Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
SIAN PHILLIPS "Gramundus" Fflach Tradd CD218

The (almost!) French language sub-title of this album "Musique traditionelle Galloise a la violon" describes it perfectly. It is an album of fine Welsh traditional tunes played on the violin, not as the English sub-title suggests, an album of "Traditional Welsh fiddle music". Were that somebody was able to record that! Unfortunately, the formerly widely extant Welsh fiddle tradition suffered much the same fate as that of England, including the demise of the church and chapel bands, and was gentrified out of existence even more completely.

By the 1930's the tradition seems to have existed only in the hands of a few gypsy musicians, who were, to the best of my knowledge, never recorded. The growth of interest in the traditional dance music of Wales has led to a revival of interest in the fiddle, with many players developing eclectic styles based on those of the other Celtic nations. Whether these have any real link to the older music is a matter for debate which this sais has no right to become involved in!

On "Gramundus" Sian Phillips and her accompanists, Cass Meuig (fiddle), Paul Hopkins (mandola), Dafydd Saer and Chris Lewis (guitars) play a mixture of original and traditional tunes quite beautifully. It's not dance music and perhaps it lacks a bit of rhythmic drive, but it's very good to listen to. This CD will certainly not find its way into my "played it once, but never again" stack!

Chris Bartram

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 32 of The Living Tradition magazine.