Video Premiere: Cerys Hafana – Comed 1858

Cerys Hafana
Photo by Heledd Wyn

Taken from her album ‘Edyf’, Composer and multi-instrumentalist Cerys Hafana premieres her new video for ‘Comed 1858’.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Cerys Hafana makes a double appearance at Celtic Connections this month. To celebrate, watch the premiere of her new video for ‘Comed 1858’, taken from her latest album Edyf.

By Alex Gallacher

Last year, we reviewed Edyf, featuring the wonderous vocals and Welsh triple harp sounds of composer and multi-instrumentalist Cerys Hafana who hails from Machynlleth, Wales. Danny Neill opened his album review, “Cerys Hafana has a gorgeous, lush voice’ a natural instrument that exudes character singing pitch-perfect melodies with a tongue that prizes all manner of wonderous sound shapes from her mouth.” He adds: “She is a Welsh language progressive folk artist who makes a mockery of my belief that I am a lyrics man, for what she demonstrates to me definitively is that it is the sound and energy of an artist that will hook the listener in, all deeper exploration into lyrical meaning can come later. Primarily, the music itself is almost always the thing that counts and here, with her second album ‘Edyf,’ Cerys Hafana’s sound is simultaneously ancient in feel and yet impossibly, intriguingly modern. It is also in a field of its own; there is nothing else quite like this around…”

Since the release of that album, it’s fair to say that Cerys Hafana has become a more established name, garnering lots of support from the music press, including The Guardian, where Edyf was “Folk Album Of The Month”. The BBC have been especially supportive, to name just a few – she featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, was interviewed by Cerys Matthews for 6 Music Festival and recorded a BBC Horizons Maida Vale Session.

This month, she is making a double appearance at Celtic Connections. On 26th January, she appears in Celtic Odyssée, run in association with the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, which aims to foster new inter-Celtic encounters between artists from the 8 European Celtic nations. More details here. The following day, on 27th January, she shares the bill with Catriona Price at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite. More details here.

To mark the occasion, we have the pleasure of sharing Cerys Hafana’s new video for Edyf‘s opening track, Comed 1858. Cerys shared the following on the song and video by Amy Daniel and Sarah-Jane Harrison. Alongside her music, the ordinary transforms into otherworldly moments, and the scene featuring the Red Kites is especially breathtaking.

The words of this song were written by Benjamin Jenkins in Pencadair in 1858, and describe his experience of seeing Donati’s Comet, the second most brilliant comet of the 19th century and the first to ever be photographed, pass Earth. I later found out that the first person to ever observe this comet may have been the Welsh astronomer and photographer Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, from Swansea.

I had gone looking for cosmically-themed folk songs after going up the hill near where I live to see a shooting star, and was surprised to find a ballad in the Welsh National Library’s archive that mirrored my own experience so closely (despite the chronological and religious differences between me and Benjamin). The track features Welsh triple harp and the electronically manipulated sounds of a metal water bottle being hit.

The video was made by Amy Daniel, with additional cinematography by Sarah-Jane Harrison, and was filmed in various locations around Machynlleth and Aberystwyth in mid-Wales. It tries to capture the sense of awe that Benjamin Jenkins felt at the natural world, and wonders what celestial objects (or beings) might cause a similar sense of amazement for us in this day and age to how Benjamin felt on seeing the shooting star in 1858.

Cerys Hafana Upcoming Live Dates

19th January – Bank Vault, Aberystwyth (details)

26th January – Celtic Odyssée – Celtic Connections, Glasgow (Tickets)

27th January – Catriona Price: Hert with Cerys Hafana – Celtic Connections, Glasgow (Tickets)

7th February – Cerys Hafana + Avice Caro – The Social, London (Tickets)

3 March – St Caron’s Well Festival, Tregaron

6th May – Ty Pawb, Focus Wales, Wrecsam

13th May – Bishop’s House, Sheffield

25th May – Adwaith + Cerys Hafana – Acapela Studio, Cardiff

Websitehttps://ceryshafana.com/

Bandcamp: https://ceryshafana.bandcamp.com/

Source: Video Premiere: Cerys Hafana – Comed 1858

Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman perform at the National Library of Wales

Gwedd fodern ar y byd gwerin yng nghwmni Pedair, Cerys Hafana ac Eve Goodman, rhai o berfformwyr mwyaf cyffrous y sîn yng Nghymru heddiw, o leoliad hyfryd Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yn Aberystwyth.

A modern take at the folk scene in Wales today with Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman performing in the beautiful surroundings of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Podcast: The Harp’s Journey, with Catrin Finch

 

Catrin Finch BBC Sounds

Episode One

One of our oldest instruments, the harp has a long and noble history attached to it. From ancient Egypt, to troubadours and princely courts, the harp has held audiences captive for centuries. Instantly recognisable, its gilded beauty proudly announces its presence, yet beyond the glamour of its appearance, and a prominent role as a member of the modern orchestra, it remains one of the least well known instruments in the classical world.
As a touring musician, Catrin Finch has encountered music from the classical world and a host of other traditions. All of them have helped to shape her thinking and her knowledge of her instrument. In this three-part series the acclaimed virtuoso shares her insights, taking us on a surprising and a very personal journey. Continue reading