cerddora

New (or old?) acoustical sensations experienced at Tinkinswood

Working with St Nicholas Primary school in the Vale of Glamorgan has been a revelatory experience this week! Dr Ffion Reynolds and myself have embarked on what I feel is the start of an extremely exciting journey. Thanks to Ffion’s insight, foresight and CADW’s support we were able to recreate a Neolithic style ceremony at the 6000 year old site. I have been lucky enough to take other school groups for musical performances at Tinkinswood, but nothing on the scale of what was achieved last Thursday (the day after the Spring equinox).
One of the big differences was the number of drums used (it seems I need to purchase even more!). This coupled with the positioning of the performance in the forecourt meant that we experienced new acoustical sensations outside the ancient burial ground. Vibrations were reverberating off the walls and the outside of the chamber. In the words of one of the children, the physical sensations of the drumming “felt like you were moving even when you were still”.
Next week we hope to explore the acoustical possibilities even further including using the inside of the chamber for part of the musical performance.
The reactions of the children mirrored our own excitement and it was wonderful witnessing the transformative power of sound!

Bryn Celli Ddu

Bryn Celli Ddu & Ysgol Llanfair PG

Children’s version of Cantre’r Gwaelod

Tinkinswood

CADW have been excavating again at Tinkinswood and I was lucky enough to take part! It was an extremely exciting and enlightening experience. At the end of March I shall be working with Dr. Ffion Reynolds in local schools to produce a performance ritual inspired by what we know about the site’s Neolithic past.

See here for more information:

http://tinkinswoodarchaeology.wordpress.com/

Educational resources

Here are a couple of links to educational resources I have co-authored.

http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/musicappraising/default.aspx?locale=en

A great website for teaching music. It has loads of recordings of music of all different genres. Lots of help for students to understand different types of music and some handy hints for composing activities as well!

http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/caa-catalog/chwilio.php?lang=en&func=pori_awdur&awdurID=277

Music education and Welsh legends combined! This resource includes lots of good starters for philosophical discussions linked to these traditional tales.

Consider your elf

Yet another fantastic place that I work in is the Wales Millennium Centre. Whilst working there in December I made a typo while copying out the words to the song from Oliver, Consider Yourself. This mistake was to prove to be inspiration for a new version of the song that I made up for fun. Here it is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgHi8lKdmow

My brother

Steff Adams has released his new album! The song writing is sublime and the musicianship is beautiful. Get it here: http://www.steffadams.net/

Cerddora

This is the name of my companyCroeso/Welcome to my blog! Cerddora is a Welsh word that means “make music”. It could also mean “make poetry” because Cerdd can mean music or poetry. In the Welsh language the link between poetry and music is therefore made obvious. This is perhaps not because poetry is a hybrid of language and music, but because it harks back to a time when we communicated using sounds that were musical. Neuroscience tells us that our brains are wired specifically for music. I believe we are all born composers, artists and storytellers, and that creativity is more than a past time, it is a need.