Huw Simmonds & Rob Parrett
The music was inspired by and based on the lives, times and stories that connect the unique historic links, community and character of the area from Brynmawr, (The Big Hill), down through Clydach Gorge to Gilwern on the outskirts of Abergavenny.
The music combines to convey a historical travelogue with the opening instrumental setting the scene and then each track capturing a place or moment in time, through beautifully crafted songs and musical soundscapes, exploring a region that was irrevocably transformed in the 19th century by the iron, limestone and coal industries. It is now a fascinating area where nature has reclaimed the landscape but still reveals its intriguing historical past.
Special limited edition available on CD only.
The cover and accompanying 12 page booklet features the paintings of the renowned artist Goff Danter and archive photos relating to the songs and music, including:
‘From Shakespeare’s Cave to Pucks Valley’ - ‘Follow me if you dare and I’ll take you deep into the Clydach Gorge’. Some people say that the great bard William Shakespeare was inspired to write the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ following a visit to the Gorge over 400 years ago.
‘The Old High Street’ - follows the comings and goings of the high street shops, inhabitants and characters. It manages to say something universal about the community of a small town and the reminiscences of how the old high streets used to be.
‘The Blaina Boys 1930’ - with special guest Huw Williams. Based on the story of the unemployed miners who headed off to the south of England in search of work. Crawshay Baileys ‘Picnic Train’, the tragedy of ‘The Circus Bear’, the mythical story of ‘The Lonely Shepherd’s wife’ and how penguins almost came to inhabit the hills in ‘Picking up Penguins’.
Bouns track: Picking Up Penguins
Guest Musicians: Huw Williams, Phil Capaldi, Adam Daffurn, Dave ‘Ted’ Edwards, Dan James, Ellice Bridgewater, Ruth Thompson.
Narraters: Frank Westall, Ian Britton, Jeremy Creighton-Herbert
Paintings: Goff Danter
Design: Adam Daffurn
All tracks composed by Huw Simmonds and Rob Parrett apart from: # Rob Parrett and * Huw Williams