Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
The cult stars have totally re-invented the brass band sound for the modern age. A truly brilliant live act, they have played the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the BRITs, MOBO and Mercury Awards. The group has great playing chops and a fun-loving stage presence that makes every one of their shows both visually and musically compelling.
Innovative British singer-songwriter, two-time Mercury Prize nominee and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula grew up in Birmingham. She first sang in church and later with all female acapella group Black Voices. By 2008 she had formed and was composing for her own jazz/neo-soul outfit Judyshouse. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released in 2013 and garnered multiple award nominations and critical acclaim. Discussing her follow-up, 2016 album The Dreaming Room the Guardian described how Mvula “pulls the listener along with her through the most serpentine songs: however, winding their routes, the melodies are almost always beautiful.” Her live gigs are joyful, soulful, and unforgettable.
This is the story of the man born Clifford J. Price – jungle’s most streetwise ambassador who went on to collect an MBE from Buckingham Palace. As one of Britain’s most influential DJs, producers and record-label owners, Goldie’s contribution to the UK rave scene in the 1990s with Metalheadz provided the blueprint for dubstep and grime. Here is the memoir of an extraordinary life, an explosive story of abuse, revenge, graffiti, breakdancing, gold teeth, sawn-off shotguns, car crashes, hot yoga, absent fatherhood and redemption through reality TV.
This thrilling seven-piece band fuse hip hop and classical music with a mix of classical strings, operatic vocals, heavy beats and energetic rap. The band’s energy is infectious: audiences dance, jump and join in with moves and lyrical hooks. They come to Hay after a festival tour that included Glasto, Womad and Camp Bestival.
This sublime, critically acclaimed collaboration between two adventurous virtuoso musicians – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita – delivers a stunning exhibition of world-class musicianship. Their second album SOAR takes flight on the wings of the osprey, the magnificent bird of prey recently returned to Wales after centuries of absence, which makes its annual 3,000-mile migration from the coasts of West Africa to the estuaries of Wales, soaring like music and dreams over man-made borders, in an innate and epic journey of endurance. Entrancing, mesmeric, intricate and ethereal, this is remarkable music and a thrilling live experience.
The first of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Auf Flugeln des Gesanges Op.34 No.2; Fanny Hensel Warum sind den die Rosen so blass, Op.1 No.3; Felix MendelssohnLieder ohne Worte Op.30 No.3; Fanny Hensel Die Mainacht Op.9 No.6, Lieder ohne Worte Op.8 No.3; Felix Mendelssohn Suleika 1 Op.57 No.3; Robert Schumann Lied der Suleika Op.25 No.9; Clara Schumann Liebst du um Schőnheit Op.12 No.2; Robert Schumann Widmung Op.25 No.1; Johanna Müller-Hermann Lieder Op.2; Richard Strauss Schlagende Herzen Op.29 No.2, Das Rosenband Op.36 No.1, Ständchen Op.17 No.2, Morgen Op.27 No.4
The supergroup of great West African women musicians raise the Bank Holiday Monday roof with a spectacular and glorious concert. Their exuberant harmonies and sublime rhythms make for a perfect celebration.
Mamani Keita (vocal), Rokia Kone (vocal), Awa Sangho (vocal), Joseph Palmer (drums), Mariam Kone (backing vocal), Mamadou Diakite (guitar) and Llorens Barcelo (Keys).
Their first album Republique Amazone is out now on the Real World label.
How does the culture of our past shape and speak to the present? And how might a richer understanding of where we have come from help us discover where we're heading now? The novelist and playwright Barney Norris and the pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris explore these questions in The Wellspring, a new book of interviews on music and cultural inheritance. Uniquely placed, as father and son artists, to engage with the question of how things are passed on, they meet at Hay to explore the way a life is formed by what has come before, and the way we form that past as we go through our lives.
The second of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Felix Mendelssohn’s Lieder Ohne Worte; Maria Szymanowska’s Nocturne in B flat major; Fanny Hensel Nocturne in G major; Clara Schumann Nocturne in F major, Op.6 No.2; Robert Schumann Waldszenen, Op.82.
The third of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Felix Mendelssohn’s Capriccio, Op.81; Elizabeth Maconchy’s String Quartet No.3; Antonín Dvorák’s String Quartet No.10 in E flat, Op.51 (Slavonic).
Also drawing upon an epic poem and an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier, Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero brings the stories of war to life but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope. At its heart is a site specific Requiem, realised from a collaboration between the late Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhansson and Owen Morgan Roberts; with a libretto by BAFTA nominated writer Owen Sheers. Artist Owen Griffiths (Arts Council of Wales Creative Ambassador) will also join the conversation to discuss his contribution to the project – the creation of an edible landscape and harvest gathering, as featured in Brangwyn's paintings.
Rees introduces the concepts of Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero and discusses Sheers’ response to the ancient Celtic poem Y Gododdin; Roberts’ interpretation of this in musical form in a specific setting; and Griffiths unique interpretation of paintings as war memorials in contemporary landscape.
Chaired by Jasper Rees.
Now The Hero is the highlight in Wales for the final year of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
The entrancing singer-songwriter’s debut album English Rain was released in 2013 and contained a slew of UK top 10 singles, including: Please Don’t Say You Love Me, Panic Cord, Home, Salvation and Gabrielle’s unforgettable cover of The Power of Love which reached No.1 in the UK chart. Light up the Dark followed in 2015 and she built her label Never Fade Records, generating 100 million worldwide streams. Aplin’s seemingly relentless creative output continued in 2017 – she released two EPs featuring the infectious singles Miss You and Waking up Slow.
The biographer celebrates the centenary of the birth of the versatile musical genius, America’s greatest conductor and the composer of West Side Story. Burton was given exclusive access to Bernstein’s rich legacy of letters and papers, and the book draws on hundreds of interviews with family, friends and colleagues to reveal his fascinating and complex personality. The event is chaired by Humphrey Burton’s daughter, the broadcaster and author of Year of Wonder.
The artist, co-creator of the Book of the Year, talks about the extraordinary project to reclaim and celebrate The Lost Words whilst she paints live onstage. She is accompanied by the music and song of Kerry Andrew performing the spells. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – dandelion, otter, bramble, acorn – all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds. Morris and her poet-spellcaster, Robert Macfarlane, have created a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. They capture the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
Sponsored by Richard Booth’s Bookshop, which is hosting an exhibition of Jackie’s work until 31 August 2018
The last of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Felix Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonata No.1 in B flat, Op.45; Dora Pejačević’s Sonata in E minor, Op.35.
The Irish Rockabilly superstar brings her phenomenal live show to the festival. Her new album is described as her ‘most personal and heartfelt work to date’ (Independent). With accolades from the likes of Bob Dylan, her latest release has been celebrated as a combination 'of dusky Americana and vintage British soul’ (All Music). Her previous albums include Love Tattoo, Mayhem and Tribal.
The award-winning violinist presents BBC Radio 3's Breakfast, The Proms, and Young Musician of the Year. She introduces a beautiful engagement with classical music for every day of the year, whoever you are and wherever you’re from. In this session she celebrates the great sounds of spring and summer and mixes a Hay seasonal playlist.