The walls between our languages seem to be bending, at least they were in Laugharne the other week. There was a time when what went on in Welsh stayed that way. And if your song or your poem was in English then your audience would inevitably be English-speaking monoglots.
But here in the no longer booming two-thousands the world is a different place. For a time now the number of Welsh-speaking writers willing to address English audiences has been on the increase. Menna Elfyn,
At the Laugharne Weekend there was an exciting and rich mixture of new music (Fionn Regan), cult authorship (Niall Griffiths), revived renegades (The Fall and the Slits), musicologists, poets, fictioneers and prize-winners of all sorts. Here the two languages of
Hoards of visitors from other parts of
Bill-toppers were Roddy Doyle, Martin Carthy and Howard Marks. In the Fountain Inn Keith Allen, wearing a kaftan, ran three episodes of Laugharne’s Got Talent. I didn’t have the strength to stay to see who’d won but it might have been the nine year old singing Gwenith Glyn.
The afternoons of singers blended languages and literature as if the world was plasticine. Richard James, The Gentle Good, the amazing Katell Keineg, Charlotte Greig with her Freud reworkings, Mark Olsen and others did the sort of thing with song that Rachel Tresize, Dan Rhodes, Louise Welsh and Patrick Jones did with words.
The Laugharne Weekend is a real addition to
A version of this posting appeared as The Insider in the Western Mail of Saturday 24th April, 2010 - #144