Exposé Online banner

Carreg Lafar — Profiad
(Sain SCD2309, 2004, CD)

by Jim Chokey, Published 2006-05-01

Profiad Cover art

The traditional music of Wales doesn’t get as much attention as that from other parts of the British Isles. That’s a shame because the country’s musical tradition is rich, diverse, and beautiful, as is demonstrated by Profiad, the third CD by Welsh folk quintet Carreg Lafar. The disk’s eleven tracks, which include both traditional folktunes and original compositions in a folk style, are a stirring example of how emotional, powerful, and relevant the music of this often-forgotten nation can be. Instrumentally, the CD is all acoustic. Expressive vocals (both male and female), fiddle, flute/whistle, and acoustic guitar are used consistently by the band, with other instruments — pipes, mandola, and percussion (as well as piano, cello, and harp) being used occasionally to add different timbres and textures. Also keeping things lively is the fact that the tunes themselves are as diverse as the arrangements. The album’s title track and “Seren Y Bore” are up-tempo tunes with a dancelike energy and groove. By contrast, “Llanllechid,” with its haunting fiddle-and-piano melody, and disk closer “Iechyd o Gylch” are slow airs filled with tenderness and longing. (I’m reminded a bit of Loreena McKennitt’s earlier work, but without all the misty ethereality.) Other tunes, like “Dic Penderyn,” a tender ballad about nineteenth century labor leader who was wrongly hanged, fall somewhere in between. For readers interested in checking out what contemporary Welsh folk music has to offer, I cannot think of an album I would recommend more highly.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Carreg Lafar

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ray Charles - Ô Genio Live in Brazil – Not long after releasing one of the signpost LPs of modern pop crossover, Ray Charles took his big band to Brazil and filmed two television programs featuring his live stage set. Charles was just as...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues