Women and Cornish Trad workshop is online

Watch the webinar on YouTube and follow up the resources and links in the downloadable transcript below.

As part of the Hypatia Trust’s Women of Cornish Music project we had planned to deliver a workshop in Penzance on 4 April. In a little under a week I converted the workshop into a webinar and delivered it on 11 April. It was quite an experience, a slightly out of body experience, but I was thrilled at the numbers of people who attended live and those that signed up to watch the recording afterwards. People attended from far and wide – a much more diverse audience than had we done the in-person workshop. People tuned in from Nairobi, Jeddah, Littleton, Helsinki, Cardiff as well as those from Cornwall.

I enjoyed reading the chat that was ongoing throughout the webinar, participants remembering, providing interesting reactions and tit-bits of information. It was really gratifying to follow it.

Transcript, references, links and playlists

Play on Spotify

Play on YouTube

Feature interview with Hilary Coleman and Frances Bennett

Gwaryoryon (Playing People). L-R Hilary Coleman (Clarinet), Liz Davies (Accordion), Jo Tagney (Fiddle)
(courtesy of Hilary Coleman).

I interviewed Hilary Coleman and Frances Bennett over Zoom a few weeks ago about their journeys in Cornish traditional music. I asked them about their views of being performers, composers, teachers and leaders of a stellar list of groups and movements on the Cornish Trad scene.

This interview is already an important historical document. It is about so much more than their personal experiences that is relevant to anyone interested in Cornish traditional music and its history. It covers their early life in music, learning instruments, being part of seminal Cornish Trad bands such as Gwaryoryon, the Jack and Jenny Band and Sowena. How Dalla emerged from these groups, why the Nos Lowen (Happy Night) movement started, how Bagas Crowd, Cornwall’s mighty fiddle group started and continues to grow, how they go about composing new music for the tradition including the creation of kabm pemp (5-steps), and finally some fantastic insights into gender and challenging the archetype of the “young Cornish working class man.”

These two women are two of my great inspirations when exploring and playing Cornish music and it was a real privilege to have had this opportunity to capture their stories. Meur ras bras!