Wales and World Music


Wales and World Music

Highlights from the World Music Festival WOMEX, which was held in Cardiff this year.


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Welcome to the highlights of WOMEX 2013 - a chance to see

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some of the bands that performed here,

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not only in front of the Welsh audiences, but agencies,

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record companies and concert promoters from all over the world.

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This festival brought the best of world music to Cardiff in October

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from all corners of the globe and also provided a stage for some

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of the rising stars of the Welsh music scene,

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including Georgia Ruth...

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# Week of pines...#

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..the innovative group 9Bach, led by Bethesda's Lisa Jen.

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# Caru chdi mwy na'r byd...#

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# Seren syw...#

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A new fusion of Welsh and Indian traditions, with Ghazalaw.

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# Clyw di'r claf...#

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And the award-winning collaboration of Seckou Keita from Senegal

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and Catrin Finch from Wales.

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More from the Welsh performers later.

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There were six stages in all,

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including a striking marquee on the Roald Dahl Plass,

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which rocked to the sound of the African group, Debademba.

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HE SINGS IN BAMBARI

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Bonjour, Abdoulaye, from Debademba.

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Debademba means big family.

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You know, it's a family of different musicians,

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coming from different countries.

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A big family from all the world.

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HE SINGS IN BAMBARI

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The music of Debademba is African, but with a lot of influences -

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Afrobeat, blues, flamenco,

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African guitars. Basically, that's it, Debademba.

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Well, thank you very much. Merci beaucoup.

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Merci, merci, thank you very much.

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Merci.

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HE SINGS IN BAMBARI

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APPLAUSE

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John Rostron, give us a little picture of where Wales is at,

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in terms of the international music scene.

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Well, we're in a great position at the moment, because we're

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here in Wales and the whole of the world music scene is here with us.

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So, we're in a great position.

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We are talking to all of the world right here, right now, in Wales.

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It's a very exciting opportunity for the Welsh music industry.

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-There's a big news announcement this week, as well?

-Yes, there is.

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The band 9Bach have signed to Peter Gabriel's label at Real World.

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So, they'll be releasing their next record with him in 2014.

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It's incredibly exciting for them.

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They'll reach a whole new market across the world.

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SHE SINGS IN WELSH

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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LIVELY BANJO FOLK MUSIC PLAYS

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We Banjo 3 here at the Motorpoint Arena. Thank you very much, lads.

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Fantastic. Tell me a little bit about the band.

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How did you all get together?

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We're from Galway in the west of Ireland. We're two sets of brothers,

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so we started out as a three-piece, with myself,

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Martin and David, who are brothers. What happened was, we realised

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we were three banjos, we needed a real musician in the band

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and my mum rang me up and said,

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"Will you give Fergal a gig? He's a bit lonely."

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So we got Fergal in.

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LIVELY FIDDLE MUSIC PLAYS

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I've heard it's a very, very difficult instrument to play.

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How many years did it take you?

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I still don't know how to play it, so that's part of the problem!

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I've been playing it for about 15 years.

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Enda taught me when I was a young lad. I used to look up to him

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and now I look down on him, because I'm slightly taller!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Well, we've conquered the New World, in that we've played in America.

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We want to bring the banjo love back to Europe.

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We're interested in this idea of the banjo takeover.

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Once people hear the banjo, they're addicted.

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So we're hoping to have that effect in Europe.

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Let's hear you.

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# We all need more banjos in this world... #

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Hey!

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# We all need more banjos in this world

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# You can look high or low But there's no place else to go

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# We all need more banjos in this world... #

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Hey!

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FAST BANJO PLAYING

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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A group that made quite a noise was this wind band from Algeria,

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Fanfarai.

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RHYTHMIC CLAPPING AND BRASS MUSIC PLAYS

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I'm here with Gael, Ourida, Samir and Yvan from Fanfarai.

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Gael, tell me a little bit about the name and your style of music.

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Fanfarai in French,

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it means something like the brass band who plays the right music.

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It's based on the brass band, so we take out all the electric stuff

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and we make a band who can play in the street, who can play walking

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and after, we try to make connection with the Northern African music,

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just like to make a kind of bridge between them.

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# Oh, yereba al heraba heraba

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# Yay, yereba al heraba heraba Heeeyyy

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# Yereba al heraba

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# Oh, yereba al heraba heraba

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# Yera, yereba al heraba heraba Hoooo-ooooh

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# Oh, yereba al heraba hey, hey! #

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And you play a wonderful instrument, tell me about that.

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It's called the sousaphone, it does the bass and it's very, very heavy.

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It's just like a huge trumpet, actually.

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SINGING IN NATIVE LANGUAGE

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Quoted recently by the press as

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"an intriguing collaboration that really works",

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Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita's new album Clychau Dibon

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has also been described as ethereal and entrancing.

