On 1-3 April 2016 BBC Wales, Arts Council of Wales and What Next? teamed up with the help of a number of fantastic organisations for a bumper weekend to celebrate the nation’s creativity – and CMW got involved. On Saturday the 2nd of April staff members and tutor Ron took a range of African drums into Cardiff city centre and set up outside the Owain Glyndwr to encourage passers-by to join in with some groovy drumming. Thankfully the weather was on our side and lots of wonderful people took a break out of their busy shopping schedules to make some music with us. True to form Ron led the group expertly and teased the nerves out of newcomers and encouraged everyone to just let go and enjoy the beat. After a few ice breakers and some rhythm games it was sounding awesome – and we even got a few rounds of applause, not bad for an hour’s work! It was great to see staff and members of the public step out of their comfort zone and enjoy the shared experience of making music. So thank you to everyone who joined in, whether you played a drum or just enjoyed watching, and thanks to the weather for keeping us dry and cheerful!
In may CMW applied for a small funding pot from Voluntary Arts Wales to run open workshops in the community as part of voluntary arts week, and we were lucky enough to receive it. We decided to team up with Roath Food Market and run junk percussion workshops to provide an opportunity for the community to further socialize and create. On Saturday the 7th of May we popped down to Mackintosh Sports Club with an unusual selection of instruments (unusual because they hadn’t been made yet!) Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side on the day, but that never stops us. With bits of junk and recycling in hand we set about attracting people over to have a go. Thankfully plenty of people agreed that the weather shouldn’t stop you being creative and they got stuck right in, creating their own instruments and playing them alongside our very experienced tutor Fran. People of all ages gathered round to literally make music with us, and we hope that the activities echoed the message of sustainability the market organisers abide by, and that we encouraged people to make music at home. A few weeks after this workshop on the 2nd of June Fran also went to Radio Wales to teach Wynne Evans how to make a few instruments and talk about CMW. You can still listen to the broadcast on BBC iPlayer, and trust us that it’s worth it!
Community Music Wales will be running a community arts tutor training course in Cardiff this July.
The course will aim both to develop essential, core competencies and to celebrate and encourage individuality and diversity.
Who is it for?
- Want to increase their skills, knowledge and understanding in using creative activities in their work with people.
- Already work in a creative field, or want to start using art in a work or voluntary context, including youth workers, teaching assistants, carers, early years workers, play workers, day centre staff, after school club leaders, youth justice sector workers etc
- Have a strong interest in creative activities and have some artistic skills
- Have the potential to inspire and motivate people to create
If you are interested in the course please don't hesitate to call us on:
Community Music Wales Tutor Training benefitted me in ways I would have never imagined 18 months ago. I have always played music for myself and my enjoyment but I've never really used my skills and knowledge to enable others to be creative with music. I never thought it would be so rewarding for me to be able to bring so much joy to people through different musical games, exercises and songs and by empowering them to make a choice about how they would like to be creative within the workshop.
During the course I was working a part time job to help me fund my music career. Since completing the course I have become a full time musician again and the course has helped me find new work and encourage me to use my musical skills in a variety of different ways.
Personally what I got out of the training course was being able to work on skills I already had, plus I gained a lot more. I gained insight into working with different groups of people, and how I would manage working with different groups of people. I learned loads of ideas for workshops and how to manage my time and preparation for actually running a workshop which was invaluable.
Ciwdod has been a part of Community Music Wales since 2004 and in a number of different guises. Originally a partnership between CMW and the Welsh Language Board (and later the Welsh Government) Ciwdod is dedicated to increasing involvement in Welsh language music making. In the past Ciwdod has provided recording opportunities for bands and artists in a variety of genres and supported them in their first releases. These have included Radio Luxembourg, Derwyddon Dr Gonzo, Plant Duw, and Yr Ods, to name a few.
With project funding from the Welsh Government’s ‘Moving Forward’ scheme, Ciwdod’s newest incarnation is in the form of the website ciwdod.com which is dedicated to providing information about Welsh language music and guidance for Welsh language musicians. The website features information such as upcoming gigs, releases from Welsh language artists as well as guest articles and news.
The Website launched on the 12th of February 2016, which was Welsh Music Day. To promote both of these things CMW, alongside Noson 4a6, hosted a gig with Kissy Crawford, Calfari and Fi a Fo in Clwb Canol Dre, Caernarfon. The gig was an excellent celebration of Welsh language music and a great start to Ciwdod.com
One of the main features of the website will be interviews and tutorials with people already working within the Welsh music industry, such as Radio DJ’s, singer songwriters and even Community Music Wales tutors. Soon to be uploaded to the website will be an interview with Bethan Elfyn of Radio Wales fame, who talked in depth about her experience of the Welsh music industry as well as other topics such as her favourite Welsh language bands. Keep an eye out for the interview – it’s a good one!
