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Harlequin/Living Waters tour countdown….Mae Taith Harlecwin/Dyfroedd Byw yn nesau

Here’s a very short update….

Yesterday was a busy one…I travelled to Cardiff to play in a lunchtime concert with Peryn (clarinet) and Harvey(piano) at Beulah URC Church Rhiwbina. It was great to see so many people in the audience – and I really hope to see some of them at the weekend. The concert was well received. Peryn and Harvey played some old classics as well as some lesser know works for clarinet and piano. I joined in for the finale to play Ponchielli’s Il Convegno…..Italian fun and acrobatics for two clarinets and piano!

I returned home to Bangor today to celebrate the Centenary of the birth of my Taid, the Poet, Griffith John Roberts with the children of Ysgol Chwilog. Taid grew up in Eifionydd and was a pupil at Ysgol Chwilog. The kids put on a great show! Thanks to the children, the teachers and to Twm Morus for all their hard work.

Now I am packing to return toSouth Walestomorrow. I’ll get an early train to Newport, and then meet Rosalind for a rehearsal at the Riverfront. I’ll then be rehearsing the main concert repertoire with Ensemble Cymru in preparation for the big night on Saturday!

This past week has involved a lot of practice and preparations – including spending a lot of time creating Rosalind and my Harlequin outfits! Here’s a peek…..


Intrigued….then come along this weekend! Hope to see you there!

Yr hanes hyd yn hyn….yn fyr…..

Roedd ddoe yn ddiwrnod prysur. Teithiais i Gaerdydd i berfformio mewn cyngerdd amser cinio gyda Peryn a Harvey, yn Eglwys RHiwbina. Roedd hi’n braf gweld cymaint yn y gynulleidfa – ac rwy’n gobeithio’n fawr gweld rhai ohonynt dros y penwythnos. Chwaraeodd Peryn a Harvey nifer o weithiau – rhai adnabyddus, a rhai mwy anghyffredin – ond rhybeth at ddant bawb. Fe wnes i ymuno a nhw i berfformio Il Convengno gan Ponchielli….dipyn o hwyl Eidalaidd ar gyfer dau glarinet a phiano! Dychwelais adre i’r Gogledd i ddathlu Camlwyddiant geni fy nhaid, y bardd Griffith John Roberts gyda plant ysgol Chwilog. Brodor o Eifionydd oedd Taid ac roedd o’n ddisgybl yn ysgol Chwilog. Fe roddodd y plant sioe arbennig i ni. Diolch i’r plant, yr athrawon ac i Twm Morus am eu gwaith caled. Yfory, mi fyddaf yn dychwelyd i Dde Cymru. Byddaf yn dal y tren buan i Gasnewydd, ac yno’n cayfarfod efo Rosalind am ymarfer. Wedyn byddaf yn ymarfer repertoire y prif gyngerdd gydag Ensemble Cymru yn barod at y noson fawr. Mae’r wythnos diwethaf wedi bod yn hynodbrysur….ymarfer a pharatoi…gan gynnwys paratoi gwisgoedd! Dyma gip  olwg!   .   Am weld mwy….dewch i’n gweld dros y penwythnos!

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Working with Ensemble Cymru, by composer Gareth GlynGweithio gydag Ensemble Cymru, gan y cyfansoddwr, Gareth Glyn

I’ve been chosen as composer on many occasions over the years by Ensemble Cymru, an organisation that does more than any other, I believe, to raise the profile of chamber music in Wales, so I was delighted to be invited to compose a piece for their first National Tour.  Peryn Clement-Evans gave me the freedom to choose which combination of instruments I’d like to write for, from the 17 taking part in the concerts – and this was rather like putting a child in a toyshop and giving it a free unlimited choice, so I said I’d write for 16 of them.  The other, by the way, was the piano, an instrument I’ve never been very good at writing for.

