Aberystwyth Arts Centre celebrates Arts and Community in uplifting film with original music by Andrew Cusworth
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
21 September 2021
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, part of Aberystwyth University, is proud to present a short film celebrating its reopening, with new music commissioned exclusively for the project from composer Andrew Cusworth with words by the poet Dafydd John Pritchard. The video is directed by filmmaker Felix Cannadam, and features local musicians and dancers from Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Dance School.
The film was premiered on Heno, S4C, on Monday the 20th of September.
The film celebrates the re-opening of the Arts Centre following the pandemic and is both inspiring and celebratory. It is the first time in its wonderful history that the Arts Centre has commissioned music and the collaboration between Andrew Cusworth and Dafydd John Pritchard has created a remarkable uplifting piece.
It celebrates both the local and the global with Aberystwyth choir, Côr ABC, local musicians and students at the Arts Centre’s Dance School all taking part. There is also archive footage of past Arts Centre projects including the collaboration with the educational centre Dream a Dream in Bangalore, India.
The film was produced by Pete Telfer, founder of Culture Colony, and directed by a young Aberystwyth filmmaker and photographer, Felix Cannadam.
In true lockdown style, each choir member recorded the words at home on their phones and sent them in before Andrew worked his technological magic pulling all the separate recordings together into one final soundtrack.
The five musicians playing on the piece have performed at the Centre many times in the past either as members of Philomusica Aberystwyth, in the venue’s popular summer season musicals.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre is proud to be the busiest Arts Centre in Wales in terms of its engagement with young people, and this was celebrated in the film with the involvement of the amazing young dancers from the Dance School.
The film is an expression of what the Arts Centre is about – being part of a strong artistic community, supporting young people to develop their skills and enjoy the arts, and creating exciting new work. It gets to the heart of what the arts means to us all after a pandemic – bringing communities and people of all ages together, sharing emotions, discovering how important the arts have become to us and how we’ve missed them.
Louise Amery, Deputy Director of the Arts Centre, says “We started the project back in early 2021 when we were looking ahead with hope for reopening, after so long closed due to the pandemic. It’s been a really uplifting and positive project and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as we have being part of it. A huge thank you to everyone involved!”
Andrew Cusworth said, “In 'y Ganolfan', I wanted to create an invocation to the arts, a warm and hopeful song of their rightful place at the heart of our lives and of our return to experiencing them together with one another. Dafydd encapsulated this wonderfully in his poem, providing the perfect foundation for the piece. Around his words, I wrote a contemplative fanfare that grows from the quiet creativity of the arts themselves to their deep impact on their audiences and communities. Commissioned and fully supported by Aberystwyth Arts Centre and its community, this has been an inspiring project to work on, both in writing and in digitally uniting the wonderful playing and singing of the instrumentalists and Côr ABC.”
Dafydd John Pritchard said, "It was a privilege to be able to respond to Andrew's request to work together once more following this long and difficult time for everyone, and to welcome the recovery of the arts here in Aberystwyth and beyond. I also thank the Arts Centre for the opportunity. It was also very pleasing to be part of the latest ABC Choir project which has managed to be busy 'digitally' throughout the whole pandemic period."
The film was premiered exclusively on Heno, S4C, on Monday night, 20th September, at 7pm.