Robin Huw Bowen
‘Telynor Cymru II’- The Harpist of Wales II
The Triple Harp is the only true Welsh harp. Unique to Wales, and still an unbroken oral folk tradition for over three hundred years, the ‘shimmering’ voice of its three rows of strings is truly as unique as the Welsh language itself. And Robin Huw Bowen is recognized world-wide as its leading exponent.
Robin's influence on the world of Welsh folk music and harping has been far-reaching. Since 1983, he has introduced the Welsh Triple Harp and its music to thousands all over the world, and he is in constant demand to perform, lecture, or teach. He has researched, recorded, and published many old ‘lost’ Welsh airs, and without doubt he ranks among the most important figures that the Welsh folk tradition has produced. He is a founder member of CLERA – The Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales, and is the current music director of the Clerorfa – The Welsh Folk Orchestra.
Robin’s repertoire reflects many of the varied aspects of Welsh harp and folk tradition, from historical airs and variations researched by him from 18th and 19th century manuscripts and publications, to melodies and arrangements learned from living sources. Perhaps the most important of these was Eldra Jarman, the last of the Welsh Romany Gypsy harpists. But far from merely demonstrating dusty relics from the past, Robin’s inspired playing ensures that he rekindles the very soul of the music and delivers it as a living entity to his listeners.
In the Machynlleth Festival in 2000, Robin was awarded the Glyndŵr Medal for 'an outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales', and in 2002 he won a BAFTA (Cymru) for his original score for the S4C film Eldra. In 2004 he was honoured with the order of 'Druid' (the Gorsedd White Robes) at the Newport National Eisteddfod, and took the bardic name ‘Telynor Cymru II’ (‘The Harpist of Wales II’), after John Roberts, the original ‘Telynor Cymru’, the famous Welsh Gypsy Triple harpist from the 19th century, and great-grandfather of Eldra Jarman.
‘Iaith Enaid ar ei Thannau’ –
(The Language of the Soul on her Strings)
From piercing laments to wild Gypsy laughter on the heath, and from ethereal airs and glittering variations to the earthy rustic tunes of the ‘gwerin’, Robin Huw Bowen makes full use of the otherworldy, shimmering voice of the Triple Harp to rekindle the very soul of Welsh tradition, as only he can.