On making Lady GoGo Goch
Lady GoGo Goch was first conceived when I made a trip to a Giving Voice Festival in Wroclaw, Poland in 2009 (curated by Centre for Performance Research). I was entranced by the music and voices I heard during that trip, ranging from Ukrainian female ensembles to groups of male Corsicans singing hand-to-shoulder. I realised then the power of the human voice. The longing a single note can summon, the joy, the silliness and the darker stuff. I had no idea what the lyrics meant literally, but I felt a deep emotional connection with the sonic worlds these voices were sharing with me. It got me thinking about my native language Welsh, and what this identity means to me as a resident of England. So we began devising a show with the Welsh voice at its heart, and here we are.
I decided to team up with Ricardo Rocha – a versatile musician with an interest in mixing traditional and contemporary styles. With his Portuguese heritage and interest in linguistics, I knew he would be able to offer the outside perspective and help the collaborative team build a piece that could appeal to Welsh-speakers, English-speakers, or speakers of neither language.
This is a music-theatre show that is consciously fragmented. There’s no use looking for a single story thread, there isn’t one. The sound world of Lady GoGo Goch is built live with the help of a loop station, and with some pre-recorded contributions from Aberystwyth Male Voice Choir and Meredydd Evans. What we’ve made is a set list of original and traditional Welsh songs and sounds and these are “hosted” by a series of Welsh Ladies. They are:
|Lady Llanofer||Augusta Hall, 19th Century Welsh patro