Anyhow, the combination that was left is a most unusual one – after all, these were the instruments needed, in various numbers, to perform the other pieces in the programme, so there were three horns but just one trumpet, two oboes but a single flute and so on. So I could justly claim that this is the only piece for these exact 16 instruments in existence! Peryn had a great idea regarding a theme for the work.  He doesn’t insist, just suggest, but this was an inspired suggestion – basing the various movements on the venues of the different concerts, more particularly the fact that they are all near bodies of water of some kind – a river, the sea or whatever. It was a short and easy step from there to decide to base the movements on Welsh legends associated with those ‘living waters’, and you can read more in another part of this website about how I set about doing this.

After completing the composing work (and I have to admit to having suffered, for a time, that debilitating condition known as ‘composer’s block’, meaning that no ideas came to mind, but that eventually disappeared, thank goodness), and sending the music to the players, the next step was to be present at the first full rehearsal, to make sure there were no insuperable difficulties with the music, and to make any necessary suggestions as to tempo, interpretation and so on. This was to take place in the Amadeus Centre in London (there are images and a video of the rehearsal elsewhere on this website), and I was looking forward to a pleasurable, relaxed train journey, direct from Bangor to London.

Alas... on that exact day, 3 February 2012, a goods locomotive chose to derail in Bletchley, causing the worst snarl-up on the railway system for years – no passengers able to get to London via Milton Keynes, hundreds of thousands of travellers flocking to catch any train that could get them closer to their destination. I’ve now forgotten how many different trains I was put on, from stations that had never before been used on a journey to London – only that I was standing, packed in with hundreds of other unfortunates, in a Chilterns Line train for an hour and a half to Marylebone Station.

Goodness knows how I got to the rehearsal at all – but, as it turned out, they’d only just started on my piece, sight-reading it through, and already it sounded mightily good.

When writing the piece, I didn’t know how the ensemble would be placed on stage – after all, 16 instrumentalists is close to being a small orchestra, and there wouldn’t be room for all of them in a semicircle in the manner of, say, a sextet.  But Ensemble Cymru had come up with an elegant solution – by having many of the players standing, meaning that all would be seen and heard effectively.

My biggest mistake in this regard was to write the other instruments’ cues in the trumpeter’s part – and he was placed standing at the back! – so the others wouldn’t have been able to see him ‘conducting’.  I need to point out here that Ensemble Cymru has always operated without a conductor, which means that all the players have to know exactly what everybody else is doing, and base their performances on total co-operation – something that needs a great deal of experience and confidence.

The rehearsal went well – more or less the only discussions had to do with tempo, and agreement was reached quite quickly. The ensemble’s Artist in Association, the renowned cellist Paul Watkins, was present, and was complimentary about the piece, which was nice.

Before long now the ensemble will be meeting again o rehearse the piece once more and perform it in Newport. I intend to be there, and whatever the audience’s reaction to the work will be, I can confidently state that it wouldn’t be possible to find a more committed, talented – and friendly – group to perform the piece. Thanks, Ensemble Cymru!

