It’s 10 years since John and Alun released their last album, and as the title suggests, this release has been hotly anticipated. The reason for this delay was partly to do with their desire to shape every aspect of the work, including the choice of songs, their interpretation and the type of production that would best suit each song.
The recording took place in Alun’s own home in Tudweiliog, across a period of two years. Alun is also responsible for most of the arrangements on this record.
As John explains, “it was great to be able to drop by every now and then to listen to the tracks and to record the occasional vocal – and to do so in a relaxed atmosphere, over an extended period of time.” John Williams from Bangor was responsible for the piano and keyboards on the album, whilst he also contributed many great ideas for the songs.
“I already had a song called ‘Merch y Dre’, and we’d performed it live many times” says John. “So that was a start, but we needed more songs, so I picked up the phone and spoke to several songwriters including Alun ’Sbardun’ Hughes. Fair play, he sent me a wonderful song with the title ‘Hir a Hwyr’. We’re pleased to say that ‘Sbard’ heard the song before he passed away recently, and he was delighted with the finished product.
The official launch of the album will be in Y Galeri, Caernarfon, on Septmber the 9th, where John and Alun will be sharing a stage with Gethin Vaughan and Glesni Fflur. Glesni also provides some wonderful backing vocals on the new album.
The list of other co-writers on the record is a very impressive one, including Eurig Wyn, Myrddin ap Dafydd, Idris Charles, Emyr Huws Jones, Geraint Davies and even the iconic Welsh poet Nantlais. Alun’s arrangement of the hymn – ‘O’r fath gyfaill ydyw’r Iesu’ is a translation by Nantlais of the famous English hymn – ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’.
“Whilst the process has been slow and difficult at times, it’s been an incredible experience” says Alun. “This collection reflects where we’ve have arrived musically – today. Our greatest hope now, is that it is well received and that our audience enjoy listening to the new songs!”
Release Date: July 25th 2016