Robin Huw Bowen – “Ymadawiad y Brenin” (The King’s Departure).

Hey people! 🙂

There’s quite a strong stereotype going that harp, whichever kind of harp that may be, is a very feminine instrument and I’ve even heard people say that it’s somehow strange when a man plays it. I don’t really understand why we need to consider it as such an almost exclusively feminine instrument, and I think it’s interesting to learn about men who choose to play the harp as well. So for today I decided to share with you a piece of music played by Welsh triple harpist – Robin Huw Bowen – who is one of the most influential people in his field currently. This version is the only one of this tune that I’ve heard so far but from what I understand it does have lyrics and it was written by John Thomas. I’ve heard it described as a Welsh war song and I’d love to know more on its history, like what exactly it’s connected to, is it about any of the actual Welsh kings etc. but wasn’t able to find much. Still, it sounds great and I love its majestic feel.

Llio Rhydderch – “Ffarwell i Gymru” (Farewell to Wales).

Hiya people! 🙂

For today, I’d like to share with you a piece from the Welsh triple harpist whose name you’re probably very familiar with from my blog already. This hiraethful (or hiraethus in the actual Welsh language; if you don’t know what hiraeth is, you can read

this Wikipedia article

although it’s very far from exhaustive, but is always something to start with) piece is definitely one of my favourites by her, though of course nothing can beat

Gwenllian.

Nansi Richards – “Cainc Dona” (Dona’s Tune).

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For today I chose another tune from the amazing late Welsh harpist Nansi Richards, also known as Telynores Maldwyn. I’m not exactly sure whether cainc indeed means tune, ’cause it also means things like branch and I guess several other things, but in this context I suppose it’s meant to mean tune.

Llio Rhydderch ft. Tomos Williams & Mark O’Connor – “Ecclesia”.

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Here’s another piece from the album Carn Ingli, on which Welsh triple harpist Llio Rhydderch collaborates with Tomos Williams – trumpet – and Mark O’Connor – percussion. –

Nansi Richards – “Nes Atat Ti” (Nearer To Thee).

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Today, let’s listen to the rendition of this Christian hymn played by the Welsh harpist Nansi Richards, otherwise known as Telynores Maldwyn. Its original, English title is “Nearer, My God, to Thee” and was written by Sarah F. Adams, with the melody composed by Lowell Mason. I found it interesting when I first heard this piece played by Nansi Richards that not only do I know it, as a hymn with this melody is also known in Polish Catholic church (don’t know how about the Catholic church in other countries) but even under more or less the same title as the Welsh version. I was later quite surprised to learn that the author of the lyrics, Sarah F. Adams, was actually a Unitarian, and while when I had a look to compare the English and Polish lyrics they’re quite different and the Polish ones are only loosely based on the original theme, it’s interesting that this hymn made its way here.

Song of the day (15th June) – Nansi Richards – “Pibddawns Gwyr Wrecsam” (Men of Wrexham’s Hornpipe).

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Let’s listen to this short, traditional tune by Nansi Richards. Or at least I’m pretty sure it is traditional. A hornpipe (or pibddawns in Welsh) is a Celtic and English dance which is danced in a type of hard shoes, like clogs in Wales I think, and which took its name from the instrument which traditionally accompanies it.

Song of the day (12th June) – Llio Rhydderch – “Sir Fôn Bach” (Little Anglesey).

Here is a tune from Llio Rhydderch – “Sir Fôn Bach”, from the album by the same title. It translates to Little Anglesey or perhaps rather Little Angleseyshire, Anglesey being an isle and a historic county in north Wales. This is a traditional tune coming from the tune book of Welsh fiddler Robert Thomas. I was wondering what “little” in the title meant, what sort of significance it might have, and it turns out to simply be a term of endearment. Llio Rhydderch herself is from Anglesey, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and she clearly has a lot of love for her little homeland as this is far from only one piece in her repertoire whose title refers in some way to the isle of Anglesey.

 

Llio Rhydderch – “Marwnad Yr Ehedydd” (Death Of The Skylark).

