Conran Poetry Chorus at the Ogwen River Festival
The Conran Poetry Chorus are delighted to be performing at the Ogwen River Festival in Bethesda, Gwynedd on Saturday 29th September 2018, together with Bragod (Robert Evans and Mary-Anne Roberts).
Review by Byron Beynon in Agenda Vol 51
‘This is a life-affirming book, written with intensity and energy, poems of mystery and beauty, where the personality of the poet enters the vital sinew of each poem.’
11th March 2017 Conran Poetry Chorus performance during
the David Jones Society colloquium, ‘Starlight Order’
at The Artworkers’ Guild, Queens Square, London.
The Conran Poetry Chorus and Bragod were honoured and delighted to perform from Three Symphonies as the final event in a stimulating and inspiring programme of talks and readings arranged by the David Jones Society and introduced by Anne Price-Owen. Speakers included Hilary Davies on ‘David Jones and Stanley Spencer’, John Matthews ‘Remembering David Jones’, Richard Kindersley and Ewan Clayton, with a fine reading from ‘The Book of Balaam’s Ass’ by Tom Durham and Agenda Poets Josephine Balmer and Patricia McCarthy reading from their own work.
Anne Price-Owen introducing the Conran Poetry Chorus
The setting of the Hall under the bust of William Morris was a fitting place to acknowledge the influence of Jones as a writer and artist and to explore his legacy – including his influence on Tony’s work and ideas, which is particularly apparent in the fourth movement of ‘Everworlds’ Symphony 9 – ‘Benedictus’.
The second movement of ‘Everworlds’ is dedicated to Robert Graves and in John Matthews’s talk we learnt that Jones did meet Robert Graves when they were both soldiers in the Welsh Fusiliers on the Somme considering him ‘arrogant and very much of the officer class’
The large audience listened intently to the readings by John, Sheila, Lesley and Dyfan, framed and accompanied by the ancient Ap Huw measures and folk tunes with Robert Evans on crwth, lyre and fiddle.
John Griffiths, Dyfan Roberts and Sheila Brook
Robert Evans was joined by Mary-Anne Roberts for full Bragod treatment of 3 poems from the final movement of ‘Everworlds’.
Lesley Conran, Mary-Anne Roberts and Robert Evans.
Greg Hill's review has just been published in Planet no. 225, Spring 2017:-
'...(Everworlds) feels the most obviously symphonic. But 'The Magi'... also has distinct thematic shifts and developments, which can be regarded as movements, though not marked as such. It is also the most ambitious in tackling potentially intractable subjects such as the evolution of life on Earth and the growth of human consciousness. ... metaphorical and scientific language merge in a challenging amalgam.'
'This is religious poetry seeking a form and ... creating a 'three-personed space.'
Available from www.planetmagazine.org.uk .
Jane Aaron reviewed the launch of Three Symphonies in Aberystwyth for the New Welsh Review Online Review Supplement (Nov 2016):-
.' This haunting harmonising of the very old and the freshly new gave to the event as a whole the highly memorable quality of a rich bardic gift ...
... The first symphony, ‘The Magi’, focuses on how ‘All of us / Magi to one another’ participate as gift-bearers in the making of one another’s worlds, literally so in the processes of procreation, which many of these lyrics explore. The second, ‘Fabrics’ is dedicated to a fashion-designer friend of Conran’s daughter, and explores in a series of sonnets the age-old craft of fabric-making juxtaposed with the immediate moment when the designer ‘makes sense of a world mood’ through a specific choice: ‘For an instant beyond design or care / You embody what shall be.’ In the final symphony, ‘Everworlds’, this fusion of the old and the new, the imaginative leap into new life issuing out from the timeless underworlds, is explored on a cosmic and spiritual scale ...
The full review in Review Supplement 12 is available to subscribers at www.newwelshreview.com.
The David Jones Society
and Agenda Poetry
are pleased to invite you to a performance
of poems from
Three Symphonies by Tony Conran
by the Conran Poetry Chorus
on Saturday 11 March 2017 at 4.30pm
at The Artworkers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT
The performance is the final event in a one day colloquium celebrating 20 years of
The David Jones Society - Starlight Order - which takes its title from In Parenthesis, and will include talks by Hilary Davies, Tom Durham, Richard Kindersley, Ewan Clayton and John Matthews as well as the film David Jones: his final years.
Admission to the performance only - £10 at the door (including a discount on the cost of Three Symphonies and refreshments)
Registration for the Colloquium including the performance by the Conran Poetry Chorus costs £40 in advance (also including refreshments and a discount on the cost of Three Symphonies).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to place a booking.
See also www.david-jones-society.org
Three Celebrations to Launch Three Symphonies
R to L: Back - Robert Evans (Bragod), Sioned Webb, Dyfan Roberts, Lesley Conran, Sheila Brook, John Griffiths, Tom O'Reilly (drum). Front: Mary-Anne Roberts (Bragod), Gwilym Morus-Baird.
