Katell Keineg “Born Optimistic” podcast


Every week we glean life lessons from an inspirational artist. New episode every Monday. Presented by Donal Scannell

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Harpist Catrin Finch being treated for breast cancer

The renowned Welsh harpist Catrin Finch has revealed she is being treated for breast cancer.

BBC February 28, 2018

The 37-year-old musician said her condition “has fortunately been caught early” and was treatable.

She issued a statement confirming that she was about to undergo treatment after being diagnosed with grade three breast cancer.

She said she would be cancelling current overseas concert commitments, but wanted to play UK engagements.

The harpist said that while she was cancelling overseas engagements, she remained committed to playing as many UK concerts as she could, including spring dates with Seckou Keita, the kora player and drummer from Senegal.

She added: “It is very important to me to keep playing and my music will no doubt help to give me focus over the coming months.”

“I am currently under the care of the excellent NHS team at Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, who are supporting me as I go through treatment,” she said.

“I know that there are many others out there who will identify with my situation either personally or through the experiences of loved ones.”

Finch said she would be “taking a back seat” from posting on social media for the time being, but would be back “in the near future”.

Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood”


The BBC first broadcast Under Milk Wood, a new “‘Play for Voices”, on the Third Programme on 25 January 1954 (two months after Thomas’s death), although several sections were omitted. The play was recorded with a distinguished, all-Welsh cast including Richard Burton as ‘First Voice’, with production by Douglas Cleverdon.

Watch: This isn’t so much a music video as it is an epic film in just six minutes

Period drama meets apocalypse meets the supernatural.

British band Alt-J’s new music video for Pleader is less video and more cinema. It’s only six minutes long, but the sweeping short film captures not only the transcendental qualities of the track from the group’s third, most successful album Relaxer, but also the source of the song.

The track, according to the band, was inspired by Welsh writer Richard Llewelyn’s 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley, a story set in 19th century Wales, in a small mining town. The song was recorded in a cathedral with an organ and a boys’ choir – of which the band’s keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton was a member as a child – and the London Metropolitan Orchestra. [ . . . ] More: Watch: This isn’t so much a music video as it is an epic film in just six minutes