I was asked to read this excerpt from a letter written by a widow who believed the body of the unknown warrior was that of her missing and deceased husband. It was part of the remembrance service at Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior on Armistice Day, Wednesday 11th November 2020.
Here is a link to highlights of the service (my reading is at 15 minutes 20)
‘Flame Lily’ by MA.MOYO, Cerys Matthews & Hidden Orchestra, the first single from my upcoming album ‘We Come From the Sun’ with Hidden Orchestra & 10 Poets is OUT NOW: https://cerysmatthews.lnk.to/WCFTSSo
MA.MOYO came into Abbey Road, went into the vocal booth and started to read Flame Lily and everyone in the control room came to a hush. It was a story that filled the studio and the imagery MA.MOYO created was remarkable.
It was clear from that moment that it was something special and the music needed to walk alongside MA.MOYO’s rhythm in the poem and it had to have quite strident beats. So that’s what we did, there was no holding back we just went where the poem led us.
Flame Lily is so strong and it’s a mobiliser of a poem and that’s why it had to be the first single. Released on National Poetry Day, 1st October 2020, it provides a powerful indication of the album’s scale, ambition and lyrical prowess.
Bryn Arw is a long, majestic hill in the shadow of the Sugar Loaf, near Abergavenny in the Black Mountains on the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales.
In recent weeks, a 300 metre long message has been emerging on the bracken covered hillside, to the wonder of walkers, motorists and train passengers.
What does it mean?
‘DAW ETO DDAIL AR FRYN’ is Welsh for ‘There will be leaves on the mountain again.’ The words reference an uplifting line of poetry made popular across Wales during lockdown – ‘Daw eto haul ar fryn’, which means ‘There will be sunshine on the mountain again’.
‘STUMP UP FOR TREES’ / ‘CEINIOGI’R COED’ is an ambitious, developing local charity focused on woodland creation and improving biodiversity in the area. The charity is planting one million trees on steep bracken banks and marginal agricultural land, using innovative public-private funding initiatives.
The letter cutting project has been co-ordinated by Welsh artist, Mick Petts, who has spent many years creating large scale public artworks from natural materials. He says he likes to ‘encourage people to see an artwork through the soles of their feet, as well as their eyes’.
Mick’s projects include brownfield sites like Garden Festival Wales at Ebbw Vale, Parc Penallta near Ystrad Mynach and many other sites across the South Wales valleys. His work has been incorporated into many conservation projects – The Millennium Coastline Project in Llanelli, Kew Gardens, Hiller’s Arboretum and several for The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust across the UK.
Mick Petts said: ‘Bryn Arw gives us a massive billboard to help us get the planting message out there. Wales is leading the world with the first Future Generations Act, and it follows that we should also be leading in environmental action. It’s time to get practical and redress the huge and embarrassing lack of tree planting in Wales.’
September 6th at 7pm is the finals of the ‘Bright and Beautiful’ photograph competition for the 2021 calendar.
So much fun filming, despite doing so at home, as I was stuck there, self isolating having missed the French/UK deadline to return . There were some magnificent photos entered – huge thanks for the privilege of looking through them all. Cerys