Allech Chi Ddim Beio Nhw (You Couldn’t Blame Them)

ViVoce Musical Director Jamie Webster arranged and directed this piece, which is based on an original composition by Gwen Mairi. Gwen created the song as part of the UOSH project (Unlocking Our Sound Heritage) with the National Library of Wales and the British Library. ViVoce’s recording features harp accompaniment by Shera Sinell, audio production by Jeff Lewis, and video production by Carl Steinhilber.

A Story of Resourcefulness and Resilience in the Face of Challenge

Recorded on phones from our own homes, our project to record a choral premier for Allech Chi Ddim Beio Nhw has reached across the world. Collaborating with acclaimed composer Gwen Mairi in Wales, ViVoce Musical Director Jamie Webster arranged the piece and obtained the blessing of both Gwen and storyteller Caradog Jones, whose narration about life along the Teifi river long ago is featured in the recording. Recording our voices individually allowed us to experiment with our choral sound, in different ways than when we sing together, as we brought different singers’ voices forward, like the flowing waves of a river.

The piece was featured as part of the Welsh Society of Oregon’s Winter Wassail and St. David’s Day activities (December 2020 and March 2021, was included in the New Brunswick collection of music for Justice efforts (January 2021), and part of a ViVoce virtual sing along in February.

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Read the full translation for Allech Chi Ddim Beio Nhw.