Bardd’s unique dualingual global music fusion takes the audience on a journey from the bardic roots of Wales to a freedom funk disco. Featuring Martin Daws (Young People’s Laureate Wales 2013-16) and Mr Phormula (Double Wales Beatbox Champion), Bardd build their sound on the harp-like repeats of Martin’s kalimba and the technical brilliance of Mr Phormula’s beatbox, augmented by outstanding multi-instrumentalists Neil Yates (trumpet/bass) and Henry Horrell (keys/guitar). Martin spoke with The Fountain about their plan for the month, as well as what to expect from the show.
TF: Are you excited to be performing at the Fringe this year?
Hmmmm, let me think about that for a moment….. HELL YEAH!
TF: What is the premise of your show?
Soulful spoken word and music to inspire positivity and ease the pains of an ailing society.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
Bardd is about the power of unified effort and building bridges. The music and the lyrics are held together by an ethos of collectiveness through combining Welsh and English language lyrics with all our musical influences; Hip Hop, Jazz, Celtic, Drum n Bass, Deep House – it’s all in there. And I have to give tribute to Hip Hop culture in particular, because that provides the shared framework for Mr Phormula and myself to mix up our Welsh and English languages through the universal language of music. The project originated in a live jam between Mr Phormula and Myself at Focus Wales 2017. People liked it and we recorded a demo in Phormula’s studio and it was cool, but we wanted more music so we invited two outstanding multi-instrumentalists, Neil Yates and Henry Horrell, to join us, and that’s the soundtrack to Bardd’s unique mix of Welsh language Hip Hop and English Spoken Word.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
Our plans for the Fringe are to lift the spirits of our audiences and spread the word about Bardd. We’re in the Fringe as part of Arts Council Wales’ curated programme This is Wales and one of our main objectives is to promote Welsh creative industries and raise awareness of Welsh language music and culture. For first-time performers I’d say relax, prepare thoroughly, check out your peers and competitors, party – but not too hard and enjoy.
TF: And what are your future plans?
Bardd will finish at the Fringe and then go into rehearsal for a five show tour of Welsh Arts Centres in October 2019.
You can see Bardd at Sweet Grassmarket, Grassmarket 2 until 18th August at 15:00. For tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/