Trac Cymru is passionate about the power within traditional music to support social cohesion across the nation and we are aiming to ensure that these traditions are felt as the beating heart of contemporary Welsh life – this is why it’s vital to pass our unique heritage from one generation to another. An important part of Trac’s work is sharing the knowledge held by our tradition bearers – the people who have carried the past into the present day.
Back in 2013 we were approached by film makers Gerard KilBride and Rhodri Smith with the idea of creating a series of inspiring videos under the banner of ‘Tune Chain’, and were able to access funding from ACW to turn the idea into reality. The videos follow a path of connections between many significant musicians in the Welsh folk scene. The renowned fiddler and historian Robert Evans began the sequence, with multi-instrumentalist Stephen Rees and flautist Ceri Rhys Matthews amongst the other contributors. In each video, the featured musician shares an in-depth personal view of their music and its roots, including this fascinating portrait of the distinguished triple harpist Robin Huw Bowen:
There’s nothing like learning from master musicians and many of the country’s most celebrated living national treasures have been regular tutors within Trac Cymru’s learning programme, including at our ‘Big Experiment Arbrawf Mawr’ weekend for folk musicians of all ages. Of course, during the restrictions of the pandemic it became difficult to provide educational experiences in person, but we took the opportunity to develop our online offer so that a huge amount of traditional Welsh music resources, including tunes, songs, and even dances, can now be passed on directly from the tradition bearers through the Resources section of our website.
It was the 21st anniversary of Trac Cymru in 2021 but thanks to the coronavirus our plans to celebrate this milestone were put on hold. As we prepare to launch our exciting new vision to support even more people to develop their own special connection to our amazing national music, we wanted to share a few success stories from the last 21+1 years. Please help us by sharing these stories with your friends and colleagues, and join us in posting your own happy memories about Welsh folk music on social media #TRAC21.
Trac Cymru is a charity that depends on your support to continue making a difference to people’s lives and to help us to keep doing our work for the nation’s cultural heritage. Please help us by making a donation today.