John Cale with the Festival of Voice Ensemble & Chorus + Gwenno

St David's Hall
The founding member of one of the most defining bands of a generation, John Cale OBE returned home for an exclusive Festival of Voice performance with an opening set from home-grown talent Gwenno.


Coming shortly after his new release, M:FANS / Music For A New Society, this one-time performance saw Cale team up with the Festival of Voice Ensemble and Chorus, co-ordinated by Lucy Morgan.

Cale has a penchant for constructing soundscapes and sonic tapestries in his music. On this very special occasion, the focus will emphasize the most powerful of all instruments – The Voice. He’s excited to create bespoke arrangements of both classic and new material showcasing the vast expressions of elegiac hymns to rhythmic emulation – experimentation in real time.

Over the course of a musical career that began in the 1960s, Cale has built up an unparalleled body of work as a musician, singer, songwriter, producer, film composer and visual artist. From the Velvet Underground’s noise-bending attack on rock and roll through a constantly surprising solo career to the truly unclassifiable music he makes today, Cale has been at the vanguard of a myriad of creative disciplines. A classically trained instrumentalist, he abandoned conventional wisdom and traded it in to contort his beloved viola into what would become his signature sound.

Opening for Cale, we welcomed Cardiff’s Gwenno; a sound artist, DJ, radio presenter and singer with her own brand of left-field electropop. Gwenno’s music translates her internationalist influences into layered, home-fi keyboard sounds wrapped in echoed vocals and musique concrète-inspired beats. A former member of Brighton-based conceptual pop band The Pipettes, Gwenno released her Ymbelydredd EP in 2012 to critical acclaim. More recently, her debut album Y Dydd Olaf (The Last Day) which features both Welsh and Cornish songs, led to her winning the 2014-2015 Welsh Music Prize, as well as the award for Best Welsh Album at the 2015 National Eisteddfod.

Gwenno | @therealjohncale | @gwennosaunders


“… it’s Cale’s imagination that seems boundless” The Guardian