Nia Davies Williams is from Llŷn Peninsula and is studying MA in music in the University of Bangor, concentrating on the effect of music with patients suffering from dementia.
Nia will be traveling to the United States of America in May this year to discuss her research work in Detroit. As well as composing and playing the harp, Nia conducts piano lessons in the Williams Mathias Music Centre, Caernarfon.
Nia often plays the harp and piano in concerts and weddings, she has also appeared with the Brigyn band on many occasions. Her performances with the brothers from Snowdonia include the Faenol Festival, the Sesiwn Fawr and the Green Man Festival. Nia reached the last eight of Cân i Gymru in 2004 with the song 'Gadael' which was performed by Mirain Haf.
Sian Owen was born in Llanuwchllyn, and has lived in Anglesey for most of her life; she works as a freelance translator, author and editor.
As well as publishing her first novel for adults in 2009 Mân Esgyrn, Sian is a member of the Bro Alaw team of poets, and she won the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition in 2007. A physics graduate, she enjoys working with words and recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing. She is currently the officiating druid of the Anglesey Bardic Circle. Over the years Sian has written many lyrics for the Anglesey Youth Choir, taken part in the Make An Aria! project with Music Theatre Wales, and recently worked with Tudur Morgan to produce Y Fydlyn, a song about a special cove in Anglesey which features on Tudur's latest CD. She has never competed in Cân i Gymru before.
Nia Davies Williams and Sian Owen have a very unusual partnership due to the fact that they have not yet met. They were brought together when Sian heard that Nia was looking for song lyrics to compete in Cân i Gymru this year. As it happens, Sian had a set of lyrics just waiting for the opportunity. She had originally written the words a few years ago whilst working on an unpublished novel, but felt they would work well as song lyrics. In 'Cain', a girl on a beach watches as people gather to play chess, sheltering from the sun under the trees, and she compares the game to life itself. The girl sings to someone called Cain, musing that life is never simply black and white like the squares on a chess board. Her future lies somewhere in the 'grey squares', but will Cain choose to join here there or will his footsteps disappear from the sand with the tide? Nia liked the unusual lyrics with their many possible meanings and the melody grew from a distinct couplet that stayed in her mind. Sian was happy that Nia's melody had captured the slightly melancholy feel of the words and loved the natural flow of the composition.