The Christmas Variations @ Bara Menyn

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A collection of vinyl first shown in Oriel Blodau Bach earlier this year.

Born near Llandysul at Christmas in 1766, Christmas Evans grew up in Bwlchog, in the parish of Llanfihangel-ar-Arth and went on to become one of the most well known and influential preachers in Wales.

“Christmas Evans (1766-1838) was described by D. M. Lloyd-Jones as ‘the greatest preacher that the Baptists have ever had in Great Britain’. This remarkable one-eyed Welshman came from humble beginnings to exercise powerful preaching ministries throughout Wales..”(1)

The collection of sleeves with their different designs attest to his status and continued popularity as a preacher, receiving several re-issues on the Qualiton label.  The sermon itself was first delivered on July 1st 1835 in Bangor and the recording is of Rev. Jubilee Young some 118 years after Christmas Evans’ death.

As well as the covers on display there are a number of audio/video works using the records

 

(1) ‘Christmas Evans – No Ordinary Preacher’

https://www.dayone.co.uk/products/christmas-evans-no-ordinary-preacher

Cân Elenydd

Cân Elenydd

SHIFT,  Basement Capitol Centre,
Queen St, Cardiff, CF10 2HQ
Opening
18.00 – 22.00 Wed 20th November 2019

Gallery opens from
12:00 – 18:00 Thursday   21st November
12:00 – 18:00  Friday      22nd November
19:00 – 21:00  Friday      22nd November Artists in conversation with SHIFT                            12:00 – 18:00 Saturday   23rd November

Audio-visual work by a number of South and West Wales based artists exploring recently discovered personal family histories connected with voice/song. The artists’ have all (re)connected with a family member, living, dead, met and not met through an inquiry that started from a stumbled upon object, family heirloom or conversation. With this work the artists both archive and bring to the present the details of significant family events, routine activities and synchronicities across the generations, deepening personal connections and family relationships and drawing attention to their own sense of mortality and identity.

Cân Elenydd Video / Sonic Installation. A collaboration between composer Sianed Jones, her mother, visual artist Mary Lloyd Jones, video artist Jacob Whittaker  visual artist Maria Hayes with additional direction from Louise Wells.

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It all started with a discovery of a handbag containing pencil written letters from Sianed’s great aunt Dilys writing to her brothers in the trenches of WW1; a correspondence with a mystery Mr J.R.Owen from Machynlleth; a gift of a Swyn; a charm of protection; a story of Sianed’s grandfather and great Uncle as young lads, walking from village to village around Devils Bridge carrying a harp on their backs; a series of live video/sonic/visual improvisations rooted in the healing powers of a circle. Cân Elenydd weaves all these stories and improvisations together. http://www.sianed.co.uk      http://www.jacobwhittaker.co.uk   http://www.mariahayes.info       http://www.marylloydjones.co.ukCanShift

 

17m:19s:00f by Jon Rattigan a video piece I made during a period of research on the duration, beginnings, ends and mid points of events.

The film’s split-screen form depicts the duration of my late father’s life, with each frame of video, projected at 25fps, representing a single day of his 72 years; on one side, aided by 2 time-codes, we see life progressing and on the other, we see it running out.

The seemingly abstract colour cycle on screen is actually made of extreme close-ups of his handed-down photographic darkroom equipment and on the sound track we hear his home-made photo-processing timing tape, as well as a little singing. The objects are arranged according to the way in which the Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro used colour to represent different periods of a life- birth, education, maturity etc., in the film The Last Emperor. www.jonratigan.com

‘In His Heels’ by Johanna Hartwig 

After my Grandmother died we found some old 78 records in her house, including a recording by my Great Grandfather, a Cantor (singer/leader in religious song and prayer) from Czechoslovakia. One song stood out. Google translated the song title from Hebrew as ‘In His Heels. After squashing this big voice into a digital file, it felt as though it should be let out, expanded again into a physical space and shared.  That same year I found out I had a cousin, Sion, living only a couple of miles away. Sion agreed to respond to the recording using our voices and acoustic instruments that we could both play to some degree or other. The people who contributed to this track – Leon, Si, Adam, Thomas are part of the story too, a continuation. In the making of it there were found sticks in place of misplaced brushes, shared parallel histories and a friend that turned up at the right time to help make this. www.johanahartwig.co.uk

Afon

I will be performing some new work for this in a couple of weeks…

http://www.may-nard.org/afon

Looking at my vinyl record database and thinking of the years I spent over the valley from Abercych in Llechryd, watching the floods come and go…

I used to put all the pictures in a set on flickr – Sometimes I live by a Lake

Sometimes I Live by a Lake

I’m finding some interesting river songs and sleeves in my collection and putting a few out in Bara Menyn in the lead up to the festival.. starting with a the 3 locally themed albums
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And then to include singles from further afield2019-09-02 09.11.42-2

The Christmas Variations

This new work for Oriel Blodau Bach is a collection of ‘Pregeth Christmas Evans’ vinyl record covers.  Born near Llandysul at Christmas in 1766, Christmas Evans grew up in Bwlchog, in the parish of Llanfihangel-ar-Arth and went on to become one of the most well known and influential preachers in Wales.

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Read more on the Oriel Blodau Bach website

Exhibition 24 August // Awst – 12 October // Hydref 2019

The Christmas Variations includes a playlist of videos

Wales Land of Song

Dechreuodd casgliad newydd yn Bara Menyn wythnos hwn i ddathlu Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant.  A new selection of records started in Bara Menyn this week to celebrate St David’s Day.

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Folk Songs of England Scotland and Wales

Cymanfa Ganu 1969

Tom Jones - Green Green grass of Home

A short film documenting a St Davids day excursion to the woods with a Decca Junior and “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau” and a Dulcetto playing “We’ll Keep a Welcome” amongst the daffodils in the ruins and grounds of the Holy Cross Church Llechryd. (2007)

Cymanfa Ganu 1969, Morriston and the Morriston Orpheus Choir

The Cymanfa Ganu, hymn singing festival, is an enduring tradition in Wales and around the world.

‘Wherever Welshmen congregate, be it at a rugby international match in Cardiff, or as a group of exiles in some distant corner of the earth, one thing is certain – there will be singing.’ (Gwyn Griffiths, Cymanfa Ganu 1969 sleeve notes).

I have at least 12 copies of this 1969 Cymanfa Ganu Morriston record and have used it repeatedly over the years.  It was a staple part of the Vinyl Altar mixes during the GWRANDO Capeli project and I used some of the covers for a work in Oriel Blodau Bach in 2015.

Cymanfa Ganu 1969

Formed in 1935 the Morriston Orpheus choir has an international reputation and an impressive back catalogue of recordings!

Here’s a few…

Morriston Orpheus Choir - Land of my Fathers

Morriston Orpheus Choir - Land of my Fathers

The Morriston Orpheus Choir - Songs from the green hills

The Morriston Orpheus Choir