• Jasper Dommett

Eisteddfod 2020 x Ty Cerdd Encore

Updated: Oct 25

I am so excited to announce that I will be working with Double Bassist, Ben Angove, on a new work for the 2020 Eisteddfod in conjunction with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Ty Cerdd.

Photography Credit: Derri Joseph Lewis

"The National Eisteddfod is the largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture, unique throughout Europe as each year it visits a different area of Wales. Eisteddfod literally means a sitting (eistedd = to sit), perhaps a reference to the hand-carved chair traditionally awarded to the best poet in the ceremony ‘The Crowning of the Bard’."

(History UK, 2020)


"The National Eisteddfod of Wales dates back to 1176 when it is said that the first Eisteddfod was held. Lord Rhys invited poets and musicians from all over Wales to a grand gathering at his castle in Cardigan. A chair at the Lord’s table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that continues today in the modern Eisteddfod."


The festival will be running from the 1st of August to the 8th, Due to Covid restrictions, like many music events this year, the Eisteddfod has had to adapt so all performances will be run through a series of youtube premieres which can be watched at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvSCwaCjMNKYO0XVDtONmgQ

In late June, 5 composers from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama were selected to write 5 new pieces for solo performers. For this I decided I wanted to write something reflecting my experience of Lockdown. As an artist it has been difficult to stay motivated and inspired during this period as the actions which we do on a daily basis are so repetitive. It is almost like time has stopped with no new significant memories being added, almost like a needle on a broken record, jumping and skipping through time or repeating the same phrase of music on repeat.


Another programmatic factor for this piece was the music I was being exposed to at home. Recently I have moved back to my family home, in Devon, hoping that I would be safer from the virus. With this came the exciting opportunity of listening to other types of music which my family enjoys; in this instance, heavy metal. My dad has always loved rock and metal since I was a little kid, he would often (and still does) go to festivals including the Download festival. To really hit home how much he loves this genre, when Iron Maiden did their last tour he came to Cardiff (where I normally live) to watch them but forgot to see me! That's a passion for you. As I was rediscovering all of this music again, I noticed that my taste and perception started to change. The edginess, crudeness, and complexity of metal was something I wanted to add to this piece.

You can watch Broken Record here:

References:


History UK, 2020. Avaliable at: https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-National-Eisteddfod-of-Wales/#:~:text=Eisteddfod%20literally%20means%20a%20sitting,the%20first%20Eisteddfod%20was%20held. (Accesses on 6th July 2020).

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Photographs by Derri Joseph Lewis

Copyright © 2020 by Jasper Dommett & Derri Joseph Lewis