Dilyn Afon

Astar Artes Recordings

Cynefin’s debut album.The result of three years of research and work, Cynefin’s debut album ‘Dilyn Afon’, follows the cultural ‘cynefin’ of Owen’s home county, starting in the Clettwr Valley where he grew up.

Uncovering lost voices, melodies and stories as it goes, the album gives a modern voice to Ceredigion’s rich yet fragile cultural heritage and presents forgotten and neglected material in a fresh new light. Produced by John Hollis (Catrin Finch/Seckou Keita, Toto La Momposina) 

“A stunning new talent” – The Guardian
“Remarkable..compelling listening” – MOJO
“Evocative and beautiful” – The Folk Show, BBC Radio 2
✰✰✰✰ Beguiling…a distinct debut ” – Songlines
“Epic work” – Living Tradition

“An essential masterpiece in traditional music collection and interpretation, performed to an exemplary level” – Folk Radio
“Quite extraordinary” – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

Dole Teifi single

Dole Teifi / Lliw’r Heulwen (Teifi’s Meadowns / The Colour of Sunshine)

Astar Artes Recordings

The second single from ‘Dilyn Afon’. This track marries two songs along similar themes –  love and deceit.

The first song, which forms the verses, has taken many lyrical and melodic forms in Ceredigion. It has also been noted down as Nos Galan and Y Bobl Dwyllodrus and appears in more than one manuscript and field recording. The melody in this version comes from the very north of the county and the words are an amalgamation of those sung by Thomas Rowlands, a farmer from Lledrod and Thomas Herbert, Cribyn (noted by J Ffos Davies around a century ago). Here an infatuated young man asks a friend for love advice and is told to play ‘hard to get’ – only to leave it too late and find out a year later that the object of his affection is engaged to another suitor (notably we never find out if it is his friend!)

The second part of the song which forms the chorus – Lliw’r Heulwen is from Mynydd Bach near Llanrhystud. It could easily be the same heartbroken young man as in the first song, as he pours out his affection, only to become exasperated by the apparent mercurial nature of a woman’s heart and resign himself to a life of singledom.

Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen ( The Yellow Beaked Blackbird)

Astar Artes Recordings

The lead single from ‘Dilyn Afon’, Y Fwyalchen Ddu Bigfelen (The Yellow Beaked Blackbird). This song was sourced from the singing of Mrs. J Emlyn Jones near Llandysul at the turn of the last century.

This is a ‘llatai’ (love messenger) song featuring a conversation between a young lad and blackbird. It is unusual since the ‘beloved’ in question is not a woman, but Wales itself. It is in essence a song of hiraeth (longing) by a boy who has moved to the city and is longing for gentler contours his homeland, embodied in song by the mellifluous calls of the blackbird.

Cân Dyffryn Clettwr (Song of the Clettwr Valley)

Astar Artes Recordings

Cynefin’s debut single. Discovered in ‘Hanes Llandysul’ (A History of Llandysul 1896) and originally composed by Edward Rees of Talgarreg. It was also sung by Kate Davies of Prengwyn – the last known bearer of this song.

This rare song tells the tale of ‘y fab afradlon’ – the prodigal son who leaves his ‘cynefin’ and goes to sea, only to find that life is tough and soon finds he has ‘hiraeth’ or longing for the comforts of home. Song intro courtesy of William Mathias.