Radio Cymru to celebrate 80 years in Bangor
Two artists will meet, compose, record, mix and release a new EP live during an overnight broadcast on Radio Cymru to celebrate 80 years of broadcasting.
Sŵnami, from Dolgellau, will be meeting with Bangor singer Casi at the BBC studios at Bryn Meirion late on Thursday afternoon, November 5, before working through the night – and through the early hours of the morning – in a Sesiwn Unnos (“One night session”) to work towards the release of a new EP with at least three songs by 9am on Friday, November 6.
The whole story will be featured in a special programme presented by Lisa Gwilym on the Friday evening on BBC Radio Cymru.
“I’m very lucky to be part of the project this time,” said Lisa. “We’re going to be awake all night, and by the time people wake up on Friday morning we will – hopefully – have an EP!
“I’m very much looking forward to this – and Sŵnami and Casi are very brave to accept the challenge.”
Sŵnami and Casi are two of a dozen artists who were part of the Horizons project during its first year. Horizons is a joint initiative with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales. Since then the two have gone from strength to strength, with Sŵnami releasing their debut album recently and Casi currently in the studio recording new material.
The Sesiwn Unnos format started in Bangor in 2010, led by the production team Gareth Iwan, Dyl Mei and Dwynwen Morgan, and this session will be one of the highlights of celebrations marking the 80th anniversary for the BBC in Bangor.
“There’s a lively tradition in Bangor of innovative broadcasting and I’m pleased to see that continuing today – as strong as ever,” said Ynyr Williams, Assistant Editor of Radio Cymru.
“Reflecting and promoting Wales’ musical talent is at the heart of what Radio Cymru does, and we will celebrate that in particular in November, with a week of diverse music including the Cerdd Dant Festival, the National Orchestra of Wales in Patagonia, the Young Farmers’ Eisteddfod and a host of other sessions and items.
“Radio Cymru is one of the most diverse radio stations in the world in terms of music – and it’s only on Radio Cymru that you’ll hear such a full range of Welsh music. And it’s great to be able to say we’ve been doing things like this in Bangor now for eighty years!
“Gardener Henry Lewis, a former BBC Bangor staff member who’s now 96, came into the studio recently to talk about his memories of working at Bryn Meirion from the 40s until the early 80s, and his memories were broadcast on the Dei Tomos programme on Sunday, October 25. We’ll be hearing a lot more about the history of this place during the first week of November, but Dei’s conversation with Henry is certainly one to look out for online.”