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VR¤ - Ty Ein Tadauá

VR¤ - Ty Ein Tadauá
Recordiau Erwydd ER002á

Ty Ein Tadau is the debut album from pioneering Welsh chamber-folk trio Vrï (Aneirin Jones, Jordan Price Williams and Patrick Rimes), a fiddle-centric ensemble fleshed out by double bass and harmonium to produce a specially rich combined sound. The trio’s mission statement is “to provide an art-music voice in the rapidly expanding world of traditional music in Wales”. Here they reflect directly upon the musical consequences of the uniquely Welsh cultural revolution of “The Chapel”, whereby, since traditional music and dance were discouraged by the Methodists, many old traditional airs and even some popular tunes became hymn tunes. This process was helped by the fact that several of these airs were distinctly hymn-like in their construction, and the disc contains two good examples of this.

Arguably the most immediately persuasive of the album’s tracks are the voice-led selections: the sean-nós-styled bardic song Aros Mae’r Mynyddau Mawr (which reflects on the changing aspects of Wales and her people with the turning of the year) and the more animated Ffoles Llantrisant and Cob Malltraeth. In comparison, Clychau Aberdyfi is a perhaps slightly less convincing amalgamation of various songs about bells. That said, the instrumental playing throughout has a real chemistry; signature, distinctive and first-rate, full of spirit and finesse and beautifully recorded with abundant depth and textural clarity, and the spread of tunes is never less than interesting. It even includes a 3/2 hornpipe, a form not all that common in Wales. The whole album is a sheer delight for the listener.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 127 of The Living Tradition magazine.