Those times are gone, but the music happily lives on as this most quirky, unusual disc displays.
This is one of my favorite instrumental recordings, and one of the most original and "alien" you
are likely to hear unless you are, in particular, a fan of the Welsh harps or a scholar of such musics.
One thing I find quite entrancing especially, is the sitar-like distinctive timbre and resonance, evident in particular by the sustained metallic 'buzz' (which can be heard in the very first track, and several
others..such is the magic of an "archaic" instrument imo).
Harper William Taylor contrasts two completely different repertoires of ancient harp music from Wales. The 'Robert ap Huw manuscript' from 1613 is the earliest body of harp music from anywhere in Europe. Medieval in character it might be dated to the 14th and 15th century, representing the otherwise lost repertoire of the medieval Welsh bards. On the other hand, Edward Jones' baroque compilation "Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards" from 1784-1825 preserved those fashionable dance tunes, which Jones thought was ancient music, but is rather contemporary repertory - "not on the whole very ancient and not at all Welsh in origin, but very Welsh in manner". Each tune is played on reconstructed metal-strung replicas of 12th-16th century Welsh harps. Unlike the later sophisticated triple harp, the Gothic harp has a more limited range of expression and tonal shading. I hope everyone tries out this magic recording... Enjoy
Track listing (minus the ancient Welsh titles):
1. Gosteg Of Master David
2. Erddigan Of The Spindle-Whorl
3. The Whirling Of The Spin-ning Wheel
4. Caniad Of The White Piper
5. Caniad Of St. Silin
6. The King's Note
7. King Charles's Fancy
8. The King's Fancy
9. Caniad Of The Chm
10. The Ebb Of The Tide
11. Little Caniad On The Gogywair Tuning
12. The Silken-Fair
13. Little Tom's Adieu
14. Cainc Of David The Prophet
15. Cainc Of David The Prophet
*I'm adding my own pdf of the liner notes, however the actual booklet contains fascinating illustrations and examples of the different harps used; if I ever can get another scanner (that is, afford to buy anything!) I will absolutely share it!!