Arfon Gwilym
Siân James
Sioned Webb

Sonant

Siân James & Sioned Webb

VRï

Jordan Price Williams (cello)
Patrick Rimes (violin, viola)
Aneirin Jones (violin)

Programme

Sioned Webb: triple harp
“Beth Yw’r Hâf i Mi” (What is the summer to me) – trad. tr. / arr. Sioned Webb

Siân James
“Y Gwcw Fach Lwydlas” (The little grey cuckoo) – trad. tr. /arr. Siân James

VRï
“Cyw Bach” (Little Darling) – trad. tr. / arr. Jordan Price Williams

Sonant & VRï
“Gwern” – Siân James tr. / arr. Sioned Webb

Cerdd Dant – Arfon Gwilym & Sioned Webb
“Cofio” (Remember) [Waldo] ar y gainc “Mererid” [Menai Williams]

VRï
“Ffoles Llantrisant” (Llantrisant Folly) – trad. tr. / arr. VRï

Arfon Gwilym, Sonant & VRï
“Clychau” (Bells) – Siân James tr. / arr. Sioned Webb

Siân James

One of Wales’ leading contemporary female vocalists and a foremost innovator in the field of traditional folk songs. She plays Celtic harp and is an excellent pianist and composer. Her versatility as a performer has seen her starring on stage, screen and concert venues throughout the world, and is respected as one of Wales’ leading ambassadors of song. She has to date released ten albums of her work - eclectic collections of both original and traditional songs which encompass the whole gamut of human emotion, from love and laughter, to loss and spiritual quest. Her most recent album ‘Gosteg’ is a collection of hymns and spiritual poems married with traditional and original compositions. Siân is renowned for her instinctive ablilty to project deep emotion within her songs with unequalled sincerity and passion.

Her more recent tours have taken her to China, Patagonia, Canada and Uzbekistan. Siân was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Bangor for her contribution to Welsh culture and was also made an honorary member of the Gorsedd of the Bards at the National Eisteddfod in Meifod.

Sioned Webb

Sioned Webb was brought up in Bala, North Wales and she heard her first lullabys from her father, a minister there. She is especially delighted to be performing at St Asaph, where her mother was brought up. Educated at Bangor University with William Mathias, and then in London; she has had a varied career and is well respected as a performer, broadcaster, educator, folklorist and composer. She has performed world-wide and has published many books on Welsh music. A national triple harp winner, she has recently spent time researching into musical archives at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; subsequently bringing to audiences many new aspects on the musical tradition in Wales. Sioned and Siân James are about to start an exciting project with Vrï in the next few months.

Arfon Gwilym

Arfon was born and bred in the Dolgellau area, where he was immersed in folk singing and cerdd dant from an early age. His mother Heulwen was a harpist and at least three of his close family were well known folk and penillion singers, all natives of Llanuwchllyn. He became involved in plygain singing during his period in Montgomeryshire. Throughout his life he has been actively involved in a variety of societies promoting Welsh traditional music. He was the founder of the Nansi Richards Trust and later became General Secretary of Clera, the society promoting traditional instruments. His is the author of a book on the history of Welsh traditional music and the editor of several folk song collections, including a collection of plygain carols and summer carols.

VRï

Three young men from deepest, darkest, chapel-going Wales create a soundtrack to the cultural upheaval of the past two hundred years. Their intricate and infectious interpretations of Welsh traditional melodies and songs have gained them widespread critical acclaim. Their debut album ‘Ty Ein Tadau’ (House Of Our Fathers’) received Best Album and Best Traditional Welsh Language Track in the Wales Folk Awards and a nomination at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Traditional Song, as well as a nomination for the Welsh Music Prize. VRï, alongside Beth Celyn, have more recently been featured on The Last Night of the Proms representing Wales in a collection of sea songs from across the British Isles and Ireland.

A response to the oppression of Wales’ traditional music by the Methodist chapels, VRï’s music takes hold of the remaining strands of tradition and the music subsumed by the chapels, and blends them into a joyous celebration of Welsh identity. As a string trio, the combination of two fiddles and a cello is both familiar and unusual to traditional music. The tradition of choral singing has left its mark on the fiddlers of Wales, leaving two fiddle players unable to not play in harmony with each other. The addition of the cello and the rhythmic arrangements employed by these three have led them to re-coin the term ‘chamber-folk’ to describe their music.

Patrick Rimes has extensive touring experience across 3 continents with the likes of Calan, Ghazalaw and Cerys Matthews Band. He plays fiddle and viola, and adds some flagrantly appropriated Quebecois foot percussion! He is in demand as composer/arranger, and won a BAFTA in 2017 for work with regular collaborator Bryn Terfel.

Jordan Price Williams is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist and singer from Cwmafan, South Wales. He is also member of NoGood Boyo (2019’s winner of the Trophée Loïc Raison at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient) and super group Pendevig. As one of the leaders of a new generation of traditional style cellists in Wales, Jordan has carved a niche for himself as the main exponent of cello playing within Welsh traditional music, reinventing the fiddle style to fit the cello.

Aneirin Jones is part of the new wave of young traditional musicians coming from Wales. Having already been working professionally since the age of 16 with the likes of NoGood Boyo and Pendevig, he has recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a degree in Traditional Fiddle - and has now moved back to his homeland to pursue a career in music.

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