From discos, live gigs and a musical take over at the Senedd, people across the country and further afield have been enjoying the fourth annual Welsh Language Music Day – Dydd Miwsig Cymru.
The day has seen Hollywood actor Rhys Ifans and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens urge fans of all genres to discover the incredible music being made in the Welsh language, while thousands of people of all ages are set to experience live Welsh music at events across the country and as far afield as New York.
Since then, for the first time a song made in the Welsh language has been listened to over two million times on steaming service Spotify; ‘Gwenwyn’ by Alffa- a rock duo consisting of Dion Jones and Sion Land from Gwynedd- on the Recordiau Côsh Records label. Welsh language music day playlists can be found herehttps://gov.wales/welshmusicday
The day has also seen S.A.Brain & Co, owners of City Arms committing to playing Welsh language music in all its locations across Wales from Dydd Miwsig Cymru onwards– a total of 104 venues.
As part of the celebrations and on the eve of Dydd Miwsig Cymru, Gorwelion/Horizons (BBC/ACW) hosted a gig in the Senedd building of the National Assembly of Wales with Huw Stephens, Adwaith, Chroma and Eädyth.
This musical feast kicked off the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages and was sponsored by the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan AM. The gig was streamed live from the Senedd to the New York Welsh society who were at the Liberty bar in Manhattan celebrating the occasion.
Care home residents in Aberystwyth have also been enjoying music that has a personal resonance for them at a special event ahead of Welsh Language Music Day on February 8th.
Hafan y Waun Care Home, which provides residential and specialist care for up to 90 people at one time living with dementia, had a special visit yesterday. Members of the Aberystwyth branch of Merched y Wawr and Linda Griffiths, singer with popular Welsh folk group from mid-Wales, Plethyn, joined the residents for the Welsh Music Day event.
Many older people living with dementia find that listening to music in their mother tongue can be highly beneficial and stimulating and a collaboration between Merched y Wawr and Bangor University means that a CD with a variety of music from all eras will be launched as a resource for care homes across Wales.
Dr Catrin Hedd Jones, Chartered Psychologist at Bangor University who has been leading on this project says: “We know that music from our youth can stimulate happy memories and feelings. We need to work together to ensure that individuals who are Welsh speaking can enjoy their favourite songs while receiving care at home or in a care home. This is the latest step forward in work that Bangor University has been doing in partnership with Merched y Wawr and I would like to thank all partners who have come together to ensure that over the next few months, we will be able to offer this resource.”
Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, ambassador of Welsh language music day said: “You might be into guitars or grime, hip hop or harmonies, squeaky beats or big singalongs, but whatever gets you grooving, there’s Welsh language music you’ll listen to and fall in love with from the first note. Put February 8th 2019 in your calendar. It’s a day that champions some incredible music being made in the Welsh language. Wherever you are in Wales, we’ve got live shows all over the country on the big day.”
Other events and activities on Welsh Language Music Day includes a gig at City Arms on Womanby Street with three-piece band HMS Morris and Huw Stephens on the decks. The celebrations will continue at iconic live music venue Clwb Ifor Bach with performances into the evening.
Principality Building Society in Swansea will be welcoming a children’s choir to the branch who will perform in Welsh and cosmetic retailer Lush has committed to playing the Welsh Music Day playlist throughout the day and all staff members in the Cardiff store will be Welsh speaking. A boombox playing Welsh language music will also be travelling to schools across Wales by starting the journey in Holyhead and finishing in Cardiff with children’s characters Seren and Sbarc making a special appearance.
Sets of Welsh Language Music top trumps can be bought in over 60 local Welsh language shops across the country which have been especially designed for Welsh Language Music Day by illustrator Casey Raymond. Wherever you are in the world, there are playlists– including Alternative, In the Café, In the Pub, Before bed, Country, and Reggae, dub and Ska,- that you can play on Spotify and Apple Music.
Dydd Miwsig Cymru celebrates all forms of Welsh Language music with free events aimed at gig goers, parents and children, young people, students and businesses are happening across the country. Follow @cymraeg and #DyddMiwsigCymru on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest details on plans for the day.