Mercury Prize 2022: Gwenno puts Cornish music on the map
08 September 2022
Pop-synth princess Gwenno is representing Cornwall at tonight’s Mercury Prize awards ceremony.
Gwenno, whose music features in the soundtrack for BAIT, was shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize for her album Tresor. Reflecting on her experiences as a mother, Tresor is the first ever Cornish-language record to be shortlisted for the Mercury Prize.
Growing up in a Celtic household, Cornish is Gwenno’s first language, along with Welsh. However, speaking to the Independent, Gwenno said “I was potentially a bit scared of using it in the past. You can feel like that with languages that seem more fragile. [To speak Cornish] is to be able to tap into something that feels ancient and contemporary at the same time. It’s become useful to me as I’ve taken hold of it.”
It's great to see a contemporary artist like Gwenno putting Cornish culture on the map and paving the way to success for future generations of songwriters and performance artists.
We’re so proud to see a Cornish artist being recognised by such a prestigious award for their work – which by all accounts is exceptional. Not only does it show our local creatives and current students the heights that can be reached from our beautiful corner of the country, but this album is also helping broader audiences to connect with Cornish culture.
Dr Antti Saario, Head of Music at Falmouth University, says "It's great to see a contemporary artist like Gwenno putting Cornish culture on the map and paving the way to success for future generations of songwriters and performance artists coming through Falmouth University's Academy of Music & Theatre Arts - we wish her well this evening."
Listen to the full album