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One Fleeting Moment – A Sunset in Ibiza

02 Mar 2024 9 minute read
Ibiza Sun. Photo by Gareth Potter

Gareth Potter explains the history of his latest release, Cofio – Recorda – Remembrance, which draws on the sun of Ibiza, the talents of actor Rhys Ifans and the poems of Waldo Williams for its inspiration.

We’d parked the hire car in a rustic car park in the dunes near Cala Comte and wandered over towards a small west facing cove.

The warm Mediterranean breeze brushing hibiscus scented air over holiday blushed cheeks.

Following the roughly hewn path past the hand painted boulder pointing down towards the playa nudista, we wander along the headland towards a small arcadian bar, topped with palm leaves and populated by bohemian, free spirited locals and a smattering of laid-back tourists.

Cala Escondida. Photo; Gareth Potter

A world away from the bustle of San Antonio’s Sunset Strip, but in reality just a short drive away, Cala Escondida was the Ibiza we we’d been seeking.

We sip a chilled cana and pick at jamon, queso and olives. As the blue sky transforms into shades of pink and orange, the sound of gentle drums and Spanish guitars oscillate and a poem from my youth comes to mind.

Cofio, a poem written by Waldo Williams in 1936. Beloved and carried in the hearts of the people of Wales, a nation whose greatest accolades are reserved for poets at the National Eisteddfod.

I reach for my phone and summon up an English translation to recite to my wife as the sun dips beyond the horizon…

“One fleeting moment as the sun is setting,
One gentle moment as the night falls fast,
To bring to mind the things that are forgotten,
Now scattered in the dust of ages past.”

Nude bathing. Photo: Gareth Potter

Chill-out sound

I’d long been a devotee of the Balearic chill-out sound. Inspired by the island’s djs, I’d sought to appropriate this eclectic, textured style using music from Wales and in the Welsh language.

I’d record sets and play them on my holidays or sunny afternoons in my Cardiff garden. I’d send them to friends who’d share them on their social media.

This led to bookings at festivals and events including an invitation from the lovely Mark and Sarah Broadbent who ran the legendary We Love Sundays at Space to play at their session at Pikes Hotel in Ibiza.

My musical background is as a performer and creator. Spanning punk and post punk bands before delving into the electronic dance music scene in the late 1980s. I tried my hand at house and techno, breakbeat and ambient.

My crew, Tŷ Gwydr (Glass House) produced albums and bangers for clubs and raves and live events.  Our vocals and samples were in Welsh. It was essential that we carried our beautiful, ancient tongue with us out of the 20th century and into the future.

I needed to get back to creating tracks for my chill-out sets. It occurred to me that Waldo’s meditative masterpiece would made the perfect soundtrack for sunset.

During lockdown, Welsh boy in Ibiza, Phat Phil Cooper informed me that the Balearic Islands celebrated becoming an autonomous region of Spain on March 1st, the same day as the Welsh celebrate St. David’s Day and our overactive imaginations started whirring…

A release on Phil’s well-established Balearic influenced NuNorthern Soul label seemed like a fine way to celebrate this joyful coincidence.

We discussed artists and collaborations that would work for such a project. We’d swap music and ideas, some impossibly ambitious, some relatively achievable.

Gareth and Sue Potter chill out in Ibiza

The stars align

Then, one afternoon, my old friend, the actor Rhys Ifans texts me about an unrelated matter. A massive music fan and a Balearic figurehead himself, from his hilarious role as DJ Eyeball Paul in Kevin and Perry Go Large.

I’d recently seen him in a couple of extraordinary stage roles. His voice had matured remarkably over the last decade or so. His well-documented wilder days behind him, Rhys now lives a calm, focused and sober life in Deia, a small, artistic enclave on Mallorca.

I ask him if he would like to record Cofio for the project I was working on. He immediately agrees. The stars are aligning.

I contact Hefin Wyn at the Waldo Williams society. He puts me in touch with the poet’s niece, Eluned, who gives the project her blessing.

Y Lolfa, the company that publishes his work allow us to officially license the poem. All we need to do now is to contact Alan Llwyd, Waldo’s biographer and translator to ask about using his English version.


