Bards in High Places…

It’s official – the Bards are Back in Town!

And we’re part of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Senedd – the Welsh Parliament. Why the Senedd? Well, let us tell you a story…


From the sixth century, through the Middle Ages, Bards were known in the British Isles as skilled musicians, storytellers, poets and orators. Bardic training was rigorous, lasting for twelve years or more and Bards were also taught how to memorise and deliver important information to their audiences – histories, genealogies, laws, traditions, myths and legends. Little was written down, so the task of passing it orally fell to the Bards and their philosophical counterparts, the Druids – both groups were walking Wikipedias!

William Blake: Songs of Innocence and of Experience (The Voice of the Ancient Bard) currently in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge  | The William Blake Archive, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Their memory skills and eloquence made them desirable to monarchs and tribal leaders who used the Bards to communicate a chief’s achievements and victories, and as political satirists to demean their enemies.

The best of the Bards could be found in high places – castles, royal courts and political circles – where they were invaluable, as they could share what they knew through story and song, in ways ordinary people could understand. It could be said that these abilities made them the forerunners of marketing, PR and internal comms! Their name gives another clue – the origins of ‘bard’ can be found both in ‘bardos’ (‘poet or minstrel’), and ‘gwerhdos’ (‘praise-maker’).

But Bards had one more string to their bows (or rather, harps). They were believed to possess a supernatural energy called Awen, the Welsh word for ‘poetic inspiration’, which would flow through the Bard at will. (In Ireland this power was known as Imbas). The Bards and Druids certainly believed in it, as did their audiences, and this aspect gave their words extra gravitas.


Awen’s Call aims to capture the Celtic creativity that the original bards and druids shared. Through Celt-inspired folk-rock and story-led songs and music that fuse Druidic and Himalayan mysticism, an Awen’s Call event is a journey into the hidden world, a rock and roll journey full of myth, mystery, and the spirit of Merlin…

So, following in the footsteps of our poetic predecessors, it’s no surprise to find some modern-day minstrels back in political High Places – an Auspicious Event is a Bard’s natural habit! And this summer, Awen’s Call have arrived at the Senedd with a Single Auspicious Task… more to come!