Cwmwl Tys­tion at Mold and Ban­gor

Bangor Mail - - Your Guide -

TRUM­PETER To­mos Wil­liams and his group of bril­liant Welsh mu­si­cians visit Theatr Cl­wyd on Thurs­day and Pon­tio, Ban­gor on June 29 to per­form a new suite of mu­sic which re­flects on the ex­tra­or­di­nary times that we live in.

Tour­ing Wales Wit­ness will per­form the newly com­posed ‘Wit­ness Suite’ (funded by the Welsh mu­sic body Tŷ Cerdd) in­cor­po­rat­ing el­e­ments of jazz, the avant-garde, im­pro­vi­sa­tion and Welsh folk mu­sic.

To­mos wanted to write new mu­sic that re­flected on cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and so­ci­etal ills, as well as a suite that re­flected on the Welsh ex­pe­ri­ence and re­cent Welsh his­tory.

The name ‘Cwmwl Tys­tion / Wit­ness’ is de­rived from a poem by the great Welsh poet, na­tion­al­ist and paci­fist Waldo Wil­liams (1904-1971) – and the mu­sic ‘bears wit­ness’ to these com­plex and dif­fi­cult times.

Move­ments have ti­tles such as ‘Try­w­eryn,’ The Blue Books, and Welsh Not in mem­ory of re­cent and not so dis­tant Welsh his­tory, while Myny­d­doedd Cymru (The Welsh Moun­tains) and Paul Robe­son and the Min­ers Eisteddfod 1957, cel­e­brate the Welsh land­scape and cul­ture.

The fi­nal move­ment ‘Pa Beth yw Dyn’?, (What is man?) di­rectly ref­er­ences the Waldo Wil­liams’ poem and places the work out­side the bound­aries of na­tional iden­tity and asks a more fun­da­men­tal universal ques­tion.

Pi­anist Huw Warren has been at the fore­front of Bri­tish Jazz since the 1980s, and has re­cently re­leased two albums on ECM with Quer­cus (along­side Iain Bal­lamy and June Ta­bor), as well as re­leas­ing his new pi­ano trio Ev­ery­thing in Be­tween in March this year on CamJazz. Huw has been a cen­tral fig­ure on the Welsh jazz scene for decades, and his abil­ity to play both on the ‘in­side’ and ‘out­side’ is cru­cial to this project and the over­all band sound.

Rho­dri Davies, a harpist from Aberys­t­wyth, is one of the lead­ing fig­ures of free im­pro­vi­sa­tion and con­tem­po­rary com­po­si­tion both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. He has played with a who’s who of im­pro­vis­ing mu­si­cians (Derek Bai­ley, Evan Parker, John Butcher, Butch Mor­ris, Pat Thomas) as well as be­ing the harpist of choice for con­tem­po­rary com­poser Eliane Radigue and many oth­ers. Re­cently he has formed the avant-pop band Hen Ogledd with Richard Dawson. The avant-garde and im­pro­visatory el­e­ment that Rho­dri con­trib­utes sets the mu­sic apart and is a cen­tral voice through­out the en­tire Suite.

Huw Warren and Rho­dri have never shared a stage or per­formed to­gether, so Cwmwl Tys­tion / Wit­ness will de­liver an im­por­tant first in this re­gard.

Huw V Wil­liams is known for his ‘Hon’ band and al­bum that was re­leased a few years ago. Francesca Sim­mons is a vi­o­lin (and saw) player from North Wales who is com­fort­able im­pro­vis­ing or de­liv­er­ing a folk melody, while Mark O’Connor is Wales’ pre-em­i­nent drum­mer who’s worked with To­mos over the past decade (tour­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally with both Bu­rum and the Indo-Welsh fu­sion band Khamira), as well as play­ing with Huw Warren and Paula Gar­diner amongst many oth­ers.

Si­mon Prof­fitt, a visual artist and de­signer will also be ac­com­pa­ny­ing the per­for­mances with live vi­su­als.

Dafydd Rhys, Direc­tor of Aberys­t­wyth Arts Cen­tre – who have also been cen­tral in sup­port­ing this new ven­ture and will host the open­ing con­cert of the tour – says: “It’s im­por­tant that Aberys­t­wyth Arts Cen­tre sup­ports new and con­fi­dent Welsh Art and mu­sic. When To­mos sug­gested his idea I was in­stantly in­ter­ested in try­ing to as­sist with the suc­cess of this project. A new work com­bin­ing mu­sic, Welsh iden­tity and pol­i­tics is ab­so­lutely cru­cial in these dif­fi­cult times.”

To­mos adds: “I’m very grate­ful to Tŷ Cerdd for fund­ing the Cwmwl Tys­tion Suite and to the Arts Coun­cil of Wales for sup­port­ing the tour – and I’m look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing with this great group of unique mu­si­cians. I can’t wait to get started.”

‘The Cwmwl Tys­tion Suite’ has been funded by Tŷ Cerdd, and the tour is made pos­si­ble by gen­er­ous Arts Coun­cil of Wales fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Cwmwl Tys­tion / Wit­ness will per­form in Theatr Cl­wyd and Pon­tio this month

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.