Gruff Rhys, the Welsh musician and film-maker has created the music for one of this year’s National Eisteddfod most exciting projects, in partnership with the colourful Butetown Carnival.
Carnifal y Môr is part of the Year of the Sea celebrations, and is an ambitious project combining music with all kinds of visual arts elements and a colourful carnival procession through Cardiff Bay late on Saturday evening 4 August.
Working with artist Megan Broadmeadow, Gruff Rhys has created a piece of music which will be seen in a film projected onto huge water screens in front of the Senedd building.
The water screen film is an artistic collaboration led by Megan Broadmeadow with Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and carnival costume makers from Butetown Carnival. They are exploring the remarkable biodiversity of the sea life in the waters of Cardiff Bay and people who have come to make modern Cardiff.
Speaking about the song Bae Bae Bae, Gruff Rhys said, “Pop music is very dependent on coincidences, accidents and unexpected meetings of cultures. Cardiff and its tradition as a refuge for people from all over the world (including Eryri in my case), is as good a place as any to create exciting and unlikely recordings.
“Working in producer Kris Jenkins’ studio in Grangetown, various musicians came to see us, including N’famady the Balavon player who has been living in Cardiff for a week! A brand new instrument to my ears. This added so much to the track. I had the privilege of working with the producer Muzi from South Africa a while back. And I’m so excited that he’s agreed to mix this song. There is talk that the melodies of Joseph Parry (buried on the banks of the Bay) influenced the freedom anthems of some African countries, and exchanging ideas is second nature of the waves of the sea and musical waves.
“This a song of celebration, but that the words have been mostly inspired by Megan Broadmeadow’s artwork and her interest in the colourful and medical virtues of the Bay’s amazing algae!
“There are two versions of the song – a short version produced by Muzi. And a longer version inspired by the twelve-inch ‘Balearic’ records mixed with Kris Jenkins.”
Carnifal y Môr champions Cardiff’s links with countries across the world, and the Welsh language’s contribution to multilingual, multicultural Cardiff today. It is also a colourful and inclusive celebration of those people who travelled from across the world to create modern Cardiff, led by Butetown Carnival, celebrating the diversity in Welsh life and the arrival of the Eisteddfod in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales.
This project has received funding via the Visit Wales Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) to celebrate the Year of the Sea.