Today we are celebrating Welsh Language Music Day!
For our Official Opening last year, artists from across Wales came together to write and perform as part of the Tân Cerdd project. The result was 'Ymuno', a bilingual drum and bass track.
Here's what the artists in the group had to say about the creative process and what it meant to them to be involved.
At the Senedd, the people of Wales are at the heart of what we do. That’s why the theme ‘Your Voice’ was chosen for the Official Opening of the Sixth Senedd. The theme was chosen to celebrate democracy in Wales, and the diverse communities whose voices are represented within our walls.
As the official ceremonies began, performers and artists from across Wales raised their voices through the medium of poetry, dance and song to mark the opening.
One of the performances was by Tân Cerdd, a not-for-profit organisation set up in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests to raise the profile of black voices in Wales. They performed a song they wrote specially for the Official Opening entitled ‘Ymuno’.
Composed by Eädyth Crawford and Lily Beau, it also features the voices of prominent black Welsh artists Aleighcia Scott, Skunkadelic (Afrocluster), Vanity Jay (Baby Queens), Dionne Bennett, and SZSW. It speaks of hope for the future and how all voices are stronger together.
When asked how she felt about the performing at the Official Opening, Aleighcia Scott said:
“I enjoyed performing at the Senedd because to me it represents the positive changes to come for Wales - it is an honour to be a part of that and to have been chosen to do so.”
Reflecting on the theme of the opening and the creative process behind the song, Lily explained;
“I’ve always found [finding my voice] hard, especially coming from Wales as a black woman. As an artist, finding my voice is in itself a journey.”
The co-writer of the track, Eädyth, expressed how she valued collaborating with Lily to create their ‘new drum and bass anthem for the Senedd’;
“Writing with Lily as a black female Welsh creative was such a great process for me, to feel like I connect with another woman of colour in Wales that also speaks Welsh.”
Eädyth explained that this connection with Lily is part of what shaped the song. “To be around other black creatives in Wales is such an important thing for me… I really feel like I belong after this.”
"I feel empowered the more opportunities I get like this to keep speaking up and keep talking about the issues we face as people of colour."
Speaking about his experience of working on the track, Tumi, AKA Skunkadelic, explained how he had just an hour to write his piece for Ymuno, but that it helped him focus.
“A time constraint is always good…I had to sort of block myself out from the outside noise and think deeper into what I wanted to say.”
“Over the years, trying to get my voice heard has been challenging to say the least, but more recently being involved in more projects within Wales… I feel empowered the more opportunities I get like this to keep speaking up and keep talking about the issues we face as people of colour.”
Lily went on to explain how she views the Welsh music scene to be “a safe place to discover what I want to say and how to say it”, but also spoke of the challenges surrounding the Welsh language; “What needs to change most is attitude…towards the Welsh language, especially amongst black Welsh people. We need to celebrate people trying to speak Welsh.”
You can watch Tân Cerdd perform Ymuno and hear more from Lily and Eädyth in the videos below.
Find out more about the other artists that performed at the Official Opening.
Make your voice heard
We represent you. So if there’s something you feel passionately about, or a change you’d like to see in Wales, there are a number of ways you can make your voice heard in the Senedd:
You could create a new petition or sign someone else’s. More about Senedd petitions.
You could help one of the Senedd committees with an inquiry. More about working with a committee.
You could contact one of your Members of the Senedd about the issue. Every person in Wales is represented by five elected Members. Find out who represents you.