2018 FESTIVAL GUIDE
Lowender Peran is famous for its evening dances which begin in the evening and go on into the early hours of the morning. In most cases there is a caller to guide you through the dances, and in others you pick them up as you go along. Experience not necessary, the more the merrier!
Come over to the Ballroom to hear some great bands and soak up the festival atmosphere from 6pm Friday to Saturday, and 5.30pm on Sunday evening. Food and drinks served at the Ballroom Bar.
Celtic session tunes at a steady pace, led by local accordionist Matt Bray. Padstow’s very own Matt plays with many Cornish groups and is a Ceilidh veteran with Splann.
Classic Session Tunes
These sessions are a one-hour blast of music led by our visiting and local groups, purely with tunes from their country. No manuscript will be available for these events, which are aimed at musicians who enjoy picking up tunes by ear. Anyone is welcome to join in.
Cocktail Bar Sessions
These sessions are designed to get the party started, and are open to all.
While there are a number of programmed sessions, we encourage people to start up their own impromptu music, song or dance sessions during the weekend. The Small Dining Room, Little Lounge, Cocktail Bar and Beneden Room are all great locations for sessions you’re welcome to strike up. Please check the programme for any events first.
We’ve shaken up the programme this year to bring you even more opportunities to see all the wonderful dance teams we have performing at the festival. The dance spectacular is replaced by day-long rolling dance displays in the Ballroom on Saturday and Sunday. Pop by to enjoy live music, dance and colourful costumes. Food and drink are available from the Ballroom Bar and Cocktail Bar, next to the Ballroom.
We have a wealth of family activities for you to enjoy throughout the weekend. All festival events are family friendly, and we have some events aimed specifically at children on Saturday morning/afternoon:
Family Art Workshsop with Michelle O’Connor
Create your own version of the front cover for Cornish Folk Tales for Children, guided by its illustrator Michelle O’Connor.
Cornish Language Activities for Families led by the Lawrance Family
Come and get stuck into crafts and learn a few words of Cornish with Becky, Rob, Ellowyn and Franklin Lawrance.
Suitable for all ages, come and join in the dancing led by the Penzance Guizers.
Back with us for 2018 we’re delighted to be showcasing some of Cornwall’s finest local makers, with a peppering of performances from local and vising performers throughout Saturday afternoon.
Look out for our workshops where you can have a go at more complicated dances than you would normally get in a ceilidh, taken at a more considered pace with time for questions and picking up the dance style.
This year the Cornish and Breton Workshops will explore the tradition of Singing for Dancing. Bring your voices and dancing feet for these workshops which sit back to back between 11am and 1pm on Sunday. You can just sing, just dance, or do both at the same time! Whichever you feel most comfortable with.
Tune-smithing with Jamie Smith - Oli & Jamie talk approaches to writing tunes and take you on a journey from the seed of an idea to a fully fledged melody. In this workshop learn how imposing constraints can be a catalyst for creativity, how to push the boat out and how to row it back in again. Suitable for intermediate level and up.
Harp with Rachel Hair - Come learn a sprightly Scottish tune or two with one of the world’s most sought-after teachers of Scottish harp. Rachel will be teaching by ear with music at the end of the workshop. Any size of harp welcome (tunes may use F#, C# and G# levers)
Bringing together the Lorho Pascos from Brittany, members of Jamie Smith’s Mabon from Wales and The Rowan Tree from Cornwall, we’re looking forward to this very special concert celebrating song in the Brythonek languages.
As part of the concert, the Rowan Tree have been commissioned to bring to life two Cornish songs ‘The Mallard’ and ‘Pencarrow Hunt’, translated into Cornish, which link Cornwall to Brittany and Wales respectively.
Celebrating our 40th anniversary, Cornish linguist Ken George has also been commissioned to create a song using the Breton and Cornish language in a ‘Kan ha Diskan’ call and response style, to be performed by the Rowan Tree and the Lorho-Pascos on the evening.
Over the last 40 years we’re delighted that Lowender Peran has sparked the start of many other festivals and collaborations, including the Breton/Cornish cultural exchange festivals Breizh Kernow and Aberfest. We’re delighted to mark this special relationship between Cornwall and Brittany through this commission.
With thanks to Cornwall Council for their support of this concert.
BILINGUAL GIN TASTING – NAME THAT BOTANICAL!
Immerse yourself in the world of gin and the Cornish language on Saturday night with our Bilingual Gin Tasting. Open to all from fluent Cornish speakers to those keen to try one or two words. A fun and social way to try your hand at Kernewek, and gin, of course!
