Hyperion
Cara Ludlow
TCR035 
available/ar gael 21.01.2022

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Hyperion is Welsh singer-songwriter Cara Ludlow's debut EP. The title track draws on a poem by John Keats called "The Fall Of Hyperion: A Dream", raising themes that permeate the record - such as fragility and resilience, and how human beings respond to experience, suffering and change. Featuring string arrangements performed by the Mavron Quartet.

Hyperion EP

Track list:

1. Hyperion [03:47]

2. Blue [03:51]

3. Back to Berlin [04:54]

Cardiff-based Welsh singer-songwriter Cara Ludlow has been writing and performing music for over a decade, aged only 26 years old. Combining gently poetic lyricism and deftly finger-picked guitar, her compositions are built on the firm foundations of folk and roots, recalling the greats like Joni Mitchell, but with an authenticity that’s wholly her own.

 

She’s performed her songs across Britain and Europe, from the heart of rural Wales, to London and Amsterdam. Her serene, perceptive storytelling has a communal language, unhurried and entirely within its own ecosystem.

Mae’r gantores-gyfansoddwraig caneuon o Gymru, Cara Ludlow (a aned ym 1995) wedi bod yn cyfansoddi a pherfformio cerddoriaeth am ddegawd a mwy. Gan gyfuno telynegiaeth farddol dyner a phicio deheuig ar y gitâr, mae ei chyfansoddiadau wedi’u hadeiladu ar sylfeini cadarn cerddoriaeth werin, gan ddwyn i gof y mawrion fel Joni Mitchell, ond gyda dilysrwydd sy’n eiddo iddi hi’n unig.

 

Mae wedi perfformio ei chaneuon ym Mhrydain ac Ewrop, o berfeddion y Gymru wledig, i Lundain ac Amsterdam. Iaith gymunedol sydd i’w ffordd dawel a threiddgar o adrodd straeon – hamddenol ac yn gyfan gwbl yn ei hecosystem ei hun.

A chat with Cara / Sgwrs gyda Cara

This is your first release – congratulations! In a nutshell how would you describe the music on this EP?


Thank you! The songs on this EP are personal reflections on delicate aspects of our human condition. Drawing on ‘The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream’ an epic poem by John Keats, the record explores themes of fragility and resilience, innocence and experience, and how we respond to suffering and change. This might be falling in and out of love, the shattering of ego when our lives are upturned by unexpected events, or the process of simply growing up and trying to define yourself and your own voice. I’ve always taken comfort in Keats’s poem, because it shows how moments of pain can also be moments of learning and transformation, and there’s an inherent beauty in that. Life can never remain constant, after all.

These songs were originally all written for only voice and guitar, as reflective, contemporary folk songs. But through a collaboration with the Mavron Quartet and the string arrangements that Pwyll Ap Sion worked on with me, they’ve been elevated and dramatised – the strings bringing in shades of the mournful and mythic. We wanted these songs to be a fine balance between the delicate finger-picked guitar, subtly poetic lyrics, and atmospheric strings – giving space to the performances, but also to the storytelling.




You connected with Tŷ Cerdd through the artist-development scheme CoDi DIY. Tell us about that project and how it led to you collaborating on this release.


The CoDI DIY scheme gave emerging Welsh artists opportunities for creative development, and the project was a great experience for me – particularly in terms of offering collaboration with talented Welsh musicians and creatives. Through this project I was mentored by Welsh songwriter Gareth Bonello, I collaborated with composer Pwyll ap Siôn who worked with me on the string parts, and was introduced to the brilliant Mavron Quartet who performed on the EP. I also had the pleasure of recording in the Tŷ Cerdd recording studio at Wales Millennium Centre, working with Tŷ Cerdd’s Producer James Clarke. During the whole process I formed a great relationship with Tŷ Cerdd, who decided at an early stage that they wanted to put these three tracks out as an EP on their label – for which I'm very grateful.




What music do you like to listen to yourself?


For me, the artists I love most are great singer-songwriters with a big streak of poetry in their songs. Bob Dylan is king. I also love Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. In terms of contemporary artists, Adrienne Lenker (Big Thief), Bill Callahan, Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood), Marlon Williams and Aldous Harding are among my favourites, and constantly reshape the way I think about song-writing. Every new release from any of these artists is a treasure.




What are your plans for your music in the longer term?


I have a lot of different ambitions and ideas about music, longer term. I’d like to put more focus on new recording projects – especially exploring collaborations with other musicians that can take the songs in new directions. I’ll keep writing, and we’ll see what emerges – but I’m quite interested in the idea of a debut album with a strong concept at its core. For now, I hope that people enjoy Hyperion and that it finds some resonance with their hearts.




Dyma’r record gyntaf i chi ei rhyddhau – llongyfarchiadau! Yn gryno, sut byddech chi’n disgrifio’r gerddoriaeth ar yr EP yma?