Rydw i wedi cael fy newis fel cyfansoddwr ar sawl achlysur ers blynyddoedd gan Ensemble Cymru –  mudiad sy’n gwneud mwy na neb arall, dybiwn i, i godi ymwybyddiaeth o gerddoriaeth siambr yng Nghymru – felly roeddwn i wrth fy modd yn cael fy newis i gyfansoddi darn ar gyfer eu Taith Genedlaethol gynta nhw. Mi roddodd Peryn Clement-Evans y hawl i mi ddewis pa gyfuniad o offerynnau yr hoffwn sgwennu iddyn nhw, o’r cyfanswm o 17 fyddai’n cymryd rhan – ond roedd hyn braidd fel rhoi plentyn mewn siop deganau a dweud y câi o gynifer ag a fynnai o ohonyn nhw am ddim, felly mi ddwedais yr hoffwn sgwennu darn ar gyfer 16 ohonyn nhw.  Y llall, gyda llaw, oedd y piano, a dydw i erioed wedi bod yn dda iawn am sgwennu i biano. Pa run bynnag, roedd y cyfuniad oedd ar ôl yn un anarferol tu hwnt – wedi’r cwbwl, dyma oedd yr offerynnau yr oedd eu hangen, mewn gwahanol niferoedd a chyfuniadau, i berfformio darnau eraill y rhaglen, felly roedd na dri chorn ond dim ond un utgorn, dau obo ond dim ond un ffliwt ac yn y blaen.  Felly mi fedrwn honni’n weddol hyderus mai dyma’r unig ddarn ar gyfer yr union 16 offeryn hyn sy’n bod! Roedd gan Peryn syniad ardderchog ar gyfer thema i’r gwaith. Dydy o ddim yn gorfodi, dim ond awgrymu, ond roedd hwn yn awgrym ysbrydoledig – sef seilio’r gwahanol symudiadau ar leoliadau y gwahanol gyngherddau, ac yn benodol y ffaith eu bod nhw i gyd yn ymyl dŵr o ryw fath – llyn, afon, môr neu beth bynnag. Cam byr a hawdd o hynny oedd penderfynu seilio’r symudiadau ar chwedlau o Gymru oedd â chysylltiad â’r ‘dyfroedd byw’ rheini, ac mi fedrwch chi ddarllen mwy mewn rhan arall o’r wefan yma sut yr es i wrthi i gyflawni hyn. Ar ôl gorffen y gwaith cyfansoddi (ac mae’n rhaid i mi ddweud mod i, am ryw gyfnod, wedi dioddef yr aflwydd ofnadwy hwnnw ‘bloc y cyfansoddwr’, oedd yn golygu nad oedd unrhyw syniadau yn dod i’r meddwl, ond diflannu wnaeth hwnnw, diolch i’r drefn), a danfon y gerddoriaeth i’r offerynnwyr, y cam nesa oedd bod yn bresennol yn yr ymarfer llawn cynta, i sicrhau nad oedd na anawsterau gyda’r gerddoriaeth, ac i gynnig ambell awgrym o ran tempo, dehongliad ac ati.  