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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
sian, west wales Folklore: The music of Wales (119* d) RE: Folklore: The music of Wales 23 Feb 11


No, it isn't a matter of mixed voices. The only time I really don't want to hear mixed voices is in the Carol y Swper in an actual Plygain service; the power of an all-male group singing that is wonderful. However, I've sung it many times in social or workshop situations.

I just feel that MP is trying to recreate a specific sound and not, in my opinion, achieving it. You'd do just fine not trying to imitate, and just singing in your everyday voices; you're right that tradition bearers do just this.

And, no, I do not like any instrumental accompaniement with Plygain carols. I suspect that the 60s example was 'set up' by the filmmakers at a time when the singers were less media-savvy and less likely to stick to their unaccompanied guns. Having said that, a bunch of us were singing Ar Gyfer Heddiw Bore at The Big Experiment in 2008 and Cass Meurig joined in on the crwth. Very very interesting indeed ...

I do think it's a specific musical genre in some senses. I remember when Plethyn first came on the scene; they nearly didn't get a recording contract because Sain thought they were 'too' Plygain sounding ... but that is exactly what the trio was trying to do; transfer a Plygain sound to the folk world.

In actual fact, the Plygain carols are quite often sung out of context. They are regularly set as competition pieces at Eisteddfodau, sung socially, and sometimes appear as choir concert pieces. I suppose even workshops would be 'out of context'. Also Rhys Mwyn put together a television programme a couple of years ago where he brought together a few current Welsh 'pop' groups and a traditional Plygain party; ran into some opposition but, as he wasn't billing the performance as a Plygain _service_ I think it was an interesting enough experiment.

It would be good to see more Plygain parties on Youtube and maybe that will yet happen. Having said that, it's nice to think that tradition bearers are more focussed on their lives in their (usually rural) communities than on global conquest.

sian


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