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DELYTH & ANGHARAD - Llinyn Arian

DELYTH & ANGHARAD - Llinyn Arian
Sienco SIENCO001

Delyth and Angharad Jenkins play harp and fiddle in the Welsh tradition, and are assisted with a bit of cello and percussion on this album. Delyth's harping has been celebrated for a long time far beyond Wales, and her daughter Angharad was a fiddle prodigy some two decades ago, so both are steeped in their own music and very experienced in other traditions too. There are hints of Irish, English, Scottish and other music here, but the core is clearly Welsh, whether centuries old or composed by the Jenkins duo. The general mood is gentle, soothing: Viva Cariad and the gorgeous Dinas Kerensa written for weddings, the much older air, Diddanwch Gruffydd Ap Cynan, and the final lullabies, Cwsg and Suo Gân.

Rhisiart Annwyl opens a set of livelier pieces, but these are still very much parlour music rather than rollicking dance tunes. Angharad's composition Dear Dorothy starts to swing in an old-timey way, and Chwant develops into a bit of a rock'n'roll number, but these are exceptions. Y Grimson Felfed brings a darker hue, somewhere between a lament and an omen. Cofio returns to the core Welsh sound, waves of gentle harp underpinned by low fiddle, the gentle lapping occasionally becoming a storm, but quickly settling again, with perhaps even a shaft of sunlight. Octave fiddle and some innovative harp techniques add enough variety to Llinyn Arian, and every track is perfectly played, making this a very pleasant and mostly relaxing recording.

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.