Roedd hwn i ddigwydd yng Nghanolfan Amadeus yn Llundain (mae na luniau, a fideo,  o’r rihyrsal mewn rhan arall o’r wefan hon), a roeddwn i’n edrych ymlaen at y daith bleserus, ymlaciedig, yr holl ffordd o Fangor i Lundain mewn trên, taith o ryw deirawr. Ond… ar yr union ddiwrnod hwnnw, 3 Chwefror 2012, dewisodd injan trên nwyddau ddod oddiar y cledrau yn Bletchley, gan achosi’r dagfa waetha ar y rhwydwaith rheilffyrdd ers blynyddoedd – dim trenau yn cyrraedd Euston o gyferiad Milton Keynes, cannoedd o filoedd o deithwyr yn tyrru ac yn heidio i ddal unrhyw drên a allai fynd â nhw y nes at eu cyrchfan.  Erbyn hyn dydw i ddim yn cofio sawl trên y es i arnyn nhw, o orsafoedd nad oedd erioed o’r blaen wedi bod yn rhan o daith i Lundain – dim ond mod i wedi cael fy ngwasgu ar fy sefyll ynghanol cannoedd o bobol mewn trên ‘Chilterns’ am awr a hanner o daith i orsaf Marylebone. Wn i ddim sut ar wyneb y ddaear y cyrhaeddais yr ymarfer o gwbwl – ond, diolch byth, newydd ddechrau mynd drwy’r darn oedden nhw, yn darllen y gerddoriaeth ar yr olwg gynta ac eisoes yn swnio’n drawiadol iawn. Wrth sgwennu’r darn, doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod sut y byddai’r ensemble yn cael eu gosod ar lwyfan – wedi’r cyfan, mae 16 o offerynnwyr yn agos at fod yn gerddorfa fach, a fydde na ddim lle iddyn nhw i gyd mewn hanner cylch, fel y byddai ar gyfer darn i, dyweder, chwechawd. Ond roedd Ensemble Cymru wedi dyfeisio dull effeithiol iawn o wneud hyn, sef bod y mwyafrif yn sefyll, oedd yn golygu y bydden nhw i gyd yn cael eu gweld a’u clywed yn iawn. Fy unig gamgymeriad yn hyn o beth oedd fy mod i wedi rhoi nodau bach yr offerynnau eraill (y “cues”) yn rhan yr utgorn – a roedd o’n sefyll yn y cefn! – felly fyddai’r lleill ddim wedi medru ei weld o’n ‘arwain’. Mi ddylwn nodi yn y fan hyn bod Ensemble Cymru yn gweithredu heb arweinydd ar bob achlysur, sy’n golygu bod yn rhaid i bawb wybod be mae pob aelod yn ei wneud, a saernio’u perfformiad ar gydweithio llwyr – ac mae angen cryn brofiad a hyder i wneud hyn. Mi aeth yr ymarfer yn dda – yr unig bynciau trafod o bwys oedd cyflymder, neu dempo, ambell adran, a buan y cytunwyd ar hynny. Roedd offerynnwr gwadd arbennig yr ensemble, yr Artist Cyswllt Paul Watkins, yn bresennol, a roedd o’n canmol y darn, sy’n beth braf! Cyn bo hir mi fydd yr ensemble yn cyfarfod eto i ymarfer y gwaith unwaith eto a’i berfformio gynta yng Nghasnewydd.  Dwi’n bwriadu bod yn bresennol, a beth bynnag fydd ymateb y gynulleidfa i’r gwaith, mi fedra i ddweud yn hyderus na fyddai modd cael criw mor ymroddedig, talentog – a chyfeillgar – i berfformio’r darn.

