Blog posts by year and month March 2011

Posts (83)

  1. Tomorrow (Tuesday 8 March) is International Women's Day and we're celebrating on BBC Wales Music with a dip into the history of inspirational women from Welsh music. Here are some videos of our picks, and suggestions from our followers on Twitter. As ever, feel free to comment, criticise, pra...

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  2. Take a trip to the Town Hall in Maesteg. Quite apart from the wonders of the building and the intricate clock mechanism high above the Hall, here you will find six startling paintings by one of Wales' greatest artists, the Maesteg-born Christopher Williams. Christopher Williams. Image court...

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  3. Very spooky feeling. Wandering, alone, around the beautifully refurbished art galleries of the National Museum of Wales. In one of the huge rooms, our director, Steve Freer and the crew are setting up to film paintings by Ceri Richards and Graham Sutherland for the second programme in our series...

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  4. An exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth of Swansea-born artist Alfred Janes will open later this month at the Oriel Kooywood Gallery in Cardiff. Janes was one of the group of many talented Welsh artists who attended the Swansea School of Art in the 20th century, and was one of the Kar...

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  5. Today sees the long-awaited details of which of the 600 singers who auditioned in 45 cities in 36 countries across five continents will be coming to Cardiff in June for the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World competition. The singers The Cardiff 20 come from Armenia, Australia, Bulgaria, Cana...

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  6. The Urdd organisation has announced that the Urdd National Eisteddfod Eryri 2012 will be held on the grounds of Coleg Meirion Dwyfor on the Glynllifon Estate near Caernarfon. This isn't the first time that the Eisteddfod has been held there; the Urdd Eisteddfod took place on the site in 1990. That was one of the first - if not the first - Eisteddfodau I remember going to as a child (I was four!). This site itself is draped in local history as it was once owned by the Lords Newborough, and boasts beautiful gardens and acres of land, part of which is owned by Coleg Meirion Dwyfor. Meriel Parry, Chair of the Eryri Urdd National Eisteddfod's Executive Committee said: "Eryri is looking forward to the Eisteddfod and glad that the festival is returning to the area once again and with a great site secured at Glynllifon, we look forward to a very successful festival in 2012." If you don't know the difference between the different Eisteddfod festivals held over Wales take a look back to a previous blog I wrote. I'm glad the Urdd have decided to bring the Eisteddfod back to Eryri. A lot of talent has come from the area itself, with some starting out by competing in the Eisteddfod. Most notably Bryn Terfel, who was raised not far from the Eisteddfod site in Pant Glas. Here he is performing at the 1982 Urdd Eisteddfod:

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  7. From a meteorological point of view, it is now spring but looking back, the winter was a memorable one. It started in late November with lots of snow before Christmas, and December was the coldest for at least 100 years. January was chilly with lots of sunshine but February was mild and wet with some flooding in Mid Wales and the north. So overall, the winter was cold but sunnier and drier than normal with 73% of the average rainfall. The current dry spell looks set to continue into next week thanks to high pressure. The main problem is forecasting cloud - How much and where? Will it or won't it clear? And who gets the sunshine and frost? Take today for example - I thought it would stay cloudy along the border but the cloud vanished leaving the whole of Wales basking in the sunshine with temperatures rising to 10 Celsius in Trawsgoed. Tomorrow will be dry again with some bright or sunny spells. However, the south east corner, Cardiff, Newport and parts of Powys and the border may stay cloudy. So, good weather tomorrow if you're heading out to vote! Derek Brockway

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  8. The latest film by Welsh director Marc Evans goes on general release this week, and sees the acting début of Welsh songstress Duffy. Patagonia, a road movie that tells the stories of two different women in Wales and Argentina, will have its Welsh premiere at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on T...

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  9. I may not be the greatest admirer of his work, but we couldn't leave the artist David Jones out of our second film. He was the kind of semi-detached Welshman, born in England, partly of Welsh parentage, who becomes a disciple of what he imagines to be the essence of Welshness. So, in his enthusiasm to do his bit in World War One, he joins a regiment that has a Welsh name but discovers that it contains as many Cockneys as it does Taffs. He survives the horrors of the trenches and returns to Britain, his knapsack full of wonderful drawings of his comrades from the Western Front. He is determined to make his living as an artist but does so in the oddest way: he heads for an abandoned monastery on the steep flanks of a tiny, remote hamlet, called Capel y Ffin, in the eastern Black Mountains of Wales. There, he joins an artistic community, led by the distinguished (and, it turns out, disturbingly odd) sculptor, Eric Gill, who had moved from gentler Sussex to the monastery with his religious cohorts and extended family. As David Jones expert Dr Anne Price Owen explained to us on a grey, freezing morning in Capel y Ffin, this was a turning point for Jones. The simple, Spartan existence he found at the monastery, steeped in religious mysticism and guided by Gill's quirky creativity, helped Jones break loose of the artistic conventions that had governed his approach to painting up to that point. Our cameraman, Tudor Evans, framed the monastery against the hillside - a panorama complete with what appeared to be the very same horses that Jones included in his drawings and paintings back in 1925. In reverential, hushed tones, Tudor, with one eye glued to the viewfinder, said, 'Superb. What absolute peace. It looks as if nothing's changed in 85 years...' A moment later, he leapt back and pointed, his finger quivering, outraged that his cameraman's nirvana had been shattered by the sudden, howling appearance of a quad bike, charging towards the horses, driven by a farmer intent on rounding-up his livestock and caring nothing for Tudor's artistic sensibilities. Our director, Steven Freer, the very essence of diplomacy, consoles Tudor. 'It's OK,' he says, in words as soothing as the British Ambassador might use in a nuclear missile bunker in Pyongyang, 'you've shot some wonderful stuff for us already. We've got more than enough...' Tudor doesn't look convinced but we pack up, the quad-bike's vile whine still echoing off both sides of the valley, and head west to the jewel that is the Glynn Vivian gallery in Swansea. I know I'm going to feel more at home there, in Dylan Thomas's ugly lovely town, full of glorious pictures, painted by the very same pals Dylan argued with over milky coffee at the Kardomah. Evan Walters, Ceri Richards, Alfred Janes, Vincent Evans and a host more of west Wales' best. What a treat! Episode two of Framing Wales can be seen on Thursday 3 March at 7.30pm on BBC Two Wales, or afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

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  10. Yesterday Georgia Ruth joined Roy Noble to chat to him and Bethan Elfyn about Radio Wales Music Day 2011 and to play a new song. Listen to the interview and the song, Seville, here:

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