Friday, 4 May 2012


CW12 Welcomes Festival Patron Welsh Harpist & Singer/Songwriter ...
Sían James

       Siân James live on stage at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient

Sían James' recording career began in 1990 with the eclectic Cysgodion Karma (Shadows of Karma: SAIN SCD4037) produced by Les Morrison. This is a mixture of traditional and original songs.

Her second album Distaw (Quiet: SAIN SCD 2025) also produced by Morrison was released in 1993 where she struck up a successful writing partnership with the poet and award winning novelist Angharad Jones.

A purely traditional album followed in 1996 with Gweini Tymor (Serving a Season: SAIN SCD2145) - a selection of the many songs she had sung since she was a child. The fourth album Di-Gwsg (Sleepless: SAIN SCD2153) saw her branching into more contemporary territory under the direction of the producer Ronnie Stone who had previously worked with artists such as Enya, Mansun, and The Lotus Eaters. Her fifth album was a commissioned soundtrack for BBC2 called Birdman, her first bilingual production.

Her most recent albums - Pur, Y Ferch o Bedlam and Adar ac Anifeiliaid- were all recorded and released on the label she created with her partner Gwyn Jones, Recordiau Bos Records, which they established together at their rural home in Mid Wales.

Siân has toured extensively throughout the world for many years, her concerts taking her to Japan, the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Brittany, Friesland, Ireland, Scotland, England and of course nearly every town in Wales!

Some of the highlights of her career to date have been a month long tour in 2000 of the United States. The cities visited included Chicago, Milwaukee, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Denver and Albuquerque; her performance at the star studded concert titled Voices of a Nation marking the opening of the Welsh assembly where other artists included Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey; a performance for Womad at the Globe Theatre, and subsequently at the Womad Festival; singing on the soundtrack for the film "The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain" which was recorded at Abbey Road studios.

Siân was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Wales Bangor for her services to Welsh culture. She says
"I remain as passionate about the music of my country today as I was in the heady days of my youth.

Over the years I have experimented with their wonder fusing other styles such as jazz and blues and programmed rhythms, with varying instruments, whilst never losing respect for their innate beauty.

I am filled with hope and joy for the future of Welsh folk music as I witness a whole new generation of musicians performing, experimenting and opening their minds to the endless possibilities this genre offers them.

Indeed, for me, the songs and music of my country are my haven from the bedlam of life!"

... more than 40 acts in 2 days


CW12 Creative Director: Cheryl Beer

Welsh Transaltion of this blog can be obtained from
The National Botanic Garden of Wales

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