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SOFT HARP MUSIC PLAYS

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The harp and the kora really work together,

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because we, kind of, complement each other.

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The kora's got this basic time signature that I'll play with

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rhythmically and then what Catrin brings with the harp,

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the melody that's tapped into it

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and also we, kind of, switch between supporting each other.

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Obviously, I'm a Welsh musicianm but primarily classical

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and Seckou, with Mandinka music from Senegal.

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So if you think in a way, that's a strange collaboration, right?

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It's like the opposite spectrum of music

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but I think that's what makes it quite fresh

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and what makes it quite unusual, is that we've both come from

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such different worlds and we can try and put them together somehow.

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Clychau Dibon's had some amazing reviews in the papers.

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Clychau Dibon is a beautiful album.

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Dibon Dibon is the name of a bird,

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a couple that spend all day together, but in the evening,

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they never sleep in the same branch, they sleep separate.

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In the morning, they call each other with a high note, the female is,

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and the low note with the male, just to find each other,

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to spend the day together again.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Les Tambours de Brazza with their hypnotic Congan drums

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made a striking impact in the Roald Dahl Plas Marquee.

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UPBEAT WEST AFRICAN GUITAR MUSIC PLAYS

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Come on!

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-Les Tambours de Brazza, bienvenue au Pays de Galles.

-Merci!

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Tell me a little bit about your music.

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HE SPEAKS IN FRENCH

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TRANSLATION: Our music is a mixture of traditional

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and contemporary music.

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We work musics from our culture from Congo and around this music,

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we add other instruments, such as drums, guitar, bass and the song.

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There are lots of influences in our music.

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Soul music, reggae, funky, and rock.

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It's not fusion, but it's contemporary music.

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FAST SINGING IN NATIVE LANGUAGE

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Tambours de Brazza! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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The Donald Gordon Theatre showcased some fascinating violin sounds

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from India with Ganesh Kumaresh.

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INDIAN VIOLIN AND DRUM MUSIC PLAYS

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Music is mainly based on improvisations,

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even the compositions are just there for us to improvise on.

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So that helps us to create something on the spot -

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at the same time, rehearse something and play together.

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So we make it as interesting for ourselves as for the audience.

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So it was like action and reaction most of the time

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so that's how we enjoy ourselves.

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I play the mridagam, it's a barrelled-shaped two-sided drum

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and one side is tuned to an actual pitch

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that's constantly played in D and then the other side is a bass side

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and you can modulate to get pitches

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and so they work in tandem together to create a multitude of sounds.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Well, right now, I'm here with the Cumbia All Stars.

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THEY CHEER

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Lucho, tell me what kind of Welsh welcome you've had so far.

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Oh, muy feliz, muy feliz.

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TRANSLATION: We have been very happy since arriving here in Cardiff.

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Wales is a beautiful country and for us to have the opportunity

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to perform here is a culmination of hard work over the last few years

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promoting the music of Peru.

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HE SINGS IN SPANISH

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HE SPEAKS IN SPANISH

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TRANSLATION: We've been playing Cumbian music for 40 years

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and so we're delighted to be performing here for you.

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Muchos gracias, Cumbia All Stars.

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THEY CHEER

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HE SINGS IN SPANISH

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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There was one additional stage at the Motorpoint Arena

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in the centre of Cardiff and among the day performers,

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there was the April Verch Band, from Canada.

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LIVELY FIDDLE MUSIC PLAYS

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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It's been an amazing year for the Welsh artist Georgia Ruth since

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winning the Welsh Music Prize for her debut album, Week Of Pines.

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# Hwylia, gariad, hwyl fawr

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# Hwylia'n bellach na llinell

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# Drwy ganol pob map

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# Does na ddim byd ar hap

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# Ti ar ganol y mor

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# Does na ddim byd ar hap

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# Gariad, hwyl fawr

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# Mmm... #

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'After the showcase at WOMEX, it all felt like a bit of a blur.'

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I think it helped me to reach some new audiences that

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I wouldn't have found otherwise.

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'I've had quite a bit of interest from bookers who were at WOMEX.'

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Lots of things planned for next year,

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so, sort of, summer festivals in the UK, but I've also heard

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from a few festivals in Europe, as well, which is exciting.

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# Is it me? Is this all your love had?

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# Maybe nothing binds The distances between us

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# The shifts and changing minds Oh, baby

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# We're travellers and maybe we can find our way back

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# To the week of pines

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# To the week of

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# Ay-da-da-da-da da-bum-ba-da

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# Ay-da-da-da-da da-bum-ba-da

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# Oh. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Dy kyair, bwah!

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The unique sound of the Maori next.

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Here is Horomona Horo from New Zealand.

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HAUNTING PIPE MUSIC PLAYS

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'Traditional Maori musical instruments were made from varying'

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elements of the forest, ocean and they're made out of wood,

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bone, stone and other natural elements. Erm...

