Gwenno - Tresor Music Album Reviews

Gwenno - Tresor Music Album Reviews
The singer and songwriter’s second album sung almost entirely in Cornish is a document of a revived linguistic heritage with a breezy, ethereal touch.

Gwenno Saunders’ new album Tresor is her second record sung almost entirely in Cornish, a Celtic language that bloomed around 600 C.E., and which the mothers of Cornwall passed down to their daughters for over a thousand years before the English more or less forced them to stop. Dolly Pentreath, purportedly the last fluent native speaker, died in 1777. But in 2010, the United Nations upgraded the status of Cornish from “extinct” to merely “critically endangered,” reflecting the work of the Cornish Language Partnership in standardizing written and spoken grammar for a community of about 300 speakers. The CLP also contributed to the opening of a Cornish-language nursery school, where, according to a news report, toddlers learn “to share their tegennow and play nicely in the polltewas.” Tresor, says Gwenno, is a record about her experience of becoming a mother, as well as a follow-up to her 2018 LP Le Kov, lauded for bringing Cornish to wider attention. It’s as though, having turned to face the public and taught them all she knows of this new-old language, she is relishing the opportunity once denied to Dolly Pentreath: to pass her linguistic heritage to her child.

The daughter of a Welsh mother and a Cornish father, Gwenno rose from the ashes of the retro-pop girl group the Pipettes to become an esoteric experimentalist. Every lyric on her solo albums, even the ones that cite Jung or obscure science fiction authors, is written in Cornish or Welsh. She records with close friends in rustic seaside cottages, and her artistic and activist goals are one: “Nid yw Cymru ar werth,” she sings, which translates as “Wales is not for sale.”

But Gwenno is in the business of pop artistry, not broccoli-boiling, so Tresor’s touch is light and breezy, even as its songs dive into analytical psychology, the patriarchy, the colonizer lurking up and to the right. Her richly layered instrumentation in “Anima” calls to mind Cate Le Bon, with a few more chimes and woodwinds, and a bit more space for Gwenno’s ghostly backing vocal to linger behind her melody. The riffs of “N.Y.C.A.W.” would be at home on U2’s October, as would the righteous insistence of its militant chanting.

Other moments are gentler, and more tender. The beautiful, ethereal opener “An Stevel Nowydh” begins with Gwenno welcoming listeners into her home, and singing, in Cornish: “Welcome, sit down/Fancy a cuppa?/How are you?” What a rare thing, to be welcomed so warmly into a world one knows little about, and to be won over. “When will you hear me?” Gwenno sings, in “Ardamm,” in a language spoken by, at most, a few hundred people. “When will you understand me?” In technical terms, very few listeners can understand her—but on some more vital, human level, anyone who spends time with Tresor will require no translation at all.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Gwenno - Tresor Music Album Reviews Gwenno - Tresor Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, July 21, 2022 Rating: 5

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