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Living Waters by Gareth Glyn (About the Piece)Dyfroedd Byw gan Gareth Glyn (Am y darn)

Seventeen different instruments are used in the programme for Ensemble Cymru’s national tour [March 2012]; this work, commissioned specially for the event, uses 16 of them together.

In searching for a theme, it became evident that the three venues were connected with different bodies of water – the Usk river in Newport, the Irish Sea by Rhosygilwen and Tudno’s Spring in Llandudno.  Adding a lake gives the four main kinds of living water in Wales. As water is so central to Welsh mythology, I decided to base the movements of this work on legends connected to the three venues, adding Llangorse Lake near Brecon as the fourth.

Gerald of Wales noted that the birds of that lake would sing only if commanded to do so by the true leader of the land, and no-one else.

Tudno’s Spring is one of many on the Great Orme above Llandudno; Saint Tudno, who gives his name to the town, is connected with a whetstone which would sharpen the blades only of brave men.

©Gareth Glyn 2012

Ensemble Cymru Gareth Glyn - Amadeus Centre, London February 2012

Supported by

National Lottery
Arts Council of Wales
Welsh Government

Mae 17 o wahanol offerynnau yn cael eu defnyddio yn rhaglen taith genedlaethol Ensemble Cymru (Mawrth – Ebrill 2012); mae’r gwaith hwn, a gomisiynwyd yn arbennig ar gyfer yr achlysur, yn defnyddio 16 ohonyn nhw gyda’i gilydd. Wrth chwilio am thema, mi ddaeth i’r amlwg bod lleoliadau’r daith yn gysylltiedig â gwahanol fathau o ddŵr naturiol – Afon Wysg ger Casnewydd, Môr Iwerddon ger Rhosygilwen a Ffynnon Tudno yn Llandudno. O ychwanegu llyn, dyna’r pedwar prif fath o ddwr byw yng Nghymru. Gan bod dŵr yn rhan hanfodol o chwedloniaeth Gymreig, penderfynais seilio symudiadau’r gwaith yma ar chwedlau’n gysylltiedig â lleoliadiadau’r daith, gan ddewis Llyn Syfaddan ym Mrycheiniog fel y pedwerydd. Dywedodd Gerallt Gymro bod adar y llyn hwnnw yn trydar petai gwir arweinydd y tir, a neb arall, yn eu gorchymyn nhw i wneud. Un o’r nifer o ffynhonnau ar Ben y Gogarth, uwchlaw Llandudno, mae Ffynnon Tudno, y sant sy’n rhoi ei enw i’r dref, a sy’n cael ei gysylltu â chalan hogi fyddai ond yn rhoi min ar arfau gwŷr dewr. Mae Afon Wysg yn gysylltiedig â hanes ryfedd am y Brenin Arthur, Sant Cadog, a chant o wartheg y newidiwyd eu lliwiau drwy wyrth a’u troi wedyn yn frwyn yn yr afon. Hanes Clychau Cantre’r Gwaelod yw’r chwedl gyfarwydd am foddi ardal eang o lannau Bae Aberteifi gan y môr drwy esgeulustod y gwyliwr meddw Seithenyn, a hynny yn ystod gwledd a chyfeddach wyllt – yn ôl y sôn, gellir clywed y clychau’n canu dan y dŵr pan mae’r môr yn dawel. ©Gareth Glyn– 2012 >

Gareth Glyn a Llinos yn trafod sgwennu i'r baswn!

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Dancing ClarinetsClarinet ar Ddawns

It’s been a busy few months, and my work with Ensemble Cymru is well under way. So far there have been a great deal of concerts, educational work and of course, lots of new music!

Last summer I was lucky enough to be awarded Arts Council of Wales funding to create a projcet. My project involved working with a dancer, composer and Ensemble Cyrmu to create and perform a new work, as well as to learn and perform a pre existing work by  the late avant gard composer, Karlheiz Stockhausen. The initial stages of the project involved deciding upon who to work with – these decisions were quite easy for me to make. I have admired Chris Painter’s music for years, and was really eager for him to compose the new work. As for choosing a dancer, I decided upon Rosalind Haf Brooks after seeing some of the great work that she has done with dance company Earthfall. I then only needed to convince them to work with me!!! My brief to Chris was to compose a work for solo clarinet player and dancer, in multiple movements. I was eager for the work to exist not only as a duo, but as a piece that could be performed by solo clarinet player alone. I also requested that the individual movements could be performed separately as well as part of the whole suite.  After some discussion, Chris and I were both agreed that it would be really exciting to base the work on an element of ‘Y Mabinogi’, and that is how ‘Taliesin’s Tale’ began.

Taliesin’s Tale

Taliesin began life as Gwion Bach, a servant to the enchantress Ceridwen. Ceridwen had a beautiful daughter and an ugly son named Morfran, whose appearance no magic could cure. Ceridwen sought to give him the gift of wisdom as compensation and cooked a potion, which had to be constantly stirred and cooked for a year and a day. A blind man named Morda tended the fire beneath the cauldron, while Gwion Bach stirred. The first three drops of liquid from this cauldron would give wisdom; the rest was a fatal poison. Three hot drops spilled onto Gwion’s thumb as he stirred, and he instinctively put his thumb in his mouth, instantly gaining wisdom and knowledge. The first thought that occurred to him was that Ceridwen would kill him, so he ran away. All too soon he heard her fury and the sound of her pursuit. He turned himself into a hare on the land and she became a greyhound. He turned himself into a fish and jumped into a  river: she then turned into an otter. He turned into a bird in the air, and in response she became a hawk. Exhausted, he turned into a single grain of corn and she became a hen and ate him. She became pregnant. She resolved to kill the child, knowing it was Gwion, but when he was born he was so beautiful that she couldn’t, so she threw him in the ocean in a leather bag. The baby was found by Elffin, the son of Gwyddno Garanhir, ‘Lord of Ceredigion’, while fishing for  salmon. Surprised at the whiteness of the boy’s brow, he exclaimed “dyma Dal Iesin“, meaning “this is a radiant brow.” Taliesin, thus named, began to recite beautiful poetry.

