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Amgen 001, CD, 2020
Rhodri Davies is a harpist and composer, and he has been working for a few years on a project to reconstruct the fabled medieval Welsh "Telyn Rawn", a harp with horsehair strings, horse bone tuning pins and horse skin soundbox. I was involved by specifying and supplying the black horsehair strings for the reconstruction harp.
Now Rhodri has issued a CD of music played on the telyn rawn. The music is free improvisation, based on historically-inspired retunings of the harp. There are echoes of Robert ap Huw's patterns from the 1620s, and of Heloise Russell-Fergusson's avant-garde improvisations from the 1960s. Some of the tracks use bowings to make a more crwth-like sound.
Even if you're not into modern contemporary music, this is a lovely CD of raw ancient sound-worlds; if you are into more up-to-date things this is a challenging and stimulating listen.
For more info about Rhodri, his music and his art, see rhodridavies.com.
£1.80 (UK only - select for overseas postage)
£4.00 (Airmail within Europe)
£5.00 (Airmail outside Europe)
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© Simon Chadwick
First published July 2020.