Aled and Dafydd Hughes, two brothers best known as members of Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog, from Llŷn, Gwynedd, have been appointed to lead the creative team responsible for the Anglesey National Eisteddfod opening concert next year.
The two brothers will work with various artists and performers to create a new and unique event in the festival pavilion. This will also be the Eisteddfod Choir concert.
Next year, it will be a century since the Eisteddfod of the Black Chair and the death of the young poet, Hedd Wyn, Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd, and both the Chair and the poet are an iconic part of Welsh and Eisteddfod history. The concert aims to commemorate the generation of young men who did not return home to Wales at the end of the Great War. It will also be an opportunity to reflect and consider the effect on the home, family and the wider community.
Aled and Dafydd say, “This will be an exciting experience for us, not only as musicians but also as Welshmen who have known the history of Hedd Wyn and the Black Chair since we were children. Having the opportunity to create a piece of work based on the First World War, and taking Hedd Wyn as its inspiration is an honour and a challenge, and an experience we will cherish and enjoy.
“The project is a chance for us to experiment with so many different musical styles, and this very much appeals to us. It will be a new and exciting experience to work with the team to pull everything together, to work with a professional orchestra, and create a brand new work, which will, we hope, be a worthy remembrance on the Eisteddfod stage.
“We are also looking forward to working with communities across the region to collect memories, stories and all kinds of information. These will all help and inspire us over the next few months as we work on the words and music.”
Poet Guto Dafydd will work with Aled and Dafydd creating the words, and he will be attending community workshops over the next few weeks before putting pen to paper. The workshops will be held across Gwynedd and Anglesey, and will include a wide cross-section of ages, from primary children to care homes residents.
Paul Mealor, the Anglesey based composer, originally from St Asaph, Denbighshire, well known for his beautiful choral work, will be in charge of part of the musical score. He will be working with the poet Grahame Davies on this part of the project.
Musician, John Quirk, is also part of the creative team, and will work closely with everyone to bring the whole project together and to create a memorable performance at the Eisteddfod.
As well as the concert and the community workshops, this is also the Eisteddfod choral project for 2016-17. Rehearsals start in the autumn and more information will be available then.
The project is a partnership between the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Arts Council of Wales, Gwynedd County Council, Anglesey County Council and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.