A new contemporary opera set in motion by a walking audience in the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia), relays a modern myth set around Lyn Idwal, the lake at the bottom of a glacial valley. Through song, eight characters, Sundew & Butterwort, Ceffyl Dwr, Voice, Dragon, Prince, Rock, Pen-Bele God of Death and the Teffradot emerge from the water, ice, rock, flora and fauna voicing stories of shape-shifters, immortals from the other-world, the eternal and ephemeral beings of Cwm Idwal. Traditional welsh melodies are cut-up, rearranged and transformed, echoing the scarred, shattered rock face. Instruments of a bygone era side by side with new, join eight voices to echo in the mountain, to symbolise a state of pure eternity.
Commissioned by Soundlands, Bangor. Download Interzone Theatre App. available for android and iPhone. Those without smart-phones contact me here.
Infinitely available from 18th July 2015
Review from Sain : Sound, a new documentary film project currently in production, to explore and illuminate the sonic arts scene which is currently flourishing in Wales.
"I wonder if I’m going to feel somewhat removed from the experience of the place itself, but actually the headphones mean that
Dan and I mostly don’t talk and can just absorb mountains, light and lake, all augmented by gorgeous, haunting music.
Teffradot opera and libretto are composed with sounds and rhythms derived from Welsh folk songs and it’s as if we’re been given a key, through our contemporary devices, to voices and music which are an inherent, ancient part of the landscape. Rebecca has uncovered the mysticism of the place itself but this only works because it also sounds contemporary, evolving and not cliché. A modern-day reawakening of age-old welsh mythology. I listen in Welsh, Dan in English. Poetry and theatre merges with theatre of the landscape, space and detail of the music echoing both the raw macro of the land around us and the vivid minutiae of small plant life and rocks. The hunt to follow the last part of the route closes as we drop down from grasslands to a secluded fissure in the rock.
Afterwards, we are quiet, moved. And keen to go back."
"As an installation piece, Teffradot succeeds on many levels. There is a convincing authenticity in the compositional approach as one finds themselves happily being drawn into a world of bespoke mythology. The landscape, in its rugged and untarnished beauty, creates a perfect environment for your imagination to thrive. In visual terms, the walk itself is undeniably well
suited to the audible content, and sonically, the headphone environment works effectively with the natural soundscape of Cwm Idwal. Each GPS activation point has been cleverly decided and the narrative makes use of objects in the periphery, allowing the playful potential that these mystical events did indeed once take place among the vast, green and stoney lake surroundings. In this sense, the mythology of Teffradot becomes as conceivable as any other.
A great success of the piece is the way traditional folklore has been cleverly implemented with a modernised approach to sonic art. Each opus is carefully constructed with sonorous instrumentation and narrative delivery. There is a playful mood to the unfolding events, yet the ever-present emotive content gives poise to connecting warmly with the characters. The language, whilst delivered in coded and poetic abstract fashion, weaves mellifluously through a compelling avenue of storytelling.
Sonic art is often found guilty of leaving the access points only to those already versed in the medium. Teffradot transcends this by presenting a simple and universal experience, which allows the every-person to connect with its fantastical and enigmatic world: a place where mythology and modern art meet in beguiling fashion. A very welcome ‘public’ art piece. Should you find yourself planning a trip to North Wales, be sure to pack your headphones."
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