Following the success of SongChain in 2014, Cylchcanu2/SongChain2 brings together some of the finest talent in the Welsh scene: Kate Ronconi, Beth Williams Jones, Stacey Blythe, Christine Cooper, Ceri Owen-Jones, Gareth Bonello, Jamie Smith and Patrick Rimes for an exciting evening of new collaborations and unique arrangements of both traditional and contemporary Welsh tunes and songs, set to tour Wales in October 2015.
The eight musicians will be calling at Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan (October 12), Borough Theatre, Abergavenny (October 13), St David’s Hall, Cardiff (October 14), Pontardawe Arts Centre (October 16), Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon (October 21), Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth (October 22), Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli (October 23) and Galeri Caernarfon (October 24). Details can be found in FolkWales Listings.
This year brings another exciting mix of folk musicians who have their own unique and contemporary take on the Welsh traditional repertoire. From the mellifluous songs of singer-songwriters to the rip-roaring virtuosic reels and jigs, to the drama of old Welsh tales, SongChain 2 is set to be a dynamic and exciting tour, directed by composer, actor and musician Lucy Rivers.
Jamie is known as one of the finest traditional accordionists of his generation. His virtuosic playing can be heard in JS Mabon, Alaw and Manx band Barrule. Jamie is one of the original line up of artists returning to take part in SongChain 2 this year along with multi-instrumentalist Patrick and Beth. Patrick has already made a name for himself in the folk scene for his exciting arrangements and performances in the Welsh folk super-group Calan, as well as playing for other artists including Cerys Matthews. Beth, another Calan band member, is also making a return visit; she’s is a singer, accordionist and award-winning step dancer.
New members to the project are musician, storyteller and Fernhill fiddler Christine Cooper, who gives her own unique take on the traditional music and tales from Wales, and accordionist and singer Stacey Blythe, who is at home playing spellbinding music with Elfen and Ffynnon as she is with composing for theatre and storytelling shows.
Ceri Owen-Jones specialises in medieval Harp technique and the music of Robert ap Huw and Iolo Morgannwg. His music takes on a number of contemporary influences including the country of his birth – Canada. Kate Ronconi is a fiddler, singer and songwriter; her alternative folk, harmony-soaked playing and singing can be heard in the Swansea-based Rag Foundation. Completing the line-up is singer, songwriter and guitarist Gareth Bonello, famous for his gentle self-penned tunes.
The Cylchcanu 2/Songchain 2 director is Olion Byw fiddler Lucy Rivers, the project manager and producer is Theatr Mwldan chief officer Dilwyn Davies and the creative director and producer is Gerard Kilbride. The show is supported by the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Government and the National Lottery.