Friday 9th September 2016, 7.30pm
Celebrating the poet Tony Conran - The Common Room, Chapter
The Conran Poetry Chorus present selections from Tony Conran’s final poem symphonies, using recitation, song, instrumental music, choral speaking and more to create a vibrant performance. The event celebrates the publication of Three Symphonies by Tony Conran as an Agenda Edition. Conran was an original, modernist poet whose voice reflected the celebratory and social role of the Welsh poetry of which he was a major translator. He described poetry as ‘a dance of the vocal chords and the mouth, which only really comes alive when you hear it and see it.
Admission £6 on the door including drinks and a discount on the price of Three Symphonies.
Presented with the support of the Welsh Books Council.
Members of the Conran Poetry Chorus taking part in performance are Sheila Brook, Gwilym Morus-Baird, and Lesley Conran. Music is arranged by Sioned Webb and Robert Evans. We are pleased to welcome Bragod – local duo Robert Evans and Mary Ann Roberts as guest artists.
Celebrating the Launch of Three Symphonies
The Conran Poetry Chorus performed in the Pontio Centre Bangor on the evening of 6th July in celebration of the publication of Three Symphonies. An enthusiastic audience of poetry lovers enjoyed a vibrant performance, with music by local composer and musician Sioned Webb on harp, pipe and percussion. The readers were - Dyfan Roberts, Sheila Brook, John Griffiths and Lesley Conran who now directs the group. Sections of each of the Symphonies were performed.
Musician and composer Sioned Webb
Lesley Conran, Sheila Brook and Dyfan Roberts.
Thank you to all who attended, bought copies of the book, and helped in creating a successful and memorable evening.
Tony Conran: Three Symphonies (Agenda Editions)
ISBN: 978-1-908527-25-7 Price £10
Published with the support of the Welsh Books Council
Available from www.agendapoetry.co.uk
Forthcoming Events to celebrate the launch of Three Symphonies
The next performance and South Wales launch will be:
Cardiff: Friday 09 September, 2016 7.30pm, The Common Room, Chapter, Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE. Full details to follow. Followed by -
Aberystwyth: Saturday 08 October 2016, 7.30pm, Y Drwm, National Library of Wales, Penglais Road, Aberystwyth SY23 3BU. Full details to follow
London: Saturday 11 March 2017, The Art Workers’ Guild, Queens Square, London, WC1N 3AT as the final event in a one day colloquium of the David Jones Society ‘(Starlight Order)’. Full Details to follow.
These events are presented with the financial support of the Welsh Books Council.
Guardian Poem of the Week
We are delighted to anounce that Tony Conran's poem 'Jasper' from Eros Proposes a Toast (Seren 1998) was chosen as the Guardian Poem of the Week for the week beginning 25th April by Carol Rumens. Carol is author of 14 collections of poems, as well as occasional fiction, drama and translation, she is also professor in creative writing at Bangor University. Her inciteful commentary of Tony's poem starts:
'A wedding gift in verse, this is a warm celebration of art and craft, friendship and Welshness.'
'Jasper' and Carol's comentary are available on the Guardian website here.
Tony Conran Remembered
Tony Conran's achievement as a writer has been commemorated by the erection of a Plaque in the Main Library at Bangor University. A short ceremony was held in the Library on 30 April 2016 when poems to two of his past friends and colleagues who were inspirational to him – the late Professor John Danby and the late Professor Bedwyr Lewis Jones - were read by members of the Conran Poetry Chorus.
The plaque was created with the support of the Rhys Davies Trust, Literature Wales and of the family, friends, and former colleagues of the writer. It was made by Ieuan Rees whose calligraphy and carving are renowned. The material used is Welsh slate.
A small exhibition of the works of the poet and items from the University archive was set up in the Shankland Library for the occasion.
The Library is used by the local community as well as students and staff of the University and the memorial will remind those who come into the Library about the writer and provide a focal point for admirers of his work.
The final celebration in Wales of the publication of Three Symphonies took place in Aberystwyth on 8th October, following events in Bangor and Cardiff. Conran Poetry Chorus were joined by Bragod for a memorable evening of poetry and music. The performance was introduced and interleaved by Sioned Webb’s own contemporary compositions on harp and pipe, folk music selections and Bragod’s striking settings of three poems in the final section to the ancient Welsh measures from the Robert ap Huw manuscript.
The next performance will be -
London: Saturday 11 March 2017, The Art Workers’ Guild, Queens Square, London, WC1N 3AT as the final event in a one day colloquium celebrating 20 years of the David Jones Society ‘(Starlight Order)’, which takes its title from In Parenthesis, and will include talks by Hilary Davies, Tom Durham, Richard Kindersley, Ewan Clayton and John Matthews as well as the film David Jones: the ultimate year.
Admission to the performance only - £10 at the door (including a reduction on the cost of Three Symphonies and refreshments)
Registration for the Colloquium including the performance by the Conran Poetry Chorus costs £40 in advance (also including refreshments and a reduction on the cost of Three Symphonies).