There are 40 spaces for the Bilingual Gin Tasting, on a first come first served basis. Entry is £5 – this is not included in the price of your festival ticket. Tickets for the gin tasting cannot be booked in advance. To book your place, add your name to the signup sheet on the festival office desk from Thursday 1st November. Payment taken on the door on entry. Over 18s only.
CORNISH CULTURAL EXPO
Get networking and browse stands including Cornwall Heritage Trust, the Cornish Dance Society, Wheal Martyn / China Clay History Society, Cornwall Wildlife Society, Newquay Old Cornwall Society, the Cornish Wrestling Association, Gorsedh Kernow, the Celtic Congress and An Daras to name a few – with more stands to be added.
POETRY & DIALECT READINGS
A lively poetic session with four original and quite different writers - the best of contemporary Cornish poetic writing.
Des Hannigan is a travel writer, climber, fisherman and poet who lives at Morvah. He has explored zawns and cliffs which have possibly never been seen up-close by a person before. He writes of the sea, the land, and the very complex relationship which one has with the other, and both have with humans - a lyrical and insightful voyage.
Johanna Egar is a teacher and poet. She explores the origins of folk lore in some of her work, and the raw ends of being a modern woman in a world where thought and relationships speak of modernity but come to the unerring truths of emotion and instinct - an inventive and skilful poet with a natural presence.
Pol Hodge is a Cornish poet in every sense- he writes in Kernewek, dialect, sometimes English. He is surreal, ironic, bittersweet and polemical, but always entertaining and knowledgeable. He ranges through millennia of history and probes the crevices of the domestic everyday, all with a lyricism and wit which mean that, no matter where he is on the planet, when he speaks poems ears prick up.
Bert Biscoe is a songwriter and poet who rambles around the Cornish experience,looking for routes to celebration and freedom. There's a political edge to Bert's work blended with a lyrical turn of phrase and a lifetime of acquired poetic craftsmanship.
Bert and Pol are well known around many Cornish communities as Dew Vardh - many a rain-drenched WI meeting has waded home with a smile in its collective heart after an evening with the two bards.
CORNISH MUSIC SYMPOSIUM – KESARETH ILOW KERNOW
Tom and Tehmina Goskar will be updating us on their research into Historical Guise Dancing and its Music. Merv Davey and Keur Heb Hanow will be introducing us to the “Kenewgh!” project. This is a collaboration between Lowender Peran, Gorsedh Kernow and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies to provide a modern Cornish Songbook that is supported by online videos of the songs in Cornish.
Historical Guise Dancing and its Music
Guise, geese or goosey dancing is a form of mumming. It was entertainment by and for working people in their communities in west Cornwall and Scilly and traditionally held over the twelve days of Christmas. Guise dancing involved disguise, cross-dressing, music, song, mischief, informal drama — and not always dancing. This talk reveals the findings of a research project we have been undertaking into the nature, localities and types of guise dancing evidenced in first-hand accounts from historical newspapers and antiquarian publications. We have uncovered over 100 descriptions ranging from 1750 up to 1970s radio interviews describing guise dancing in the 1930s and 40s. The music of guise dancing is a bit of an enigma. Much has been interpolated from the hear-say of recent folk memory, for example the (now) classic Turkey Rhubarb, but what was the music and song of those described in our first-hand accounts? We explore this question by beginning with the early collectors of Christmas music—William Sandys and Davies Gilbert in the 1820s and 30s. Together with the 19th and 20th century descriptions from first-hand accounts we can begin to form a soundtrack to what is otherwise a silent world of historical Cornish traditions.
Tehmina and Tom Goskar are based in Penzance, Cornwall and have been guise dancing for 6 years, as part of formal events and informally as it might have been done years ago. They play fiddle and mandolin for Tros an Treys and their own informal duo. In their day jobs Tehmina is a curator and historian and Tom is an archaeologist.
The Wikithon is a workshop to learn about Cornish language Wikipedia, how to write articles and the potential of Wikipedia to help Cornish speakers. We also want to link up with the other Celtic language Wikipedias. Mark Trevethan will introduce the session but it will be an informal drop in session for anyone – geeks, Cornish speakers, people with ideas and the wificurious. Preferably bring a laptop or tablet but not essentials.
NEWQUAY ROWING CLUB SINGING SESSION
In a repeat of last year’s huge success with the Welsh Rugby choir, head down to Newquay Rowing Club where the Rowing Club singers will be singing a selection of popular songs in the Cornish and English language, hosting our visiting Breton singers this year The Lorho-Pascos. Everyone welcome to attend and join in this informal session, song sheets available.
With thanks to Cornwall Council for their support of this event