Nia wins third place in this year's Cân i Gymru competition

Nia Davies Williams, an MA student in music at the University's School of Music has come third in this year's Cân i Gymru last night (03/03/12).

With over 120 songs entered for this year's competition, Cain, the song composed by Nia, with words by Sian Owen, was one of eight selected to compete in the live television final. Cain came third, winning a prize of £1,000.

The results comprised a combination of viewer votes and a score by the panel of judges, Heather Jones, Alun 'Sbardun' Huws, Ynyr Roberts and Lisa Jên Brown.

You can watch the programme again on Saturday 10 March at 9.30, or anytime on Clic

Nia collaborated on the song with local author Sian Owen, even though they had never met before. Nia explained,

“The author of the lyrics, Sian Owen from Anglesey came forward after hearing that I was looking for some lyrics to compose a song. She offered her lyrics and I put them to music and submitted it as an entry in the Cân i Gymru contest.

“The song compares life to a game of chess. Like the squares in chess, life can be a black or grey square at times but there’s always a white square in the distance. Falling in love is definitely a white square.”

You can listen to the song here

This isn’t the first time that Nia has had success in the competition. She made it into the final eight in 2004 with the song Gadael, co-written with Huw Erith.

Although Nia was composing long before she started her MA at Bangor University, she says that studying Music definitely helps.

As part of her MA course which concentrates on the effect of music with patients suffering from dementia, Nia will be travelling to the USA in May,

“I was lucky enough to be accepted to deliver a paper on the relationship between music and dementia in the Society for the Arts in Healthcare’s international conference in Detroit. I hope to continue with my studies in this new area at Bangor next year.”

Sian Owen was born in Llanuwchllyn but grew up in Anglesey. She works as a translator, writer and freelance editor. She has a published novel, Mân Esgyrn and is a former winner of the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition.

Publication date: 5 March 2012