the traditional language of Wales. 5 Stars from Celtic Radio!