At an event to celebrate the late, great Cardigan pioneer and Peel favourite David R Edwards of Datblygu, I get chatting to the then National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn. He loves the idea and promises to ask Llwyd himself. Alan gives his blessing, and the project moves up a gear…

Phil suggests that Joan Bibiloni, the Mallorcan master guitarist and previous fellow resident of Deia become involved. His powerful, emotive compositions are perfect.

He agrees and helps get renowned Mallorcan actor Pep Tosar to contribute his voice to the Spanish and Catalan translations we’d commissioned.

Rhys Ifans records ‘Cofio’

The October evening booked for Rhys to record his bit at Ultra Studios, Kings Cross couldn’t be more different to the evening at Cala Comte. Damp, grey and chilly, the Balearic spirit somehow still abounds.

As soon as the engineer presses record, that magical sunset is conjured up once again, goosebumps appear, and hairs stand up. I’m filled with the warmth of that Balearic breeze.

My friend, film director Dave Evans had driven me from Cardiff down to London with a camera to record the event, knowing what the project means to me. His brother Roger is playing Lord Borros Baratheon in House of the Dragon, the series in which Rhys is playing Otto Hightower.

Rhys has come straight from the set for his session and we have much to chat about. I’m a massive Game of Thrones fan, so am more than a little exited to quiz my old friend about this hugely anticipated prequel.

When we were all happy with his takes, we order Rhys a cab, hug and wave him off into the autumnal night and head back to Wales.

Rhys Ifans and Gareth Potter, post recording

Catalan and Spanish

Meanwhile, Phil sends me Joan and Pep’s Catalan and Spanish versions, set against Un Adeu. Intimate, fragile yet sublimely potent, the project conceived a few years ago as the Mediterranean sun set is taking on a glorious life and character of its own.

A 90s house head, I’m a huge fan of the deep sound of Manchester’s Paper Recordings. I own a fair amount of music by one of their flagship acts, Crazy P. When Phil signed tracks by member, the Welshman from Rhos on Sea, James Barron’s solo project Jim to NuNorthern, my ears were pricked.

The gentle Balearic Folk of Falling That You Know became a favourite, so when it was suggested that James work on mixing Rhys’s tracks, I agreed at once.

Adding subtle bass and percussion to elements of Joan’s Badia Onirica, blending Rhys’s glorious rendition, James’s production soars. All that’s lacking now is an appropriately striking sleeve.

I first encountered Scottish born graphic artist Mike Cranston playing bass in a Krautrock-ish angular funk band jamming in a studio party in South London in the mid 2000s.

I djed when he married my wife’s best friend and we fell down many a musical rabbit hole together. But it was his work as a printmaker and poster designer for the National Theatre that made me want to get him involved…

I play him the tracks and he gets it instantly. We send examples of his work to Phil who is delighted to welcome him on board.

Using a pallet of colours referencing Miles Davies’ Sketches of Spain, cosmic orbs and the contours of raw geology, he nails it as I knew he would. Translating words and music into something visually bold and striking. Roughhewn yet elegant.

Cofia Recorda Remembrance

Sleeve notes

Now for the sleeve notes: Marc Rowlands is an old mate of Phil who he met hanging out with Crazy P in Manchester and the legendary dancefloors of the Southport Soul Weekenders.

Now based in Zagreb, his work has appeared in the pages of publications such as Arena, The Guardian Guide, Jockey Slut and Attitude. He’s previously written about Joan, interviews me and researches Waldo.

His clear, objective reporting completes the package. We’d come so far since our crazy lockdown Zoom brainstorming sessions.

Cofio – Recorda – Remembrance is an absolute labour of love: love for a poem, culture, music, for a state of mind. A powerful celebration of affinities between societies and peoples at a time when so much is divided.

When differences and animosities seem to be the norm. A record celebrating civility, beauty, shared knowledge and identities is a mighty statement.

To me, this is testament to the ever-prevalent spirit of acid house, spreading love, understanding and empathy rather than fear, hate and difference. As Waldo Williams says:

Often at close of day, when I am lonely,
I long to know you all, bring all to mind;
Is there a heart or memory still to cherish
The old forgotten things of humankind?

You can hear the track here. It is available to buy here.

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