The Gathering, Toby Hay a David Ian Roberts


‘I first listened to The Gathering late in the day, late in the year – the year of Trump, of Brexit, of tides of darkness rising fast on all sides. And for a bright hour, Toby Hay’s music cast strong light, fought the shadows back a little. The tracks of this album – quick-fingered, deep-felt – open landscapes in the mind’s eye. It feels, listening to them, as if they have a little of the power – the power that linguists call ‘illocutionary’ and magicians call ‘conjuring’ – to summon things into being, or bring pasts briefly back to life. It came as no surprise to learn that Toby has sometimes hoped that the playing of ‘Starlings’ (in which the notes teem and swoop and swarm) might one day call up an actual murmuration. Place, memory, nature, loss and dreamed-of geographies are the subjects of this beautiful music: that gathering of feelings that go by the untranslatable Welsh word hiraeth. There is a sadness at what has gone here, but not a nostalgia. The world’s dew gleams on this music, but the world’s dust swirls through it too.’ Album Liner note, Robert MacFarlane.



Un o Raeadr Gwy yng nghanolbarth Cymru yw Toby Hay, ac mae’n creu cerddoriaeth offerynnol wedi’i ysbrydoli gan dirwedd, pobl a hanes yr ardal. Yn dilyn yn ôl troed y gitaryddion American Primitive a diwygwyr Gwerin Prydain, mae’n cyfansoddi cerddoriaeth ar gyfer gitâr 6 a 12 llinyn.
Wedi’i ddylanwadu gan Ragas Indiaidd, cerddoriaeth Kora Affricanaidd a cherddoriaeth hynafol y delyn Gymreig o lawysgrif Robert ap Huw, mae Toby yn creu cerddoriaeth i gyfleu awyrgylch y rhan arbennig o Gymru mae’n byw ynddo, gan ychwanegu at draddodiad hir cerddoriaeth llinyn Gymreig.
Toby Hay yw’r grym sy’n gyfrifol am Cambrian Records, label recordiau annibynnol wedi’i leoli yn Rhaeadr Gwy, Canolbarth Cymru.

From near Rhayader in Mid Wales Toby Hay makes instrumental music inspired by the landscape, people and history of the area. Following in the footsteps of the American Primitive guitarists and the British Folk revivalists he composes music for the 6 and 12 string guitar.
Influenced by Indian Ragas, African Kora music and ancient Welsh harp music from the Robert ap Huw manuscript Toby makes music to capture the atmosphere of the special and under represented part of Wales where he lives, adding to the long tradition of Welsh string music.
Toby Hay is the driving force behind Cambrian Records, an independent record label based in Rhayader, Mid Wales.

‘Toby Hay manages to marry craft and melody like few others in contemporary Welsh Folk. His appreciation of the melancholic and melodic voice of his guitar brings out an experimental, gorgeously elongated picking style that touches on American Primitivism and the likes of Bert Jansch or John Renbourne, but with an inviting, graceful air’ Gwdihŵ

Thoughtful words/review by Thomas Blake.  Toby Hay: The Gathering- Featured Review, Folk Radio Uk.

Mae gan David Ian Roberts lais unigryw a’i fysedd meistrolgar ar y gitâr sydd wrth galon ei arddull. Mae’n cyfuno sain grwpiau gwerin y 60au a’r 70au gyda cherddoriaeth Indiaidd a cherddoriaeth glasurol. Er i artistiaid fel Nick Drake, John Martyn ac Elliott Smith ddylanwadu arno, mae ei ddawn gyda’r gitâr yn deillio o’i uchelgais i greu seiniau gwreiddiol a threfniannau gyda’i offeryn.
Record werin siambr fugeiliol gynnil oedd albwm cyntaf David, ‘St Clears’ (2014), yn enwog am ei drefniadau llinyn, a chafodd ei chynnwys yn Archif Genedlaethol Sgrin a Sain Cymru.

David Ian Roberts has a unique voice and virtuosic fingerstyle guitar playing at the centre of his style, He combines the sounds of 60’s and 70’s folk acts, with Indian and classical music. Whilst influenced by artists such as Nick Drake, John Martyn and Elliott Smith, his ability on the guitar is based upon an ambition to bring original sounds and arrangements from his instrument. .
David’s debut album ‘St Clears’ (2014) was an understated pastoral chamber folk record, noted for its string arrangements, and was included in the Welsh National Archive of Screen and Sound.

“...Compelling…exquisite…extraordinary…blissful’  Simon Holland, FolkRadioUK

Poetry, Jazz, Folk… A fascinating voice’ Frank Hennessey, BBC Radio Wales


This entry was posted in David Ian Roberts, Toby Hay and tagged , , by Avi Allen. Bookmark the permalink.

About Avi Allen

Artist and Co Founder of Capel Y Graig Art Space. Avi took on Capel Y Graig and its attached Ty Capel in 2003 and spent the next 8 years, together with her Father Chris Allen, renovating and restoring the Capel. During this period and along side the restoration project, Avi undertook art training at the West Wales School of The Arts, Carmarthen graduating with a BA Hons Fine Art. Avi gained a PgCE qualification in 2010 and her teaching experience includes leading the Critical and Contextual Studies programme at The West Wales School of the Arts Foundation Course 2009-11 and on the BTEC Diploma Art and Design, Coleg Ceredigion 2011-13. Within her Art/Curatorial practice, Avi is interested in revealing and disrupting established systems of hierarchical classification and the power relations manifested within them.

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