"Full of the fervent energy of these three players, this is ingenious 'chamber trad', something brand new for Wales."
Georgia Ruth - Radio Cymru
Vrï are a brand new trio to represent Wales and its music in the fast-evolving world of ‘chamber-folk’. Bringing together the experience of Jordan Price Williams (cello) Patrick Rimes (violin, viola) and Aneirin Jones (violin) they play tunes and songs from the Celtic nations and beyond, attempting to combine the energy of a rowdy pub session with the style and finesse of the Viennese string quartet.
Combining three of Wales' most exciting young musicians, VRï have emerged as a band truly intent on smashing musical boundaries and crossing many genres. The fiddles of Aneirin Jones and Patrick Rimes join the cello of Jordan Price Williams and their three voices to create a rich and surprisingly powerful sound. Formed in the summer of 2016, the trio have been in search of the elusive 'chamber-folk' aesthetic ever since – pumping out their native foot-stomping dance tunes whilst maintaining the poise and finesse of a string quartet. It's a cross-genre idea that's very familiar to Scandinavian and North American audiences, but hitherto unheard of in Wales.
Jordan: “It's an idea we had for ages before actually acting on it – we'd been listening a lot to groups like The Fretless and the Danish String Quartet, and been really inspired by the way they were treating their traditional melodies...it seemed totally natural to a similar thing to Welsh music, yet nobody was really doing it. When we actually sat down as a trio and played a bit, it all came together very quickly!”
During the spring of 2017, after numerous appearances for BBC radio and sold-out live shows, the lads headed to the legendary Stiwdio Felin Fach to make their debut recording, with the expert ears of Dylan Fowler in the control booth. The 5-track EP which ensued contains a healthy mixture of material – tunes and songs, traditional and original, Welsh and otherwise.
Patrick: “We always said our mission statement was to play great music that we love, regardless of its origin. We're all very passionate about the Welsh tradition, but we're determined not to be boxed in by it – there's no shame in borrowing the odd tune from abroad to enhance your own repertoire!”
The disc was released later in 2017, during the iconic Festivale Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany. As well as thrilling hundreds of music fans during the festival, VRï also progressed to the final round of the prestigious Loïc Raison trophy for bands from Celtic nations.
Aneirin: Playing at Lorient was so exciting. I wasn't sure how the 'chamber' vibe and the interpretation would go down at a major festival like that, but they really loved it! And being selected for the trophée was a very special feeling”.
Patrick Rimes has extensive touring experience across 3 continents with the likes of Calan and Cerys Matthews Band. He plays fiddle, viola and adds some flagrantly appropriated Quebecois foot percussion.
As one of the leaders of a new generation of trad cellists in Wales,
Jordan Price Williams is in the interesting position of almost entirely
inventing a new style - although he is strongly influenced by eminent
cellists such as Natalie Haas, his voice is unmistakably his own. He is
also a member of Elfen.
Aneirin Jones is part of the new wave of young traditional musicians
coming from Wales. Already having been working professionally since the
age of 16, he is now studying traditional fiddle at the Royal
Conservatoire of Scotland - but he remains a Welshman through and through!
The combination of their infectious energy and passion for the music, along with their relaxed bromance-driven banter on stage is always a big hit with audiences everywhere!