One of the main points of ciwdod.com is that we want it to be a collaborative effort. While CMW as a whole has a vast array of experience within the Welsh music industry, we can only provide so much help. We want to provide the best possible start for Welsh and Welsh language musicians, and while we understand each case will be different and we can’t provide every bit of information, we can still try! This is why we need your help. If you would like to submit a guest article, or be interviewed, or even just tell us about a gig you’re involved with then please let us know. Visit ciwdod.com or flip to the contact page for more information.
— CommunityMusicWales (@CMW_CGC) February 12, 2016
Monday evening’s in Lampeter recently became more lively thanks to Community Music Wales’ creative workshops which ran up to the 19th of March as part of WWF’s Earth Hour celebration. The first week of classes began on Monday 29th February with almost 100 local residents participating in singing, drumming and natural sound sessions over the course of the evening.
The free evenings were designed to raise awareness of the annual “Celebration of our Brilliant Planet”, a concept promoted in Wales by WWF Cymru, and funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery. The workshops continued for three weeks and included a weekend class where participants were encouraged to make lanterns ready for use to light the performance that took place at Victoria Hall during Earth Hour itself.
Hannah Jenkins, Director of Community Music Wales said, “The number of participants joining us in Lampeter is really phenomenal, and the workshops have been a great success with the tutors commenting on the standard and commitment of those involved.”
As well as the workshops, people from across Wales were encouraged to join in the celebration by uploading noises from their local environment to CMW’s Interactive Sound Map of Wales, Mapsain. Previously the map had included sounds as diverse as a hydrophone recording from St. David’s and songs by Yr Ayes from Bangor. As such CMW thought it would be a good way to show how beautiful our country, and indeed the planet, can be. Sounds from the workshops were also uploaded to the map, and if you’d like to hear them as well as discover sounds from other parts of the country then please visit http://www.communitymusicwales.co.uk/mapsain
Throughout the workshop period CMW also worked to create social media interest in the project as well as Earth Hour itself, with many famous faces joining the #LightsOutCymru campaign and appearing in photos with the WWF Panda to raise awareness of the event.
CMW encouraged everyone to sign up to Earth Hour and participate in the switch off on the 19th of March.
The performance itself was absolutely fantastic, with the lanterns making the atmosphere very intimate while the drummers drummed and the choir sang their hearts out. Enjoyed by participants and audience members alike, Victoria Hall was really lit up – and not by electricity! Our favourite part was a giant puppet lantern (pantern? Luppet?) Created by artist Toby Downing.
— CommunityMusicWales (@CMW_CGC) March 19, 2016
A few weeks ago a group from our partners GISDA performed a piece of Forum Theatre at Capel Noddfa in Caernarfon, in the culmination of our Arts Council of Wales funded Momentum project.
As well as delivering a successful Forum Theatre facilitator training at the beginning of the year, we then worked with several partners to deliver Forum Theatre workshops.
The GISDA group met up once a week in Porthmadog through the summer with our Tutor Delyth Harries, an experienced Forum Theatre Joker (Facilitator) and who noted,
“it was a fun and powerful process which had a really positive impact on everyone involved; relationships, confidence and compassion grew throughout. Everyone participated, contributed, explored and learned from the wealth of support from each other and from sharing experiences in a safe space”.
Although our involvement had to come to end in September, we were delighted that the group continued and was facilitated by two of GISDA’s members of staff who had attended the facilitator training, and had then furthered their learning by attending the GISDA workshops and observing and experiencing Forum Theatre facilitating first hand.
The performance in Caernarfon tackled every day real life issue’s that arise in mental health, and as well as provoking the audience to stop the performance to take the place of the character who is being oppressed in the piece to try and achieve a more positive outcome, an essential piece of Forum Theatre, there was also a lively discussion at the end from all involved, audience and performers.
Martin our North Wales Project Officer said,
“It was brilliant to see the participants really grasp the concept of Forum Theatre and have the confidence to perform their piece, which can feel like a risk, and in turn provoke such an animated response and raise awareness of many of the issues, stigmas, and ignorance’s that surround mental health. Also great to see the work Elen and Enlli from GISDA have done in facilitating and keeping the group going”
The group now plan a second performance to invite a more targeted audience of people who work in mental health, or whose work brings them into contact with the mental health sector, and further on to the future GISDA are planning to engage more of the service users through Forum Theatre.
Gethin Evans Gisda’s Head of Development said
“The performance our service users gave today was amazing. The two members of staff who attended the Community Music Wales joker training in April have gone on to become brilliant facilitators. Watching the young people today, confident, assertive and feeling ownership of the work they produced have made us proud. Theatre Forum is an amazing medium to raise awareness and give our young people a voice. We look forward to continuing our work with CMW on bigger, better theatre forum projects in the future.”
|Today (23rd September), Arts Council of Wales announced their provisional portfolio; a portfolio of 67 organisations that it believes should be considered as priorities for support from April 2016 onwards. Community Music Wales (CMW) has been fortunate to be named as one of these organisations.
