As part of the National Museum of Wales Music 09 programme, the Respond project saw artists working with curators from the seven national museums to produce a musical response to the nation's collections.
Here is a piece from the press which was published at the time
"ASHLEY MCAVOY, a museum officer by day and a rock guitarist by night, is bringing ancient history and modern culture together with a new project at the National Museum in Cardiff.
McAvoy hit upon the idea of inviting 21 bands into the museum, showing them the artefacts and then getting them to write a song inspired by what they had seen.
The songs are then uploaded onto the museum’s website for visitors to download and listen to on their MP3 players while wandering the museum’s exhibits.
The project is called Respond, or Ymateb and McAvoy’s lightbulb moment came when he visited an archaeological site last year.
“I was lucky enough to get to accompany one of our archaeologists on a dig in Anglesey,” says McAvoy, who plays with Cardiff post-rock band Vito.
“It was an overwhelming experience. By the end of it, I was fizzing, buzzing from information overload. I was like a kid that had eaten too much sugar. So I came home and started work on a piece of music straight away.”
With the museum’s commitment to making 2009 the year of music, the exhibitions officer realised history might be used to inspire other musicians.
“I saw the way that we could use this to help visitors relate to the exhibits in a new way,” says McAvoy.
“As a museum we have a duty to safeguard culture and preserve it, but we also have to act as a body that recognises the culture that is unfolding right now.
“So it also represents a way of recognising this whole raft of bands that are out there in Wales, making music not for fame or money, but simply because they want to do it.”
McAvoy spent a year working on the project with an impressive range of bands and he says it has produced some extraordinary contributions.
“Bands like The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club (a Cardiff-based three-piece) have really captured something about the objects they were presented with. They worked with an early photograph of Melrose Abbey and it has brought out some extraordinary lyrics, very different from what you would normally expect from them.”
None of the bands involved in the project were paid for their contributions but they all showed real commitment.
“One of our contributors, producer Charlie Francis, who has worked with R.E.M., ended up neglecting work he was being paid to do in order to finish off his piece,” says McAvoy.
“You can’t ask for much more commitment than that. He submitted a 20-minute ambient jazz odyssey inspired by the history of the Romans in Wales.”
- Wales Online 2009
I was asked to contribute music to the project
My track 'Caban' was inspired by the workers rest room at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis and was played on loop in the Caban during 2010
The clancking rhythm sound is a loop of the water wheel turning the cranks that drove the machines in the quarry workshop
I tried to echo the ghosts of the workers that inhabited the workshops until the sudden closure of the quarry in July 1969
Apologies for the lack of metadata on the file
released November 10, 2015