Lleuwen Steffan

Lleuwen Steffan

Celf Calon

Reintroducing the lost traditional hymns of Wales.

Whilst working on another music project at St Fagans National History Museum in 2012, musician Lleuwen Steffan came across old recordings of hymns in the sound archive. She knew these hymns were not in the official hymn book.

Amazed, she deep dived into further research and found that many were not in the older editions either. Why? Possibly because of their informal, conversational lyrics or perhaps because they often delve into the world of addiction, mental illness and the dark side of the psyche.

Unpublished and unknown, the hymns have been waiting…..wanting to be heard. The voices in the recordings are no longer with us in human form but Lleuwen has met and worked alongside their descendants to create Tafod Arian (Silver Tongue).

Through her partnership with the National Eisteddfod and the Golbal Network of Female Producers, she has created Tafod Arian that sees her become a backing singer to voices of Welsh past. But the music is firmly in the present as she uses various instruments to provide angular electronic accompaniment as well her soulful vocals and guitar. She provides translations and explanations as she proudly puts the archive recordings of the lost Welsh hymns on centre stage.

These sacred songs were passed on orally rather than via the hymn book. The were excluded by the hymn book committees of their time and became lost with time and secularisation.

They have been dormant for decades.

Until now.