Assessing their application, the Arts council stated that CMW has put forward an impressive, relevant bid that presents a very strong case for support and that CMW’s “inspiring work with marginalised communities and people is one of the company’s real strengths.”
Lisa Davies, Acting Director, said, “We are delighted to remain part of the Arts Council of Wales provisional portfolio. We are however disappointed for our colleagues who have either lost their place on the portfolio or have not been awarded a place. We will maintain and forge new partnerships with as many of these organisations as we can to ensure that Wales continues to have a vibrant participatory arts sector. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the team and board members for all their hard work.”
Moving forward, CMW will continue to deliver an impressive programme of activity across Wales, promoting the idea that there should be no barriers for taking part. Its latest project, Prosiect Uno, aims to showcase the diversity of the work that CMW does. A unique video and musical showcase, Uno’s goal was to unite different cultures of Wales through the medium of music. The classic song O Gymru by the late Rhys Jones was chosen as the inspiration for the project. The video produced for the project will be premiered tomorrow evening (24th September) at the Depot, Dumballs Road, Cardiff.
Notes to Editors
- Community Music Wales (CMW) is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, which was incorporated in 1990. CMW is an organisation that works nationally. Our primary aim is to contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and individuals by enabling them to participate in creativity and learning through music – making.
- Lisa Davies was a Trustee of CMW for 5 years before taking on the role of Acting Director. Lisa is available for comment.
- We would like to welcome you to attend the premiere of Prosiect Uno’s “O Gymru”, please find an invitation here.
- For further information contact CMW on 02920 838060 or email [email protected]
Throughout 2014 and early into 2015, Community Music Wales undertook a Nesta funded digital R&D project looking into alternative finance options for arts and charitable organisations with a focus on innovation in Crowdfunding. The proposition was to develop an online box office that enables audiences to donate their booking fees to arts and charity crowdfunding campaigns of their choice.
Throughout the process CMW worked in collaboration with various organisations to develop crowdfunding campaigns and to learn what the needs and expectations within the sector are. Adam Williams, who led the project, will present some of the findings and outcomes of the project with an emphasis on the potential to generate income through digital strategies, creativity and audience engagement.
Community Music Wales in Partnership with Cardiff Communities First and CCHA will be delivering a series of Music in the Parks activities at events in Cardiff throughout August.
Each event is different and we’re really looking forward to working with a wide range of organisations to collaborate and contribute to some fun family activity throughout Cardiff this summer.
Events coming up:
20th August 2015 – Riverside Festival. In the build up to the festival we will be working with the festival organisers to make instruments out of recycled material for some of the performers to use on the day of the festival. (Saturday 22nd of August, Dispenser Gardens) The workshops are open to all families in Riverside and the surrounding areas and the more the merrier, as they say.
25th August 2015 – Ministry of Life Summer Music Event. CMW will be on hand to deliver African percussion workshops as part of the festival in Splott Park. The workshops are open to everyone so if you fancy having a go at learning the rhythms of west Africa, come on down.
28th August 2015 – Bayside, Splott. CCHA are running a family oriented event for the residents of the Bayside estate in Splott. We’re delighted to be there with our African percussion offering opportunities for residents to get involved with some vibrant and spontaneous music making. There will also be a wide array of other activities, and we’ve heard, there will be smoothie making workshops. Yummy!
30th August 2015 – Butetown Carnival. The carnival organisers have asked to come in and make some instruments out of recycled materials for use on the parade floats. Of course we said yes, and we’ll also be on hand in the park afterwards running workshops for everyone to join in and learn how to make them themselves. Exciting stuff!
We’ll hopefully be announcing a few more activities over the next few weeks so stay tuned for more info.
MusicMix is our annual weeklong summer course for 14-18 year olds from 3-8 August. Over a week, participants will work with our tutors and professional musicians to create their own music using the word and theme of Ladder as a stimulus. They will be taught composition skills and techniques with a big focus on improvisation.
At the end of the week participants get the rare opportunity to perform their own new music on the New Theatre stage with full technical support as part of our gala youth arts performance.
MusicMix: Ladder is an excellent opportunity for young musicians to develop improvisation and performance skills, meet new people and have fun. This year the course is absolutely free as it forms part of Arts Active’s new combined youth arts showcase performance at the New Theatre on Saturday 8 August.
Whatever you plan you can take part in this week long course. There will be opportunities to try MC’ing and singing for those who want to and we can provide instruments to accommodate anyone who’d like to have a go but does not have their own guitar/bass/drums or even tuba!
This is an exciting project which will see music, dance, performance and circus go hand in hand. We do hope you will join us.
Places are reserved by application only which is available here:
For more information about MusicMix Ladder please call Arts Active on 02920 878572