LLio Rhydderch

LLio Rhydderch - Gwenllian
Fflach:tradd CD287H

The CD has been a godsend for the Welsh harpists. Those wonderful echoes and reverberations that highlight this quietest of traditional music were often lost on vinyl, or on tape.

Lio Rhydderch from Anglesey is the latest exponent of the triple harp, having sat at the knee of the great Nansi Richards. It’s real sit down and relax music, the ultimate in late night listening. There are seven tracks, all self penned, ranging from three and a half minutes to the ten minute epic ‘Gwenllian’, dedicated to the daughter of Prince Llywelyn, the last real Prince of Wales. Rhydderch likes her because she was born in her part of the world. I like her because she was involved in battle in a castle just down the road from me. More to the point I like the tune she has composed about her. It's difficult to say more about this semi-classical music without turning to the pseud cliches of the classical reviewer who can hear rivers, or seas in classical pieces just because they are mentioned in the title. Just be happy with flowing notes and a sense of well-being.

Rhydderch's work is amenable to both modern listeners to roots music and dyed-in-the-wool Welsh eisteddfod-goers. Indeed, this album was launched at a concert zaar St.Deiniol's Cathedral in Bangor as part of this year's National Eisteddfod,where Rhyderch played with her producer Ceri Rhys Matthews ,whose work on early Welsh instruments has been influential in taking early Welsh music away from the domination of the classical world.

Nice, too, to see that the packaging includes English translation, for, with the battle for the Welsh language effectively won it is time for its music to reach out into the global market.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 64 of The Living Tradition magazine.