During the period that Chris was composing I took the oportunity to meet up with Rosalind and start working on Stockhausen’s Der Kleine Harlekin – a work for solo clarinet player who takes on the role of a Harlequin. For this piece it’s not acceptable to just play the clarinet! I am required to move, make gestures, use footwork to create percussive effects and….dress up! We had great fun during the rehearsals and Rosalind was a great help. She definitely had her work cut out – as I don’t look or move like a dancer!

Closing your eyes, playing clarinet and crouching = a good chance of falling over!
Playing clarinet on one leg….asking for trouble!

Whilst all this was going on Chris was busy with Hanes Taliesin – and by the end of the summer I had the first draft of the score, and was very excited! I immediately got on with practising it, and at that time was mainly focusing on the first movement ‘The cauldron of rebirth’. This, as well as ‘Der Kleine Harlekin’ were on the October 2011 programme for my first performance representing Ensemble Cymru’s Ambassador for New Music. We toured across various venues around North Wales, and had a great time.

The next few months were a mixture of practising and leading educational workshops with some amazing young people for Ensemble Cymru. I will dedicate another blog spot to my educational work. Out of respect for all the fabulous people involved – they deserve a page to themselves! Watch this space…

After Christmas I spent a week in Cardiff rehearsing Taliesin’s Tale with Rosalind. I had provided her with a recording of the whole work a few months earlier so she could have some time to think of choreography. The rehearsals were very productive, and Rosalind had come up with some great ideas. The music really does lend itself brilliantly to dance.

Rosalind mid-move!
Rosalind mid-air!

On my return from Cardiff, preparations for the Ensemble Cymru February tour were well under way, and it was time for me to really focus on the second movement of the Painter; ‘Gwion’s flight and the birth of Taliesin’, as well as Paul Mealor’s ‘Solemn Liturgy’ for solo clarinet. The work was composed in 2006 for Ian Mitchell – who was one of my tutors while I was studying in Trinity College of Music in 2005. I had the privilege of playing the work to the composer last September when I had been invited to perform it as part of a Modern Music workshop for the North Wales International Music Festival. Paul was very complimentary, which was a big relief!

Now the run of February concerts are over – it’s time to focus on the big one! I’m very excited about our National tour in a couple of weeks! Rosalind will be joining me to perform the Painter and the Stockhausen, and I will be joining the Ensemble to perform part of their programme. I was in London a couple of weeks ago rehearsing the March programme with Ensemble Cymru, which was great. As much as I love covering the solo clarinet repertoire, I’m very excited about sharing the stage with Rosalind and Ensemble Cymru, it gets a bit lonely by myself sometimes!

Hope to see lots of you in March and April!


Mae’r ychydig fisoedd diwethaf wedi bod yn hynod brysur, ac rwyf wedi bod yn ymrafael â fy ngwaith âg Ensemble Cymru i’r eithaf. Hyd yn hyn, rwyf wedi bod yn rhan o dorraeth o gyngherddau, arwain nifer o weithdai addysgiadol, ac wrth gwrs, chwarae llwyth o gerddoriaeth newydd!
Haf diwethaf, roeddwn yn ffodus i dderbyn grant gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru i greu prosiect newydd.  Un o brif amcanion y prosiect oedd i weithio gyda dawnsiwr, cyfansoddwr ac Ensemble Cymru i greu a pherfformio gwaith newydd. I gydfynd â hynny penderfynais ddysgu a pherfformio’r gwaith Der Kleine Harlekin, a gyfansoddwyd gan y diweddar Karlheinz Stockhausen. Camau cyntaf y prosiect oedd penderfynu pwy i weithio gyda – nid oedd hwnnw’n benderfyniad anodd. Rwyf wedi edmygu Chris Painter fel cyfansoddwr ers blynyddoedd, ac roeddwn yn awyddus iddo fo gyfansoddi’r gwaith newydd. O ran dewis dawnsiwr/dawnswraig, pendrefynais ofyn wrth Rosalind Haf Brooks fel canlyniad i weld y gwaith ardderchog y mae hi’n ei wneud gyda’r cwmni dawns, Earthfall. Y cam nesaf oedd cael Rosalind a Chris i gytuno i weithio gyda fi!!!
Fy nghyfarwyddiadau i Chris oedd i gyfansoddi gwaith ar gyfer clarinetydd unigol a dawnswraig, mewn nifer o symudiadau. Roeddwn yn awyddus i’r gwaith fod ddigon hyblyg i’w gael ei berfformio fel deuawd yn ogystal â chan glarinetydd ar ei ben/ei phen ei hun. Roeddwn hefyd yn awyddus i’r symudiadau unigol fedru cael eu perfformio ar eu pen eu hunain yn ogystal â chael eu perfformio fel rhan o’r cyfanwaith. Ar ôl cryn drafod, penderfynom seilio’r gwaith ar elfen o’rMabinogi, a dyna ddechrau Hanes Taliesin.

