|John Good |
|Featured: Poem Short Story Article and: Welsh Bagpipes Family Kilts
This page represents some of my personal projects, current and from the mists of past decades that fall outside the eclectic description "Tramor". They include music, poetry, short stories, newspaper articles and really, anything I felt might be of interest to people outside the confines of my precocious and gregarious second childhood. I hope that the time you invest perusing what follows is worth the price of admission.
John Good is well known throughout the West, South, Midwest and in his native Wales as a multi-instrumentalist, Welsh piper, singer/songwriter, storyteller, composer and poet. A veteran of many Celtic festivals and concerts, including Estes Park, Chicago Celtic Fest, Sea Shanty Festival San Diego and Highland Games Denver, he brings the subtly different flavor of traditional Welsh music to the contemporary stage.
John was born in 1949 in Cwmafan, South Wales, UK., into a house where the Welsh Language was spoken. Educated in Sandfields Comprehensive School, Hull then Cardiff Universities, where he studied with renowned Welsh composer Alan Hodinott. Taught in the London School system for several years. Immigrated to the USA in 1975, living and performing in San Francisco, Los Angeles then moving to Phoenix in 1989.
His goal is to strengthen a fledgling, Welsh and Celtic cultural presence in the Southwest and North America, by creating regional focal points, where American and Welsh/Celtic-born people with an interest in their heritage, culture and language would come to reconnect with their own living history.
|Related links: Biographic Info Performances & Broadcasts|
|Poem of the Month
...or there abouts
Whether as part of the world-wide Welsh Diaspora or with slippered feet propped up on the hearth stones of the evergreen home, traditionally and historically, poetry and music in the Welsh mind have been considered as indistinguishable; both having pitch, rhythm, inflection, counterpoint and cadence. What works for one, composed in the long and lost hours of scribbling, works for the other; harmony, humor, tension and meaning binding together to make a hopefully tasty metaphysical soup. I've been writing poetry (and for that matter music) all my life (too late to stop now!) and these poems, some still in the perpetual finalization stage, others seemingly finished, represent more years than I care to enumerate. Being ethnically and artistically typical in many ways, it won't now surprise you to find out that for me, poetry without melody and ambiance is prose.
Visit the Archive!
getting over a loss...
|Listen to John's take on Kyle.|
...and entertaining lies
Ah! Stories!! My mother always said I was a "romancer". I regret little, and ask forgiveness for having made other people regret. But I do wish I'd asked my grandfather and grandmother, mother and father, uncles and aunties to tell me more about the ebb and flow, coming and going, ups and downs of their lives and times; about the stories and legends they themselves heard in their younger days.
A lot of what I write is based loosely or otherwise on traditional material or those family stories that have survived the river of hours. I can only hope there is something here for the next generation to keep.
Visit the archive
|Articles & Reviews
Sometimes you have to tell the truth
Occasionally, I find myself either requested or compelled to set things straight, or to recommend and applaud great and good writing. With so much spurious information readily available these days, on TV and the web, I find myself turning to Mark Twain to guide my less fictional endeavors...
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
| Read the Article of the Month and visit our archive!
|The Welsh Bagpipes
I am very proud and very lucky to be involved in the renaissance of the Welsh Bagpipes and pibgorn (hornpipe), which had practically died out by the time I was born. Here's a couple of historic quotes and links to some of my fellow resuscitators; all adept at the Heimlich Maneuver.
"What is known as the horse wedding took place in 1852. There was all the mirth and jollity of bygone days. But one feature was missing, that appealed to the ear as well as the eye; where was old Edward of Gwern, y pebydd (the piper), who, mounted upon his white steed and pouring forth the wild music of the bagpipe, had headed many a wedding party in their half frantic gallop over hill and vale."
Theophilus Jones, Carnhuanawc
"Cwm Rhondda Mabsantau, neithioirau, gwylnosau, were their red-letter days, and the rude merrimaking of the village green the pivot of all that was worth living for in a mundane existence. I do not remember much about the gwylmabsant and the gwylnos - I came a quarter of a century too late for those wonderful orgies - but I remember the neithior with its all-day and all-night rollicking fun. We did not have the crwth, but we had the fiddle, and occasionally the harp, or a home-made degenerate sort of pibgorn. I myself am a tolerable player on the simplified pibgorn alas the pibgyrn are all gone today and I doubt whether there is one left of the old shepherd players."
William Merdith Morris, Cwm Gwaun
Welsh Bagpipe LinksWikipedia - Welsh bagpipes
Welsh Bagpipes - Pibau Cymreig
John Tose Welsh Pipes (made the pipes in the photo above)
YouTube - John Glenydd Evans,Welsh Bagpipe Maker (maker of my traditional pipes)
Americymru Blog - John Good on Welsh Bagpipes
|On the Kilt|
Not up it!
Recently, the Welsh have taken to wearing tartans. Some think this is a novelty, but the ancient commentators tell us otherwise.
"The way they dress is astonishing: they wear brightly coloured and embroidered shirts, with trousers called bracae and cloaks fastened at the shoulder with a brooch, heavy in winter, light in summer. These cloaks are striped or checkered in design, with the separate checks close together and in various colours."
But in battle, they were astonished by the "woad-daubed ancient Briton charging into battle naked and blue." I'd guess the kilts were at the cleaners, but seriously...
The earliest documented tartan in Britain, known as the "Falkirk" tartan, dates from the 3rd century AD. It was uncovered at Falkirk in Stirlingshire, Scotland, about 400 metres north-west of the Antonine Wall. The fragment was stuffed into the mouth of an earthenware pot containing almost 2,000 Roman coins. The Falkirk tartan has a simple check design, of natural light and dark wool. Early forms of tartan like this are thought to have been invented in pre-Roman times, and would have been popular among the inhabitants of the northern Roman provinces as well as in other parts of Northern Europe such as Jutland, where the same pattern was prevalent.
Wikipeida - Tartan
Left, the Mackintosh Ancient Hunting Kilt
My maternal grandmother's name was Cressandra Mackintosh. Her first language was Welsh.
This Page's Welsh National Kilt Background
For the last several years, the Welsh have proudly
worn this tartan; underpants optional.
The EPK Page's Davies Kilt Background
My maternal grandfather was Jack Davies.
He was a gentle coal miner.
Tartan LinksWikipedia - History of the Kilt
Welsh Tartan Centres
MacIntosh Ancient Hunting Tartan
Short Story Article and Top of the Page