Llechi Cymru / Wales Slate partnership share exclusive virtual gig to celebrate Dydd Gŵyl Miwsig Cymru 2021 and 'The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site Nomination'
In September 2020, musicians 9Bach (bach) and poet Martin Daws, in partnership with Penrhyn Castle and Gwynedd Council, performed at Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre to welcome an assessor to Gwynedd, as part of the county's bid to make the Slate Landscape of north west Wales a Unesco World Heritage Site.
In these strange Covid-times, hosting a traditional ‘gig’ wasn’t possible but by using modern technology and artists who are a part of family bubbles, it was possible to share the creative masterpiece live across the world, with participants joining from all walks of life, all with different interests in the culture and heritage of slate.
Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Community who attended the event, said “The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site nomination is all about celebrating and sharing the best of what our slate valleys have to offer the world, both historically and today.
“This gig was an example of how Welsh culture, language and arts having taken their influence from the slate landscape of Gwynedd was able to be broadcast far and wide.”
To celebrate Dydd Miwsig Cymru 2021 which is being held on 5 February, this unique musical experience will be shared publicly for the first time.
Lisa Jên Brown, an internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter, born and bred in Bethesda and influenced creatively by the quarrying landscape of Dyffryn Ogwen said:
“Bethesda, where I was born and raised - my ancestors amongst the first settlers here - worked in the quarry - at which I stare from my bedroom window to this day. It's no coincidence that so many artists, such as poets, writers, musicians, actors and singers are from Bethesda. How can you not take inspiration from the history and beauty of this place- rivers run like ice cold veins and the mountains stand like giant Gods?
“The slate quarry is part of that history and landscape, it's ever changing colours and shapes, the hardship and the suffering, along with the politics, the banter, the community it formed and the laughing and the crying that's resonated between these purple slates - to us who are open to listen to that... it's exciting.
“With respect for the history here, there is no doubt that it fuels and strengthens our creativity “.
Martin Daws is an acclaimed spoken word poet and former Young People’s Laureate for Wales, he has moved to Bethesda and his work is influenced by the local community. Martin says:
“The environment of the slate quarry is such a deep seam of social, environmental, political and global history. I mine it for inspiration and feed it with my poems. The closer I look at the quarry environment the more I can see this history laid bare, and observe nature inexorably healing the discarded wastes of broken slate.”
We sincerely hope you enjoy the performance, and that you are given an insight into the creative minds of two of our talented artists, and a taste of our fantastic slate landscape.
You can support the bid to make the Slate Landscape of north west Wales an Unesco World Heritage Site by visting www.llechi.cymru
The event will be hosted online on www.amam.cymru or via the AM app.
PHOTOGRAPH: Lisa Jên Brown and Martin Hoyland – 9bach (bach). ©Dewi Glyn Jones