LEAVE LAND Cynefin Gadael Tir (or Leave Land) is a show that tells the story of land rights and protest in Wales. The show follows the trials and tribulations of the common folk who strove to build the nation from the ground up, as we tell their story through sing-along choruses of traditional songs; heart wrenching tales of desperation and perseverance; cross-dressing, axe wielding farmers; radical preachers, land workers and unions, all encompassed by a thousand years of history squeezed into one performance. As well as drawing heavily on the folk arts of Wales, the show touches on many themes including politics, human rights, freedom of thought and expression, the right to protest and the history of British democracy. ABOUT THE PERFORMER Cynefin (a Welsh noun with no direct equivalent in English) is somewhat of a linguistic enigma. Originally a farming term used to describe the habitual tracks and trails worn by sheep in hillsides – the word has morphed and deepened over the centuries to conjure a very personal sense of place, belonging and familiarity. The artist Kyffin Williams describes it as ‘that relationship: the place of your birth and of your upbringing, the environment in which you live and to which you are naturally acclimatised.’ This ‘Cynefin’ is the musical brainchild of Clettwr valley native Owen Shiers and is a journey to discover the musical landscape and contours of Ceredigion and West Wales. Following a chance discovery of a long forgotten song by a local ballad singer, Owen was inspired to uncover more of the untold stories of the locals who’s voices have been lost over the centuries. A research scholarship from the Finzi Trust has further aided the project, enabling him to delve through unseen archive material, look through rare books as well as source songs from ballad singers and cultural historians. From the grumbles of millers past, musings of balladeers to the every day tales of ‘y werin’ (the common folk) – the resulting material is unique both in its originality (some of the songs have not been sung for over hundreds of years) but also in the arrangements which are ambitious and distinct.