- Year of composition: 1997
- Duration: 11:51
- Instrumentation: fixed medium
- Commission: SAN with support from The Arts Council of England
Cân (song, in Welsh) is a musical distillation of Wales, its people, language, landscape, and culture (particularly its musical culture). For the most part, the substance of Cân is made up of sounds which relate very much to the stereotypical image of Wales: harps, male-voice choirs, folk-singing and fiery preaching, though there are some less familiar sounds (for example, pibgorn playing, or the slow fracturing of mountain ice-sheets). The challenge was to press on beyond the picture-postcard surface into the ‘reality’ of Wales and Welshness. In doing so, the music enters a realm that is far more complex and diverse than the simplistic concepts of ‘nation’ or ‘nationality’ might seem to allow.
Cân was realized in 1997 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on January 9, 1998 during the Sonic Arts Network Conference, in Birmingham (UK). The piece was commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network (SAN) for its 1998 UK tour with support from The Arts Council of England. Thanks to Rachel Ley (harp), Miriam Ley (voice), Stephen Rees (pibgorn). Cân was a finalist at the 5th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1997).
- January 9, 1998, Sonic Arts Network Conference, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (England, UK)