VRï – Jordan Price Williams (cello, voice), Aneirin Jones (violin, voice) and Patrick Rimes (viola, violin, voice) – are three young men from deepest chapel-going Wales who have mined the cultural upheaval of past centuries and drawn inspiration from the incredible story of a time when Wales’ traditional music and dance was suppressed by Methodist chapels, and, earlier, its language by the Act of Union. Three-part harmonies, stunning fiddle playing and the unusual addition of cello forge the VRï sound that is totally unique. Since forming in 2016, the trio have been in search of an elusive ‘chamber-folk’ aesthetic – pumping out their native foot-stomping dance tunes whilst maintaining the poise and elegance of a string ensemble. It’s a cross-genre idea that’s very familiar to Scandinavian and North American audiences, but hitherto unheard of in Wales. A joyous celebration of Welsh identity, sung in the Welsh language.

Press have likened them to the Gloaming, Leveret and Duncan Chisholm for their reinterpretations of native song and tune traditions, and their ability to conjure amazing soundscapes, all underpinned with incredible vocal harmonies. Accolades for their 2019 debut album Tŷ Ein Tadau include Winners of Best Traditional Song in the Welsh Language, Wales Folk Awards 2019; Winners of Best Album, Wales Folk Awards 2019; Nominees for Best Traditional Track, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The name VRï is a word in the Welsh language meaning ‘above’, ‘aloft’, ‘floating’…or simply ‘Up’, with the spelling inspired by Hen Gymraeg (Old Welsh). It describes the sensation of playing this kind of vocal & instrumental chamber music – all six voices independently interacting with one another, without the presence of any kind of ‘anchor’ or safety ropes (be those anchors rhythmic like a drum kit, or melodic such as fretted or keyboard instruments). It’s an experience that is equally exhilarating and terrifying for the performers…and hopefully engaging for the listener!

Friday May 5th, 2023 9:00 pmFri @ St Giles
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