The National Library of Wales is one of 10 hubs across Britain that is collaborating with the British Library on the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project. The project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to protect the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings.
We are in the process of digitising, cataloguing and assessing the rights of 5,000 sound recordings from across Wales in order to protect them for future generations.
Over the next few weeks, composers will be composing new works based on some of Wales’s oral history collections. 25 artists have been commissioned to undertake this task. They will listen to a number of interviews recorded either in Wales or by people from Wales, and will use them to inspire creating a new piece of work.
During the summer the Library will unlock these works, showing how an audio archive can be used to create creative works.
The composers selected are listed below:
- Ailsa Hughes a Sianed Jones: ‘Tinc y Tannau’ duo who work with historical Welsh music and poetry
- Alan Chamberlain: composer who predominantly works with archival content
- Angharad Davies: violinist, composer and performer and a member of several duets
- Ben McManus: musician and composer with an interest in folk music and folklore
- Bonello, Ruth and Hay: musical trio, featuring prominent Welsh songwriters who started performing together in 2019
- Branwen Williams: musician, composer and member of several groups from Wales
- David Roche: composer from Tredegar who has received over 30 academic and professional awards
- Derri Joseph Lewis: musician and composer with experience of writing acoustic and electronic music
- Gareth Bonello: musician and composer who uses Welsh folk songs and poetry in his work
- Georgia Ruth Williams: musician and composer who is inspired by the history of Wales and folk tradition
- Geraint Rhys: independent musician and award winning film-maker from Swansea
- Gwen Mairi: professional harpist who sings Welsh folk songs
- Gwenan Gibbard: singer and harpist specialising in folk music
- Gwilym Bowen Rhys: Welsh folk singer who has developed a deep connection with the traditional songs of Wales
- Gwydion Rhys: 6th form pupil at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen, Bethesda who composes and plays the piano
- Luciano Williamson: composer about to graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
- Neil Rosser: hails from Morriston with over 30 years’ experience as a composer and performer
- Owen Shiers: musician and composer who performs Welsh folk music
- Pierce Joyce: composition student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, hailing from Ireland
- Sally Crosby: singer – song writer with a degree in Music and Creative writing
- Sam Humphreys: musician who plays the guitar and is a member of the band Calan
- Seth Alexander: composer who likes to combine computer instrumentation with sound recordings
- Stacey Blythe: composer, musician and performer who also performs as part of various duos
- Steff Rees: musician and composer who is a member of the band Bwca, and part of the ukulele Iwcadwli orchestra
- Toby Hay: composer and performer with his work being inspired by history, landscape and stories
Alison Lloyd Smith, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage Hub Project Manager