Inspired by gavinM’s exciting report, I thought I might mention that I took advantage of a rare chance to speak Welsh in the U.S. a couple weeks ago. After studying SSiW daily for 5 months, I went to Wales this summer and managed to have two fairly lengthy conversations in Welsh, quite satisfying. After returning, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep studying, but I do quite enjoy it, so I’ve been continuing, though not as diligently. Last fall, the musical group Calan was in my little mountain town in upstate New York, and I saw their show, which was wonderful. This September, they returned, and I had chance for a chat with them before the show. They were delighted to speak Cymraeg with an American, noticed that I had learned Southern Welsh, and we had a fun conversation for about ten minutes–until we all got a little frustrated and switched to Sosnaeg. But it was so exhilarating! By the way, I really recommend having a listen to Calan–a lively group of young and highly talented musicians.
‘Oh, I just practised my Welsh with Calan’ - yep, that’s an impressive name-drop and definitely cool…
Very jealous here! I haven’t even managed to get to a Calan concert, let alone chat with them for 10 minutes! That’s fantastic.
I didn’t know Calan was so well-known! Actually, friends of mine organize the concerts here, in an old railway station with wood walls and ceiling, great acoustics. The concerts are small, intimate, with an enthusiastic audience. My friends made Calan a meal before the show, so I got to eat and chat with them. Really a sweet bunch.
Calan are great. I even managed to drag my generally unwilling 20 something son to see them in Aberhonddu, Brecon, earlier this year and also made the point of seeing them at the Eisteddfod where they sang a poem written by Angharad’s dad Nigel Jenkins for the first time. It was electrifying.
Your son was into it! That’s great. Angharad told me the coolest music in Wales right now is Welsh-language rock music. Unfortunately for the bands, it doesn’t export well, but at least the youth are appreciating their native language. The Welsh-language bands doing Celtic music (like Calan) are much enjoyed abroad.
You know you’re triggering a collective intake of jealous breath, don’t you?..