‘Crafting The Song of The Golden Road’: a Short Film About the Making of the Radio Ballad - Span Arts
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‘Crafting The Song of The Golden Road’: a Short Film About the Making of the Radio Ballad

On 26th November a celebration event was held at Llwynhirion Hall in Brynberian, North Pembrokeshire to mark the end of the Ein Cymdogaeth Werin Preseli Heartlands project which Span Arts has played an integral role in delivering over the past three years. At the celebration event a short film about the project was shown. The film documents in particular the music making sessions for the project as well as the background to the project’s inspiration and aims.

In 2018 Span Arts worked with Penny Jones and Nia Lewis on the project Stitching Stories which fused textiles, digital technology and heritage to create a patchwork quilt that told stories about the Preseli area when touched.  

This was followed in the Spring of 2019 with the Preseli Poetry Slam which engaged poet Karen Owen to conduct a series of writing workshops in schools and people’s homes culminating in a poetry slam at Newport Memorial Hall.  

Finally this Summer we have worked in partnership with Rowan O’Neill and PLANED to produce the Radio Ballad The Song of the Golden Road which was launched at a listening party at Tafarn Sinc on the 6th November 2021.  

A radio ballad is an extended sound piece weaving together oral speech, ambient sound, traditional songs and newly created music and lyrics. This Radio Ballad was created in response to the Preseli Heartlands from Crymych to Cwm Gwaun and created between May and October 2021 through a series of talks, walks, interviews and music workshops with sound material recorded at each event.  

You can read more about the project including a full transcript of the radio ballad in the project e-book. Click here to read!

The book also contains many links to the project map which is located online here and is still open to be added to. Click here to visit the map! 

The final bilingual programme is an hour in length and draws from the rich and deep material recorded at events that took place at different locations throughout the Preselis encircling the Golden Road, a name given to the ancient trackway that runs across the Preseli ridge. These recordings were skilfully woven together by ballad producer Paul Evans and depict the the lived lives and languages of the Preseli area.

Listen to the full radio ballad here! 

The Song of the Golden Road was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Ein Cymdogaeth Werin Preseli Heartlands project part of the Great Places scheme which set out to celebrate the intangible heritage and unique landscape and culture of the Preselis.  

CD copies of the full ballad can be obtained from the Span Arts offices (The Towns Moor, Moorfield Rd, Narberth SA67 7AG). Please contact info@span-arts.org.uk or call 1834 869323 to order your copy.


Contributor voices in the order they are heard
Carolyn Waters, Dyfed Thomas, Sophie Jenkins, Peter Claughton, Eirwyn George, Ysgol Llanychllwydog, Hedydd Hughes, Martin Johnes, Grŵp Treftadaeth Bwlch Y Groes (David Evans, Huw Rees, Terwyn Tomos, Gaynor Evans, Rita Evans), Hefin Wyn, Sally Morris, Stacey Blythe, Norma Brittain, Ewan Rees, Mike Parker Pearson, Shelley Morris, Bill Davies, Huw Jones, Mary Chadwick, Rowan O’Neill, Chris & Patrice Buck, Simon Chatterley, Margaret Daniel, Gwenda Mark, Rhian Medi Jones, Kate Edge, Judith Rees, Sharon Carter, James Purchase

Golden Road Musicians
Arweinydd – Stacey Blythe
Stacey Blythe – llais, harp, accordion, electric piano
Sharon Carter – oboe
Simon Chatterley – voice, guitar and electric piano
Paul Evans – voice
Sophie Jenkins – voice and percussion
Sally Morris – voice
Shelley Morris – voice, drums and percussion
Rowan O’Neill – voice, clarinet and low whistle
James Purchase – voice
Judith Rees – voice, glasses and piano
Carolyn Waters – voice, guitar and percussion

Scratch Choir Singers
Rhowan Alleyne, Robert Crosskey, Brian Daniel, Dai Davies, Elaine Davies, Louis Edwards, Annie Evans, Ken Griffiths, Jacqueline Harries, Jill Horwood, Sophie Jenkins, Mary Jones, Keith Leighton, Myfanwy Lewis, John Philip Merrett, Natalie Morgan, Shelley Morris, Rowan O’Neill, Ailsa Richardson, Elizaberth Smart, Valerie Tarrant, Denzil Thomas, Helen Thomas, Sian Elin Thomas, Dr Alun Rhys Williams, Helen Williams, Alan Wills

Arweinydd y Côr Unnos
Margaret Daniel

Rhidian Evans
Gyda diolch i Cyhoeddwyr Curiad, cyhoeddwyr Y Tangnefeddwyr
Geiriau Waldo Williams, Cerddoriaeth Eric Jones

By kind permission of Y Lolfa and Eluned Richards on behalf of the estate of Waldo Williams

Tîm Cynhyrchu SPAN
Di Ford

Margaret Morgan

Sound Recorder and Film
Jacob Whittaker

Sound Recorder and Ballad Producer
Paul Evans

Creative Concept, Sound Recorder and Community Producer
Rowan O’Neill

Part of the Preseli Heartlands Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Diolch i PLANED
Ein Cymdogaeth Werin Administrator Hedd Harries
Ein Cymdogaeth Werin Community Development Officer Sophie Jenkins