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An event like no other will soon be held for three nights in Caernarfon Castle as Welsh musician Gruff Rhys, and the ground-breaking light artist Chris Levine perform the world premiere of “Annwn”.

“Annwn” is a an out of this world laser and sound show performed within the historic walls of Caernarfon Castle. A show like this has never been performed within any castle walls.

The performances are being hosted by Cadw, Welsh Government’s historic environment service and it will be their largest and most significant cultural event in Wales since Covid.

Sonic contributions have been specially created for Annwn by Welsh artist Gruff Rhys, drawn from his back catalogue, archive, and latest experiments. The sound will be accompanied by a fully immersive, programmed performance of laser projection created by Chris Levine.

Annwn sioe ysgafn / laser show

The music and light show have been inspired by the Annwn vision. Annwn means the Otherworld within the Welsh mythology of the Mabinogi.

The audience’s experience will last for around four hours and they will be able to move around the castle during the show.  Remixes of Gruff Rhys’ music by sound designer Marco Perry will be playing continuously throughout the evening. And then midway, Gruff Rhys will be performing an electronic set with live elements, featuring a new track and music from his back catalogue.

Gruff Rhys says

"Sound designer Marco Perry has remixed tracks from my back catalogue that are of more of an electronic, ambient persuasion into spatial sound mixes. The light show and Marco Perry’s remixes will be playing continuously over 4 hours — I’ll be playing a 75 mins spatial sound electronic ambient set with live elements from around 8.30pm."

Chris Levine says:

"No question that nothing like what we are going to do has ever been done inside the walls of this or any other castle on Earth, and the contrast of the ancient setting and the space age tech will take the work into the territory of surreal.

I’m excited to do this and think its going to be quite extraordinary, a totally unique experience."

For Dr Ffion Reynolds, Heritage & Arts Manager at Cadw and her team this will be a significant weekend of culture:

"We are delighted to be hosting Annwn, part of the amazing iy_project series of events created by Chris Levine and his collaborators. This will be our largest and most significant cultural event in Wales since Covid — and with Gruff Rhys adding his amazing new 3D spatial sound to Chris' inspirational laser work for Caernarfon Castle, I know it will make for an unforgettable experience".

The event is being staged in support of Samaritans Cymru. Neil Ingham, Executive Director for Samaritans Cymru said:

“We’re really excited and grateful to the team at Annwn for choosing Samaritans Cymru as their charity. This innovative event seeks to bring people together to share a unique experience and has a strong focus on human connection. This is a core value of Samaritans – we believe connection is a strong protective factor for suicide risk and we believe human compassion can change and save lives.

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Castell Caernarfon / ANNWN