Diolch yn fawr! Myfyrdodau personol yw’r caneuon ar y EP yma ar y pethau bregus yn ein cyflwr dynol. Gan dynnu ar The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, cerdd epig gan John Keats, mae’r record yn ymdrin â themâu o freuder a chydnerthedd, diniweidrwydd a phrofiad, a sut rydyn ni’n ymateb i ddioddefaint a newid. Gallai hyn gynnwys cwympo mewn ac allan o gariad, dryllio’r ego pan fydd ein bywydau’n cael eu troi beniwaered gan ddigwyddiadau annisgwyl neu’r broses brifio a cheisio’ch diffinio’ch hun a’ch llais eich hun. Dw i bob amser wedi cael cysur o gerdd Keats oherwydd ei bod yn dangos sut gall enydau o boen hefyd bod yn enydau o ddysgu a thrawsnewid ac mae yna harddwch cynhenid yn hynny o beth. All bywyd byth aros yn ddigyfnewid wedi’r cwbl.

Yn wreiddiol cyfansoddwyd y caneuon yma i un llais a’r gitâr yn unig, fel caneuon gwerin cyfoes myfyriol. Ond drwy gydweithio â Phedwarawd Mavron a’r trefniannau llinynnol y bu Pwyll ap Siôn yn gweithio arnyn nhw gyda fi, maent wedi’u dyrchafu a’u dramateiddio – mae’r llinynnau’n cyflwyno arlliwiau o’r dolefus a’r mythig. Roedden ni eisiau i’r caneuon hyn greu cydbwysedd gofalus rhwng y picio ysgafn ar y gitâr, geiriau barddol a chynnil a holl naws y llinynnau gan roi lle i’r perfformiadau ond hefyd i’r stori gael ei hadrodd.




Daethoch chi i gysylltiad â Tŷ Cerdd drwy’r cynllun datblygu artistiaid, CoDI: DIY. Soniwch wrthon ni am y prosiect hwnnw a sut y bu’n eich arwain at gydweithredu ar ryddhau’r EP yma.


Rhoddodd cynllun CoDI: DIY gyfleoedd i egin artistiaid o Gymru i ddatblygu’n greadigol a bu’r prosiect yn brofiad gwych i mi – yn enwedig o ran cynnig cydweithredu â cherddorion a phobl greadigol dalentog o Gymru. Drwy’r prosiect yma mi ges i fy mentora gan y cyfansoddwr caneuon o Gymru, Gareth Bonello. Bues i’n cydweithio â’r cyfansoddwr Pwyll ap Siôn a fu’n gweithio gyda fi ar y darnau llinynnol a ches i fy nghyflwyno i’r bendigedig Bedwarawd Mavron a berfformiodd ar yr EP. Pleser mawr hefyd oedd cael recordio yn stiwdio recordio Tŷ Cerdd yng Nghanolfan Mileniwm Cymru gan weithio gyda’u cynhyrchydd, James Clarke. Drwy’r broses ar ei hyd, mi fues i’n meithrin perthynas wych gyda Thŷ Cerdd a benderfynodd ar adeg gynnar eu bod am ryddhau’r tri thrac yma fel EP ar eu label – rhywbeth dw i’n hynod ddiolchgar amdano.”




Pa gerddoriaeth y byddwch chi’ch hun yn hoffi gwrando arni?


I mi, cantorion-gyfansoddwyr caneuon mawr yw’r artistiaid dw i’n dwlu arnyn nhw fwya, gyda thalp go lew o farddoniaeth yn eu caneuon. Bob Dylan yw’r brenin. Dw i hefyd yn hoffi Nick Cave a Leonard Cohen. O ran artistiaid cyfoes, Adrienne Lenker (Big Thief), Bill Callahan, Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood), Marlon Williams ac Aldous Harding sydd ymhlith fy ffefrynnau gan ailwampio’r ffordd dw i’n meddwl am gyfansoddi caneuon. Trysor yw pob cân newydd a ryddheir gan yr un o’r artistiaid yma.




Beth yw’ch cynlluniau ar gyfer eich cerddoriaeth yn yr hirdymor?


Mae gen i lawer o wahanol uchelgeisiau a syniadau am gerddoriaeth yn yr hirdymor. Hoffwn i ganolbwyntio’n fwy ar brosiectau recordio newydd, yn enwedig edrych ar gydweithrediadau â cherddorion eraill sy’n gallu mynd â’r caneuon i gyfeiriadau newydd. Mi ddalia i ati i gyfansoddi a chawn ni weld beth sy’n dod i’r fei - ond mae gen i dipyn o ddiddordeb yn y syniad o albwm cyntaf gyda chysyniad cryf yn greiddiol iddo. Am y tro, gobeithiaf y bydd pobl yn mwynhau Hyperion a’i fod yn taro deuddeg iddynt yn eu calonnau.





Cara Ludlow.jpg

© Simon Pax McDowell

Download press release HERE / Lawrlwytho datganiad i'r wasg YMA