Link to Living Tradition Homepage





GWENAN GIBBARD - Sidan Glas (Blue Silk)

Sidan Glas (Blue Silk)
Sain  SCD2581

This is the second album by this harpist and singer and follows her 2006 release Y Gwenith Gwynnaf (The Whitest Wheat). Steeped in traditional Welsh folk music and culture, supplemented with deep academic experience, Gwenan plays and sings another wide array of tunes and songs from published sources spanning three centuries and richly evoking quotidian lives and loves. Again she employs her own freshly crafted and intricate harp arrangements throughout, this time with some accordion. Produced once more by Maartin Alcock - whose own guitar, bouzar and bass work is again very well judged – there is also some further accompaniment from fiddle, flute, whistle and percussion (involving players from Welsh bands Crasdant, Calan and Ar Log, and the Asian percussionist Kuljit Bhamra).

 As with her debut album, the harp playing and singing are characterised by a fresh, sparkling and crystalline purity and classical exactitude. Clearness, crispness and precision are always evident and a credit to the production. Although the music has an overwhelming quality of beauty, brightness and even jollity, there is ample emotional range and dynamic but it does not involve dark shading. Given her background and wider experiences - membership of the new Welsh folk orchestra Y Glerorfa, regular appearances at Eisteddfodau, celebrated exponent of Cerdd Dant, the Welsh art of harp accompaniment to poetry -the musicological detail of provenance and content provided for each track is perhaps unsurprising, but certainly enriches the listener’s experience and understanding. Full English translations of all lyrics are available too on her website.

Kevin T Ward

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 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.