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Davies, Rhodri: Telyn Rawn (Amgen Records)

Dating back to the 13th century in Wales, the Telyn Rawn is a nearly forgotten horsehair harp; UK improvising harpist Rhodri Davies researched the instrument and its unique sound, commissioning the construction of a harp on which he performs 18 improvisations of impressive technique and sonority, launching his new Amgen Records label with this album named for the instrument.

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product information:

Includes a 12-page booklet with text by Rhodri Davies in English and Welch, with images of the Telyn Rawn

Label: Amgen Records
Catalog ID: CD001
Squidco Product Code: 29399

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded at Blank Studios, at Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, on January 22nd, and 23rd, 2020, by Sam Grant.


Rhodri Davies-horsehair harp

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Artist Biographies:

"Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth, Wales and now lives in Gateshead in the northeast of England.

He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice and fire harp installations. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance.

His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, Common Objects, HEN OGLEDD: Dawson - Davies, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Cranc, The Sealed Knot and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch.

In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on 'Self-cancellation', a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow.

New pieces for solo harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.

In 2012 he was the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award."

-Rhodri Davies Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Penrhiw 2:37

2. Gorchan Sali 5:44

3. Y Gaseg Fedi 2:09

4. Angharat Ton Uelen 2:51

5. Maen Ceti 1:53

6. Rhywbeth 1:06

7. Afon Dewi Fawr 4:13

8. Ffarwel Arddol 3:24

9. Lwc i'r Ceffyl Melyn 2:11

10. Pengribyn 3:16

11. Cwrt Malle 3:00

12. Triban Cilrhedyn 1:16

13. Waunceiliogau 2:21

14. Dygan tro'r Ebill 2:47

15. Erddigan Gwawr 1:50

16. Gorhoffedd Rhisiart 2:38

17. Penglog Ceffyl 2:02

18. Y Don Newydd 1:52
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A Telyn Rawn is a harp strung with horse hair and predates the appearance of the triple, lever and pedal harps. The earliest reference to this early Welsh harp can be found in the Laws of Hywel Dda (13th century), the codification of traditional Welsh laws. This harp remains largely unknown to contemporary audiences. One of the last references to a Telyn Rawn made in Wales was around two hundred years ago.

In 2016 Davies researched the Telyn Rawn in early Welsh poetry and commissioned the building of a new harp. "All the music on this album is improvised. I designed and built a long forgotten instrument, experimented with wound and pleated horse hair strings, I engaged with historical texts and poetry, learnt the techniques and music from the Robert ap Huw manuscript and researched the importance of the horse and horse cults in Welsh culture. All these interventions were a means to improvise historically informed music and re-evaluate the legacy of the harp in Wales but ultimately served as a jumping off point so as to create new possibilities."-Rhodri Davies

Watch a video on Culture Colony of Rhodri Davies stringing and performing on a Telyn Rawn.

Includes a 12-page booklet with text by Rhodri Davies in English and Welch, with images of the Telyn Rawn
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Stringed Instruments
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

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