VRï come to Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Thursday, 8 June at 7.30pm.
Jordan Price Williams (cello, voice), Aneirin Jones (violin, voice) and Patrick Rimes (viola, violin, voice) are three young men from deepest chapel-going Wales.
They have mined the cultural upheaval of past centuries and drawn inspiration from the incredible story of a time when Wales’ traditional music and dance was suppressed by Methodist chapels, and, earlier, its language by the Act of Union.
Three-part harmonies, stunning fiddle playing and the unusual addition of cello forge the VRï sound that is unique.
Since forming in 2016, the trio have been in search of an elusive 'chamber-folk' aesthetic – pumping out their native foot-stomping dance tunes whilst maintaining the poise and elegance of a string ensemble.
VRï shed new light on a vibrant folk tradition that harnesses the raw energy of the fiddle with the finesse of the violin, the beauty of chamber music with the joy and hedonism of a pub session. It's a cross-genre idea that's very familiar to Scandinavian and North American audiences, but hitherto unheard of in Wales.
Their new album 'islais a genir' (a sung whisper) was released on 28 October on the bendigedig label.
The name VRï is a word in the Welsh language meaning ‘above’, ‘aloft’, ‘floating’…or simply ‘Up’, with the spelling inspired by Hen Gymraeg (Old Welsh). It describes the sensation of playing this kind of vocal and instrumental chamber music - all six voices independently interacting with one another, without the presence of any kind of ‘anchor’ or safety ropes (be those anchors rhythmic like a drum kit, or melodic such as fretted or keyboard instruments).
It’s an experience that is equally exhilarating and terrifying for the performers…and hopefully engaging for the listener!