Hanes Taliesin

Roedd gan Ceridwen a’i gŵr Tegid Foel ddau blentyn. Roedd y ferch, Creirwy, yn arbennig o hardd, ond roedd y mab, Morfran, yn eithriadol o hyll. Gan ei fod mor hyll, penderfynodd Ceridwen y byddai’n rhoi “awen a gwybodaeth” iddo i wneud iawn am hynny. Bu’n berwi cymysgedd yn y pair am flwyddyn a diwrnod, gyda’r bwriad fod Morfan yn ei yfed ac yn cael yr awen. Roedd hen ŵr dall o’r enw Morda yn cadw’r tân dan y pair, a Gwion Bach yn gofalu am y pair. Pan oedd y gymysgedd bron yn barod, tasgodd tri dafn o’r pair ar law Gwion Bach, a chan eu bod mor boeth, fe’i rhoes yn ei geg. Sylweddolodd Ceridwen ar unwaith ei fod ef wedi ei gynysgaeddu â’r awen yn lle ei mab, a dechreuodd ei ymlid. Newidiodd Gwion Bach ei ffurf yn ysgyfarnog, ond newidiodd Ceridwen ei hyn yn filiast i’w ymlid. Yna trodd Gwion yn bysgodyn, a Ceridwen yn ddyfrgi. Trodd Gwion ei hun yn aderyn, a throdd Ceridwen yn walch i’w ymlid; yna pan oedd y gwalch bron a’i ddal, gwelodd Gwion bentwr o wenith. Trodd ei hun yn ronyn gwenith ynghanol y pentwr, ond trodd Ceridwen ei hun yn iar a’i fwyta. Wedi bwyta Gwion beichiogodd Ceridwen, a naw mis yn ddiweddarach ganwyd plentyn iddi. Gwyddai Ceridwen mai Gwion Bach oedd y plentyn, ond roedd mor dlws fel na allai ei ladd. Gosododd ef mewn cwdyn o groen a’i daflu i’r môr. Fe wnaeth dyn or enw Elffin ddarganfod y baban yn y cwdyn. Cododd Elffin y baban a dywedodd wrth ei was “Llyma dal iesin” (‘Dyma dalcen teg’).

Tra’r oedd Chris yn cyfansoddi, cefais gyfle i gwrdd â Rosalind, a chychwyn ymarfer Der Kleine Harlekin – gwaith ar gyfer clarinetydd unigol sy’n chwarae rol harlecwin. Ar gyfer perfformio’r gwaith hwn, nid yw chwarae clarinet yn unig yn ddigonol! Mae’n ofynnol i mi symud, creu ystumiau, creu effeithiau taro gyda fy nhraed a…..gwisgo i fyny! Cawsom hwyl yn ymarfer, ac roedd Rosalind o help mawr. Roedd ganddi dipyn o waith i’w gyflawni o ystyried nad wyf i’n edrych nag yn symud fel dawnswraig!

