Welsh harpist Rhodri Davies speaks with host Josh Thorpe about the telyn rawn, a horse-hair harp Davies made and performs with. We listen to a short work on this unique instrument. We also discuss a wonderful and bizarre 40-minute piece by Jean-Luc Gionnett. His Dyslexic Harp (Deciphered in the Dark) uses an instruction-based score to conjure a truly strange an beautiful music. We listen to the track in its entirety. (Don’t be daunted by the work’s length. It can suit any space or level of attention.)
Rhodri Davies is immersed in the worlds of improvisation, musical experimentation, composition and contemporary classical performance. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations and has released six solo albums. His regular groups include: HEN OGLEDD, Cranc, Common Objects and a duo with John Butcher. He has worked with artists including David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Sofia Jernberg, Lina Lapelyte, Pat Thomas, Simon H Fell and Will Gaines.
For the last ten years Davies has been closely associated with the pioneering composer Eliane Radigue, performing eighteen of her pieces. New pieces for solo harp have also been composed for him by: Christian Wolff, Carole Finer, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.
In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. He has received many awareds, released numerous recordings, and performs internationally. He is a co-organiser of the NAWR concert series in Swansea.