Phil Knight chose the name ‘Omdowl Morek’ for his album of songs, because he came across something rare unexpectedly in September, 2006, as he strolled on dunes near Marazion.
He learnt later that the thing was something no-one had ever noticed before in Cornwall according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, a flower named in Latin pancratium maritimum which is translated as ‘maritime wrestling’ in Cornish (but it is called ‘sea daffodil’ or ‘sand lily’ in English though it is usually found only on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea).
Besides this, he thought that the verbal image of ‘sea wrestling’ would be a very apt name for his album of Cornish songs which he has written over the years, from 1980 until now, for he admits he has ‘wrestled’ greatly with the words and music during that time.
With the generous help of MAGA and the excellent arrangement of producer and son, Paul Knight-Malciak, at last he has been able to find an opportunity to record some of his beautiful songs, a long-term dream. Among them he has infused the flavour of Cornwall and her language above all. This is a modern treatment of themes based on old legends and his personal faith, love of Cornwall’s land and sea and romantic tales on account of young women even.
You can sample a medley of the 9 album song clips at:
The songs in this, Phil’s first collection, are very personal, reflecting life, love and Cornwall and are delivered entirely in Cornish.
Phil Knight has represented Cornwall in international competitions such as the Pan Celtic Song Contest in Ireland and Xacobeo 93 in Galicia, and has featured on various recordings, but this is the first collection of his own songs.
The album, entitled Omdowl Morek, is available as a CD or MP3 download (A PDF of the lyrics in parallel translation may also be downloaded) from http://www.kesson.com/album.php?account=1&album=130
In CD format – from the MAGA office, plus lyrics booklet).
This is the first collection of Philip Knight’s own Cornish songs, though he has lent his voice on other CDs, ‘Xacobeo 93 – 1er Festival da Canciόn do Camino’ (1993), ‘Yn Gwynn ha Du’ by Graham Sandercock (1997), ‘The Golowan Band’ (2005) and ‘Planet Kernow’ (Kowethas an Yeth 2006). Living in Penzance most of his life, he represented Cornwall as competitor at the Pan-Celtic Festival in Galway, Ireland in 1991 and 1992, and won in 1991 with his song ‘Deus yn-rag, Dolli’. In 1993, he represented Cornwall at the first ‘Festival for a Song of the Santiago Way’ in Vigo, Galicia, when he was televised live globally by satellite as he performed his song, ‘Abostol an Mor’ arranged by Goff Richards and accompanied by a 32-piece orchestra. He returned to sing in Cornish at Ferrol, Galicia, as representative at the Inter-celtic Water Sports, 1997, as well as singing several times in Brittany. He has won several Gorsedh Kernow and Cornwall Music Festival competitions with his songs and voice over the years.
Says Jowan Byghan: “I’m writing in English so that non-Cornish speakers will be able to follow. This is a fantastic album of highly original and very memorable songs. As a song writer myself (and fluent Cornish speaker), I think these songs are the best since Dick Gendall. They are very modern, with superb arrangements, excellent harmonies, and lots of unexpected modulations, and Phil sings them with tremendous energy and sincerity. Even if you have little or no Cornish, you’ll still hum along to these and enjoy them. I played the whole set through four times without a break when I first downloaded the album, and I’m determined to learn a couple of them to include in my own repertoire for the local ceilidhs and Dumfries folk club. Great job, Phil! Kernewegor po Sowsnegor, gwra prena an kanow bryntin ma a-dhistowgh!”
I bought Phil Knight’s CD “Omdowl Morek” (Sea Wrestling) last November and have nearly worn it out from playing it ever since ! It is a brilliant album with a wide variety of themes and music styles and every song is a delight to listen to ! Normally when I buy a CD, I often find that only certain tracks will really appeal and there are others that just don’t and I tend to press the button to skip over those tracks that don’t appeal, but, with Phil’s album, every track has its own individual appeal and I reckon its definitely the best CD to come out of Cornwall in quite a while and it should be on everyone’s “to buy” list !