A new perspective on the ancient tradition of cerdd dant singing
Gwenan Gibbard with: Cerys Matthews, Meinir Gwilym, Maartin Allcock, Stephen Rees, Huw Roberts & Dafydd Roberts.
Cerdd dant is essentially the unique and ancient Welsh art of singing poetry to harp accompaniment. Its origins date back to the earliest centuries, when the harper would declaim his poetry to his own accompaniment, in praise of his chief or patron. In Wales there has always been a special relationship between music and poetry, and this tradition continues to this day.
Gwenan Gibbard is one of the foremost contemporary exponents of the art of cerdd dant, combining her skills as a harpist, singer and composer, and on this, her third solo album, she takes a look back at the more folk orientated cerdd dant tradition of years ago and includes some poetic measures which are rarely sung today. On the other hand, she also explores new territory and includes tracks which are based on cerdd dant but include some contemporary features and variations in form and structure, and shows exciting new possibilities for this ancient art form.
On two of the tracks, Gwenan sings with Cerys Matthews and Meinir Gwilym, two artists she has greatly enjoyed working with them over the past year. Although her own harp is the main instrument, she is accompanied on the album by fiddlers Stephen Rees and Huw Roberts, Dafydd Roberts on flute, and the multi-talented instrumentalist Maartin Allcock, who co-produced the album with Gwenan.