under the earth

for eight instruments and tape

under the earth



for eight instruments and tape 

clarinet / bassoon / horn / violin i / violin ii / viola / violoncello / double bass



written for the Berkeley Ensemble, as part of Tŷ Cerdd's CoDI Chamber Residency

Permission to use the recording - Peth mawr ydi cariad - has been kindly granted by National Museum Wales /Amgeuddfa Cymru. Collection details are as follows: SFNHM Tape 171. Collected 30.04.1959 from Miss M. M. Williams (teacher, b. 1894), Idanfryn, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey

first performance

Berkeley Ensemble on 10 April 2019 at University Concert Hall, Cardiff University (UK)


programme note

I started this project from a very pure place, just using the voice of Miss M. M. Williams (recorded 1959 in Idanfryn, Anglesey) singing of love and loss. And little by little I go from her world to my world, which is much more cacophonous and has a more urban sensibility.

There is a very personal connection for me at play here. I have always performed and connected with the traditional music of Wales. The tales. The myth. Stories of families. The joy. The heartache. Fascinated with the nostalgia. How can we reconnect with this music and the messages within in a world of such change? What would happen if the ancient forms of our music are lost in translation and buried?