by Richard Martindale (Bass)

These days it’s all about fusion: holistic medicine, fusion cooking, gender neutrality, cross-party politics and crossover music. All too often the result is confusion (with or without the .com). So what happens when you combine two traditional Welsh musical formats, the Cymanfa Ganu (essentially communal hymn singing with a conductor) and the Noson Lawen (an evening of musical performance) which is what happened at Rhiw Ial chapel on the last Friday in March. Spice it up with a dash of English and a bit of Latin. Shake it about a bit. Mix up the generations and see what happens.

Well, what happened was a very enjoyable evening of musical entertainment with audience participation. Traditional Welsh hymns sung with gusto (or whatever be the Welsh equivalent); performances from Plant Dewi Sant and individual members on the piano, harp and voice. So good and good for their confidence to perform in public. And Côr Dewi Sant: our first performance of an arrangement of the Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah” and, as a set, the Latin sections of the Karl Jenkins “Armed Man”.

All went rather well I thought. Traditional it was not. Neither was it confused. A bit like the pick and mix counter at Woolworths really: if you choose wisely you end up with a bag full of goodies and you go home feeling happy as did those who attended the Cymanfa Ganu Lawen.

Diolch to Glenys Roberts and Capel Bethel for hosting this event and the post event paned and cacen. Then some of us went to the pub after. It’s thirsty work singing but if we are wise we don’t mix our drinks. That is the road to confusion.


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