Review of of Tinc y Tannau Performance

Very  Excited to share our glowing review  enjoy……………

Tinc Y Tannau Premier Show, Oriel 2, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth Story Telling Festival 2016

Somebody, I think it was Gustav Mahler, once said something along the lines of ‘maintaining living tradition means tending a flame, not worshipping ashes’. Some might deem it blasé to open a review with recourse to so bold a statement, and they would generally be correct, but this occasion is, I feel, a deserving exception. Tinc Y Tannau, meaning ‘the kick of the strings’, are Ailsa Mair Hughes and Sianed Jones. They play Bass viola da gamba, a deliciously obscure cousin of the cello, whilst singing, it has been said, in the manner of some elemental Brythonic yoiking, if you can imagine such a thing. Their set ranged across a startling territory of original material, ancient Welsh poetry, a lullaby scribbled in the margins of the oldest written poem in Britain, and a number of improvisations springing from various wells, including the very visions that surrounded us in the Arts Centre gallery; visions from the otherworld of Welsh mythology made flesh in paint, ink and charcoal. This is a rare sound that both inspires and utterly silences; my mind flowered in thought whilst my heart was washed, lulled and lifted in the woven swell of strings and voice. Their wild sound is a teaching-voice from the salt-marshes of our past; it is the shockingly gentle song-cry of the hounds of Annwfn; it is the starlings bristling into murmuration down under the pier; it is the sound your heart wants to make sometimes; and it is something yet unsaid. It is a-roving-about, and yet is deeply rooted in its place. Their re-imagining of tradition allows our imaginations to at once soar about and plunge deeply into life. This is precisely the kind of song we need to be listening to in a time as fragmented, urgent and playful as the one we find ourselves in, so that we might feel our feet firmly upon the earth, with hearts full of daring.

Sam Robinson


To see it online  go to