The Liet International is the Eurovision Song Contest for the minority languages of Europe. And this was the winning song of the most recent one, sung in Breton: Ar Gouloù Bev, (The Living Light) by Lleuwen Tangi (nee Steffan), or indeed just Lleuwen for short. The competion was held last month in Gijon in Asturias, so whoops, we’re a bit slow.
Lleuwen was up against fellow finalists from Corsica (2nd), East Frisia (3rd), Asturias, (they unsurprisingly won the audience award), Sardinia, Scotland, Friesland (outrageous, Voodooelectric are like Madness singing in Lower Saxon), the Basque Country, Udmurtia (they’d come the furthest, from 1,200 km due East of Moscow), Sapmi (the judges don’t seem to have Lapped that one up – ouch) and in last place Friuli.
Lleuwen made her mark on the British jazz scene with a fine album of Welsh hymn tunes (in Welsh) for Babel in 2005 with Huw Warren and Mark Lockheart, and also proved to be a good and highly knowledgeable TV presenter for S4C at the Brecon Jazz Festival in days gone by.
Good news is good news. In any language. Congratulations and best wishes!
The Duw A Wyr album was one of Welsh hymns as love songs and I remember the sessions well. Also Huw Warren was a mentor to her musically at that time. They set a standard for voice, saxophone, piano trios. Possibly one of Babel's finest hours, in my view? Her passion has always been undoubted. So it my heartfelt congratulations.