Medieval poetry and string music – the universe made audible.

Mary-Anne Roberts and Robert Evans reveal a sound-world rich in acoustic phenomena, unlike any suggested by classical or folk music. They dance the formal binary structures of this ritual music which contrasts fixed and movable notes.

Medieval poetry and string music – the universe made audible.

BIRDS is a sung performance of The Seagull and The Woodland Mass, two well-known poems from the golden age of Welsh poetry, followed by Arthur’s Talk with the  Eagle, a short, comic drama in verse, all from 14th century sources. The crwth accompanies the singing, with audacious music drawn from Robert ap Huw’s manuscript of 1613.

‘They are, it seems, as transfixed by the sound as I was when I first heard this extraordinary music.’                           Verity Sharpe, BBC Music Magazine

Tour Dates


Y mae Mary-Anne Roberts a Robert Evans yn datgan byd sain sy’n gyfoethog mewn ffenomenau acwstig annhebyg i’r rhai a awgrymir gan gerddoriaeth glasurol neu werin.  Maen nhw’n dawnsio patrymau ffurfiol deuaidd y gerddoriaeth ddefodol hon sy’n cyferbynnu nodau safedig a symudol.

Barddoniaeth a cherdd dant y canol oesoedd –  y bydysawd a wnaed yn glywadwy.

Y mae ADAR yn berfformiad ar gân Yr Wylan ac Offeren y Coed, dwy gerdd adnabyddus o oes aur barddoniaeth Gymreig, wedi’u dilyn gan Ymddiddan Arthur a’r Eryr, drama-gomedi fyr ar fydr, i gyd o ffynonnellau o’r bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg.  Y mae’r crwth yn cyfeilio’r canu, gyda cherddoriaeth anturus wedi’i thynnu o lawysgrif 1613 Robert ap Huw.

Ymddengys bod nhw’n cael eu swyno gymaint ag y cefais innau’r tro cyntaf y clywais y gerddoriaeth hynod  yma.’   Verity Sharpe,  BBC Music Magazine

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BIRDS ADAR – Tour Dates


7-8 September / Medi

Chapter Arts, Cardiff / Chapter, Caerdydd 029 2031 1050


25 October / Hydref

Aberystwyth Arts / Canolfan y Celfyddydau, Aberystwyth 01970 623232


16 November / Tachwedd

Pontio, Powis Hall, Bangor University / Pontio, Neuadd Powis, Prifysgol Bangor 01248 382828


17 November / Tachwedd

Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead / Canolfan Ucheldre, Caergybi 01407 763361

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Peis Dinogat





    Peis Dinogat                                      Dinogat’s Smock

.Peis Dinogat, e vreith, vreith,
o grwyn | balaot ban | wreith.
Chwit, chwit, chwidogeith,
gochanwn | gochenyn | wythgeith.
Dinogad’s smock, speckled, speckled,I made from the skins of martens.Whistle, whistle, whistly we sing, the eight slaves sing.
Pan elei | dy dad ty | e helya,
llath ar y ysgwyd, | llory en y law
ef gelwi gwn gogyhwc,
‘Giff, Gaff, dhaly, dhaly, dhwc, dhwc!’,
ef lledi bysg yng corwg,
mal ban llad llew llywywc.
When your father used to go to hunt,
with his shaft on his shoulder and his club in his hand,
he would call his speedy dogs,
‘Giff, Gaff, catch, catch, fetch, fetch!’,
he would kill a fish in a coracle,
as a lion kills an animal.
Pan elei | dy dat ty | e vynyd,
dydygei ef penn ywrch, | penn gwythwch, penn hydd,
penn grugyar vreith o venyd,
penn pysc | o rayadyr | Derwennyd
When your father used to go to the mountain,
he would bring back a roebuck, a wild pig, a stag,
a speckled grouse from the mountain,
a fish from the waterfall of Derwennyd
Or sawl yt gyrhaedei | dy dat ty ae gicwein,
o wythwch | a llewyn | a llwy[n]ein,
nyt anghei | oll ny vei | oradein.
Whatever your father would hit with his spit,
whether wild pig or lynx or fox,
nothing that was without wings would escape.

.Welsh edition from G. R. Isaac, ‘Mydr a Pherfformiad yr Hengerdd ‘, Dwned 7, (2001). English translation by Dr. Isaac.


Welsh poetry of this period has no stress save a light, upward, melodic stress at the ends of phrases and this feature is reflected in the contour of the melody. The lines may be a simple unit, divide into two or into three phrases (see Dr. Isaac’s indications in the poem above).

Dr. Isaac divides the poem into four parts and Bragod assigns each of the first three parts a different tetrachord taken from the hexachord – CDEFGA:         1. DEFG, 2. EFGA, 3. CDEF. The fourth part uses all the tetrachords together, 4. CDEFGA.

In the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the poet, lyre-player and singer would probably have been the same person. This poem is not part of ‘The Gododdin’ and possibly of later date but one of the scribes of The Book of Aneirin wrote it in a blank space. It is a poem commemorating a fallen hero, written by a professional poet, possibly in the voice of Dinogat’s mother.

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13th September 2008 

Hosted by Pulse Wholefoods.

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31st May – 1st June 2008, Concert of Irish, Welsh and Breton music and workshop on Music of the Spheres.

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November 2007, Concerts and workshops for the University of Quintana Roo, Cozumel and at Universidad del Caribe, Puerto Juarez, Cancun.

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28th September 2007, FOYER CONCERT, 1.00 P.M.

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29th September 2006, Bragod perform Ystorya Trystan (The Welsh Tristan Story) using a text prepared by Dr. Dafydd Johnston. Robert Evans and Mary-Anne Roberts have set this largely 12th century text to newly-composed music following the compositional principles of the time using the crwth, a bowed lyre with a fingerboard. The drama is in the Menippean form: prose with verse, and has all the signs that it was meant to be sung. Bragod is the first ensemble to perform Ystorya Trystan since the middle ages.

This performance comes a day or two before the performance of Wagner’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’ on the Wales Millennium Centre’s main stage.

Bragod will also perform stanzas from Llyfr Aneirin, The Book of Aneirin, using the 6th century North-European lyre played with a plectrum.

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The Irish part of the ‘Strata’ exhibition will take place at the ruined abbey at Kells. Bragod gave a 30 minute performance of the newly-written, long poem, ‘A Gate at Ystrad Fflur’ by Cecile Johnson-Soliz. The setting of the words and composition of the  music are Bragod’s response to a commission by Cecile Johnson Soliz.

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ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH, Lower Machen, Near Caerphilly

BRAGOD performing at Lower Machen Festival

Lower Machen Festival
N.B. Recital starts at 10.00 p.m.
Box Office 08700 13 1812
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