The Writers’ Block, Cornwall Music Education Hub and Kresen Kernow collaborated in January 2020 on an exciting new project. Kan Rag Kernow Yowynk (Song for Cornish Youth) was a project designed to provide children from five Camborne schools a unique insight into their heritage and the opportunity to write and perform songs inspired by this.
The project was based at Kresen Kernow, Cornwall’s new archive centre in Redruth and revolved around their temporary exhibition on John Couch Adams, a nineteenth century farmer’s son from Launceston who went on to (nearly) discover Neptune.
Journalist and author Becca Gregson and award-winning performance poet Taran Spalding-Jenkins, both from The Writers’ Block, Camborne, worked with the children to help funnel the themes, emotions and history of John Couch Adam’s story into the student’s very own poems. Musicians Matt Douglas and Patrick Bailey from The Music Hub then visited the schools to help the students turn their words into song.
Incorporating creative writing, Cornish history, music and pop-up performances from John Couch Adams, Kan Rag Kernow Yowynk allowed these students to creatively explore their local history. The project culminated in a final performance of the completed songs at Kresen Kernow; a chance for the students to take part in Cornish history and add their voices as the Cornish youth.