The Wraiths by Jonathan Hughes

by Nathan Lewis Williams

Ynys Witrin, Glastonbury

Samhain 2009 

Born of duetted improvisations on a selection of texts from "A Bundle Of Ballads", and having eventually settled on the most lucid of the many verses - classic, romantic and modern - that they subsequently discovered, Mog's spontaneous vocal melodies combined with Jon's skilful harmonisations to form the fundaments of a musical partnership which has perennially and consistently brought new life to the words of so many seasoned poets of the printed page, freeing them with a kind of finality from the written world, uplifting their lyrical stanzas to soar, spectral, in song.

Listening to The Wraiths one senses more than two presences: firstly these accomplished musicians of today with their fresh and lifelike, ever-reverent interpretations; but also the ghosts of the various chosen poets themselves, their lives and loves, their dreams and fragile glimpses of immortality. That poets throughout all ages have aspired to, and been inspired by music is apparent; from Brythonic bards and the troubadors of Provence to a twentieth century Yeats, replete with lyre and Celtic incantations, the raving Ezra Pound, the howling Ginsberg, or T.S. Eliot's clipped accented drone at 33.3...

"...There is always another one walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

- But who is that on the other side of you?"

The ghosts of past and future are gathered here, and it is in the crystalline structures of these free-flowing surges of music that the once-dead live again, "in endless song". Drink deep; here are waters for all souls. How can we keep from singing?


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