Gwenno shares new single, Tir Ha Mor
With her much anticipated second album Le Kov due for release 2 March via Heavenly Recordings, Gwenno has today shared a video for Tir Ha Mor, the first single to be released from the LP.
Of the video Gwenno says: “We drove to St Ives and marvelled at the crashing waves, went up the coast, past Zennor and arrived at Levant Mine to pause for thought and remember those who had given and lost so much to the land. All we could do was appreciate the rugged landscape, as so many had done before us."
"We drove back to Cardiff and I mulled over the merits of dancing to your own song, and concluded that it's alright to do so sometimes. Cornish Abstract Landscape artist, Peter Lanyon, Marghek an Gwyns (Rider of the Wind, his Cornish Gorsedd bardic name) glided over the land to get a better feel of Cornwall, and Tir Ha Mor (Land and Sea) is inspired by his methods and muse. I filmed what was in front of me, which is nowhere near the same level of commitment, but it is my interpretation of what I saw and felt and that, I hope, is worth something.”
Tir Ha Mor (Land And Sea) is a tribute to Peter Lanyon, the St. Ives school painter who learned to fly a glider plane in order to “get a more complete knowledge of the landscape” where he lived, and died after crashing his aircraft in August 1964. “Marghek an Gwyns was his Bardic name,” says Gwenno. “Rider of the Winds.”
The album is an exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno made her second album entirely in Cornish to create a document of a living language and to explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries.
She dove deep into research, learning about attempts to protect and progress the language and the role of women throughout Cornish history. When Gwenno considered the legends of sunken Brythonic cities Cantre’r Gwaelod, Kêr-Is, Langarrow and Lyonesse, she knew she had her starting point. These cities evoked her idea of language as its own form of psychological territory, a concept distilled into the Cornish title for the album, Le Kov – the place of memory.
Discussing her anxieties over making a Cornish pop record Gwenno said, “This album is a combination of accepting the culture which your parents have valued enough to want to pass on to you, regardless how small, and utilising it in a positive way to try and make sense of the world around you, it’s also about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth.”
On a lighter note; Gwenno’s favourite song is Eus Keus? (Is There Cheese?). It comes from one of the oldest surviving Cornish phrases: “Is there cheese? Is there or isn’t there? If there’s cheese, bring cheese, and if there isn’t cheese, bring what there is!”
Le Kov Tracklist:
1. Hi a Skoellyas Liv a Dhagrow
2. Tir Ha Mor
4. Eus Keus?
6. Den Heb Taves
7. Daromres y'n Howl
10. Koweth Ker
Gwenno recently announced a run of live performances in support of Le Kov, including a headline show at London’s Hoxton Hall in April. Here are the dates:
Saturday 20 January – HOLYHEAD – Ucheldre Centre
Thursday 8 March – BIRMINGHAM – Hare & Hounds
Friday 9 March – MANCHESTER – Gullivers
Saturday 10 March – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Friday 16 March – BRIGHTON – Rialto Theatre
Saturday 17 March – RAMSGATE – Music Hall
Thursday 22 March – BRISTOL – Louisiana
Friday 23 March – OXFORD – Bullingdon Arms
Sunday 25 March – ABERYSTWYTH – Ceredigion Museum
Thursday 12 April – LONDON – Hoxton Hall
Le Kov is due for release 2 March on Heavenly Recordings and is produced by Rhys Edwards.