Hey people! 🙂

This is another of my most favourite songs by Llio Rhydderch. It comes from her collaborative album with Tomos Williams and Mark O’Connor – “Carn Ingli” – but it’s a solo piece. I like its depth and melancholy.

Song of the day (18th May) – Llio Rhydderch – “Breuddwyd Y Frenhines” (The Queen’s Dream).

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Here’s a really beautiful piece from Llio Rhydderch’s album Melangell. I absolutely love it!

Llio Rhydderch, Tomos Williams, Mark O’Connor – “Tair Dawns” (Three Dances).

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I’ve shared with you some solo music from Llio Rhydderch before. Today, it’s time for a piece from a collaborative album – “Carn Ingli” – which she recorded together with Tomos Williams (trumpet) and Mark O’Connor (drums), the latter we won’t really hear here in this particular piece. In general, I have to say I far prefer Llio’s solo music, but it’s not like I don’t like this album, it’s definitely interesting, if not for any other reason than at least the combination of harp with trumpet and drums is quite unconventional and intriguing for me as a “harpophile”. Here is this piece:

Llio Rhydderch – “Edward’s Grip”.

For today, I chose to share with you another piece from this amazing harpist. This is also one of the first pieces from her that I’ve ever heard. It comes from her collaborative album with Tomos Williams (on trumpet) and Mark O’Connor (on drums), but this particular tune is just a solo harp one and it’s definitely my favourite from this album and one from my most favourite pieces of music from Llio overall.

Llio Rhydderch – “Titrwm Tatrwm” (Pitter Patter).

Hey guys! 🙂

Today, I’m sharing with you another piece by Llio Rhydderch. There’s a traditional song in Welsh by the same name about a boy who visits a girl he loves in the night and throws small stones at her window, hence the Pitter Patter title, but that one has a different melody, so I’m not sure if this one has anything to do with it, and I might share that one with you too at some point. In any case, I really like this piece, but then again, I like absolutely everything from Llio!

Llio Rhydderch – “Clychau Clynnog” (Clynnog Bells”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I’d like to share with you another piece from this amazing Welsh triple harpist – Llio Rhydderch. – I just love how evocative and picturesque her music is! The piece I want to share with you today comes from her album Enlli and is called Clychau Clynnog or Clynnog Bells in English, where I assume Clynnog must refer to the village on the Llyn Peninsula called Clynnog Fawr.

Llio Rhydderch – “Diniweidrwydd (I William Rhys)” (Innocence (For William Rhys)).

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Recently I’ve shared with you a piece performed by Welsh triple harpist Llio Rhydderch, whose music I really love, and I thought I’d share something by her today as well, so here it is. This piece is called Diniweidrwydd which means innocence in Welsh, and it’s dedicated to someone called William Rhys, however I wasn’t able to find who it is exactly, and can’t figure it out on my own, because, well, there surely are lots of people named William Rhys in Wales. 😀 Here is this beautiful, evocative piece.

Nansi Richards – “Beibl Mam” (Mum’s Bible).

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It’s actually a bit weird that I haven’t shared anything from Nansi Richards before, giving how renowned and skilled a harpist she was. Nansi Richards was born in Wales in 1888 and was an expert both in terms of Welsh triple harp, and Celtic harp, and all the pedal harps as well. She is also known as The Queen of the Harp, or Telynores Maldwyn. To me, when reading about her, she generally sounds like someone who must have had bags of character and truly enjoyed what she was doing in life. She was appointed the Royal Harpist to Prince of Wales and held this title until her death in 1979.

Llio Rhydderch – “Alaw I Nansi (Teyrnged Disgybl)” (Tune for Nansi (A Pupil’s Tribute)).

Hey people! 🙂

Today, I’d like to share with you a tune from another harpist whom I really love, and only learned about last year. She is from Ynys Mon (also known as Anglesey) in Wales, and plays triple harp. I learned about Llio Rhydderch and her music from my most recent faza subject – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and instantly loved her music. It has such a very special atmosphere to it, it’s hard to describe, but it is there. This is just a lovely upbeat tune, as its title suggests, dedicated to Nansi. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