Preview : Sera / Aled Rheon / Alys ConranRoyal Cambrian Academy, Conwy I 7.30pm Saturday 17th December I Tickets £10 & £6
At the beginning of December we will publish our roundup of the 2016 - but before a word is typed the poster for this event immediately frames a set of obvious choices for highlights.
The three act line-up is formed from two Welsh singer songwriters - from the North, Sera and from the South, Aled Rheon - and the accomplished North West Wales based poet and debut novelist, Alys Conran.
Each of them has undoubtedly had an exceptional year: Sera has released a new album, Little Girl to universal acclaim; Aled Rheon has topped a year as a BBC Horizons artist with A Gorgeous Charge, an EP of new songs that match the excellence and promise of his 2013 debut Sêr yn Disgyn, and Alys Conran has delivered her superb first novel, Pijin / Pigeon, simultaneously published in Welsh and English.
Born and raised in North Wales, Alys Conran spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona before returning to the area to live and write. She speaks fluent Spanish and Catalan as well as Welsh and English. She has seen her short fiction placed in the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize, and has read her fiction and poetry at The Hay Festival and on Radio Four. Her work is to be found in magazines including Stand and The Manchester Review, and also in anthologies by The Bristol Review of Books, Parthian, The Camden Trust and Honno. She is now lecturer in creative writing at Bangor. Her novel Pigeon is 'an extraordinary book about people, place, language and culture'.
Originally from Carmarthen but now living in Cardiff, contemporary troubadour Aled Rheon performs in both his native Welsh and English - drawing influences from a love of traditional Welsh folk music combined with a childhood spent in rural Wales, contrasted with his experience of love and life in the city. His second EP, as the review says, 'showcases an insightful and genuinely gifted singer songwriter'.
Sera lives near Caernarfon, and has been 'weaving stories and making music ever since she can remember'. A series of excellent albums and EPs has culminated in Little Girl - 'striking, flawlessly crafted and emotive ... a stunning album on any measure'. Her music is still a mix of folk and Americana, but with at times a new harder edge. She will be joined at the RCA by her long-time collaborator, folk violinist Jenn Williams.
SERA I Carry Me (single from Little Girl)
ALED RHEON I Wrap up Warm