‘Cynefin’ (pr. kuh-neh-vin) is the creative vision of West Wales native Owen Shiers. Fascinated by music and history, it is a bid to give a modern voice to Ceredigion’s rich yet neglected cultural heritage. Starting out from his home village of Capel Dewi in the Clettwr Valley and traveling through the local musical landscape, Owen has unearthed seasoned songs and stories, some never before recorded, and given them new life in the present.
The result of three years research and work, his debut album ‘Dilyn Afon’ (Following A River) is distinct both in its concept and ambition. From talking animals and tragic train journeys – to the musings of star crossed lovers, farm workers and lonely vagabonds, the album provides a unique window into the past and to a vibrant oral culture of story and song – it moves, probes and reveals forgotten aspects of the tradition, whilst raising questions around our modern malaise of disconnection and rootlessness.
Nominated for Welsh Album of the Year 2020, Cynefin gives Owen a platform to ply his intricate arranging skills whilst taking him right back to his roots.