Cau eich llygaid, chwarae clarinet a chwrcwd = siawns o syrthio!

Chwarae clarinet ar un goes…gofyn am drwbwl!

Tra’r oedd hyn i gyd yn digwydd, roedd Chris yn brysur yn cyfansoddi, ac erbyn diwedd yr Haf derbyniais ddrafft cyntaf Hanes Taliesin! Dechreuais ymarfer yn syth, gan ganolbwyntio ar y symudiad cyntaf – Pair Dadeni. Y symudiad yma, ynghyd â Der Kleine Harlekin oedd fy rhaglen ar gyfer fy nhaith gyntaf yn cynrychioli Llysgenad Cerddoriaeth Newydd Ensemble Cymru ym mis Hydref. Fe wnaethom berfformio cyngherddau hyd a lled Gogledd Cymru, a chawsom amser gwych. Canolbwynt gwaith yr ychydig fisoedd canlynol oedd cymysgedd o ymarfer ac arwain cyfresi o weithdai addysgiadol i Ensemble Cymru – a hynny gyda chriw o bobl ifanc arbennig iawn. Fe wnaf greu blog ar wahân i hwn i son am y gwaith hwnnw. Mae’r rheini oedd yn rhan o’r gwaith yn haeddu tudalen gyfan i’w hunain!

Ar ôl y Nadolig treuliais wythnos yng Nghaerdydd yn ymarfer Hanes Taliesin gyda Rosalind. Roeddwn wedi creu recordiad o’r gwaith iddi ychydig fisoedd ynghynt, er mwyn iddi gael cyfle i feddwl am y symudiadau. Roedd yr ymarferion yn gynhyrchiol iawn, ac roedd gan Rosalind syniadau gwych. Mae’r gerddoriaeth yn cydfynd â dawns i’r dim.

Rosalind ar y llawr!
Rosalind yn yr awyr!

Ar ôl dychwelyd o Gaerdydd, rhaid oedd i mi ddechrau paratoi ar gyfer ail daith Ensemble Cymru ym mis Chwefror. Treuliais yr amser yn canolbwyntio ar ail symudiad Hanes Taliesin – Gwion yn Hedfan a Genedigaeth Taliesin, ac ar waith Paul Mealor ar gyfer clarinet unigol ‘Solemn Liturgy’. Cafodd y gwaith ei gyfansoddi yn 2006 ar gyfer fy nghyn athro Ian Mitchell. Cefais y fraint o gael perfformio’r gwaith i’r cyfansoddwr ym mis Medi 2011, fel canlyniad i gael gwahoddiad gan Wyl Gerdd Ryngwladol Gogledd Cymru i berfformio mewn gweithdy cerddoriaeth fodern. Roedd Paul yn gadarnhaol iawn, a oedd yn ryddhad mawr! Nawr fod cyngherddau mis Chwefror drosodd, mae’n bryd i mi ganolbwyntio ar brif ddigwyddiad y flwyddyn – Taith Genedlaethol Ensemble Cymru, ac rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn fawr! Bydd Rosalind yn ymuno â mi i berfformio’r Painter a’r Stockhausen, ac mi fydda innau’n ymuno âg Ensemble Cymru am ran o’u rhaglen. Roeddwn yn Llundain ychydig wythnosau yn ôl yn ymarfer gyda’r Ensemble, a oedd yn brofiad gwych. Er fy mod wrth fy modd yn perfformio gweithiau unigol ar gyfer y clarinet, rwy’n hynod o gyffrous o gael y cael y cyfle i rannu’r llwyfan â Rosalind ag Ensemble Cymru – mae perfformio ar ben fy hun o hyd weithiau’n mynd yn unig! Rwy’n gobeithio’n fawr cael cwrdd a llawer ohonoch ym misoedd Mawrth ag Ebrill! Hwyl am y tro! Sioned