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As an example, this is a koauau. It's made from a dog bone

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but koauaus were made out of bone - especially human bone -

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wood and stone.

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A koauau was one of the instruments that our people use for expressing

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the many facets of love.

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HIGH-PITCHED PIPE MUSIC PLAYS

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Haunting Gypsy influences can be heard in this next performance

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from the Hungarian group, Vojasa.

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HE SINGS IN HUNGARIAN

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# Oi, hey la-la-la-lay

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# Ai-la-la-la-la-la

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# Oi, hey la-la-la-lay

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# Ai-lai-la-la-la-la

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# Oi, lai-la-la-la-lay

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# Ai-lai-la-la-la-la

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# Oi, lai-la-la-la-lay

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# Ai-lai-la-la-la-la, hey! #

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This is Gypsy music, it's based on the singing and on the dance

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and on the rhythm and here, it's music which is urban

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so this is music for everybody.

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All the different musicians come from different backgrounds -

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three of the musicians come from a very traditional background

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and they know this music by heart, it's in their blood.

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And the others come from more pop and more hard rock or jazz, also

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so it's a very good contemporary mix of this music coming from Hungary.

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HE SINGS IN HUNGARIAN

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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One group that has stood out for me at this World Music Festival

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was a specially-commissioned cultural exchange

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between Welsh artist Gwyneth Glyn and Mumbai artist Tauseef Akhtar.

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This resulted in a new project called Ghazalaw.

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SOFT STRING AND TABLA MUSIC

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# Yn dy lygaid caf

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# Wirionedd

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# Yn serennu gras a rhinwedd

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# Mae dy weld i mi'n orfoledd

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# Seren syw

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# Clyw di'r claf

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# Seren syw

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# Clyw di'r claf. #

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I personally sing a genre called ghazals,

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which is very poetry-based and with simple, expressive tunes

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and as you know, Gwyneth does the Welsh folk

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along with me in ghazals, with ghazals.

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Apparently, when we started the project, we thought it would be some

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kind of fusion or something, but it ended up being a new genre in itself.

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HE SINGS IN URDU

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SHE ACCOMPANIES IN URDU

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'As you know, Welsh language and the language Urdu which I sing in,'

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they go back to Sanskrit, which is an Indian language.

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So when we started jamming together, it was no more a fusion,

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it was just like separated cousins meeting each other once again.

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SHE SINGS IN WELSH

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HE ACCOMPANIES MELODICALLY

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# Ahhhhh-ahhh

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# Ahhhhh-ahhh

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# Ahhhhh-ahhh

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# Ahhhhh-ahhh. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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BURST OF LIVELY MANDOLIN MUSIC

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-A little flavour of Mandolinman. Hello, everyone.

-Hello.

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Andries, how did this band come together?

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Well, it's a very easy story.

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My father was coming, celebrating his 70th birthday

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and he was collector of ancient melodies.

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As a surprise for his birthday,

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I always wanted to do something with four mandolins.

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I was looking for three other folk mandolin players,

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and...here they are.

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LIVELY MANDOLIN MUSIC PLAYS

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'We now exist about three years'

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and we just went this summer to Brazil,

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so our first disc was a disc with traditional Belgian music,

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from the region of Brabant. It's in the centre of the country.

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And then we wanted to do something else and we made a bossa nova disc.

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BOSSA NOVA STYLE MANDOLIN MUSIC PLAYS

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APPLAUSE

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One of my favourite performances was given by the group, Kan.

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Its members come from Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

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UPBEAT FIDDLE AND FLUTE MUSIC PLAYS

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We always meet a day early and rehearse before a tour

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and that's when we make new music because we're based in Newcastle,

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Edinburgh, Manchester and Armagh, so quite far apart!

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People have described it as sort of contemporary traditional music

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with kind of jazz and world influences

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so we take our influences from all over the place, really.

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SOFT LILTING FOLK MUSIC PLAYS

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We're quite a young band in that we've only been playing

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together for three years so this is a brilliant,

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brilliant place to come and the great city to visit.

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-And not your first visit to Cardiff?

-No, that's right.

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Last time I came, I got a speeding ticket and a summons to court

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because of the speeding fine!

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Better luck this time!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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That's it from Cardiff.

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Next year, WOMEX goes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain,

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so for a taste of the music from there, our final group,

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Budino establishes traditional Galician music

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with edgy electronics and percussion.

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LIVELY FOLK MUSIC PLAYS

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I think it's strong connections between musicians

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and music from Wales and from Galicia.

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I know musicians from the last 20 years

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and because it's the same language,

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I think it's very easy to play with them.

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I love...I love the Wales music.

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Highlights from the 2013 World Music Festival WOMEX, which was held in Cardiff.


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