Group Listening + Angharad Jenkins

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Musical collaborators for the past decade, Paul Jones and Stephen Black are together known as the woodwind-and-key-wielding, sculptural-papier-mâché-hat-wearing Group

Following renegade reinterpretation records Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol. 1 (2018) and Vol. 2 (2022), which pulled apart, pondered, and re-shaped cult ambient classics by the likes of Robert Wyatt, Arthur Russell and Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Walks (2024) — a shining modernist monolith buried deep in the woods — is their first volume of completely original compositions.

Walks draws from the field recordings of Ernest Hood; the abstraction of Harold Budd; the saxophone of Sam Gendel; the “heightened naturalism” of a Martin Parr photograph; the clarity and site-specificity of Japanese ambient, environmental & new age music of the 80s and 90s, and, prominently, Robert Walser’s pseudo-biographical novella The Walk — an appreciation of the philosophical space gifted by walks to walkers.

An ode to the gently psychedelic potential of wandering around in some place, any place, every place: the places in one’s own mind, Walks invites you to listen and think; to slip through the fabric of time a little or a lot, depending on how long you’ve got. Over all, to
paraphrase Walser, it invites you to glow and flower yourself in the glowing, flowering present.

Support comes from Angharad Jenkins, who will be responding musically to the artwork on display in our Art In The Bar feature.

Angharad Jenkins (also known as Sienco) is a freelance musician, composer, and project manager.

She was born in 1986 and brought up in the seaside village of Mumbles, near Swansea. She followed Welsh medium education at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr, in Gowerton before studying music at Oxford Brookes University, where she graduated in 2008 with a first class honours degree.

It was during her time in Oxford she began her career as a performing musician with the indie-folk outfit the Joe Allen Band.

As a musician, performer and composer, Angharad is a versatile collaborator, and has performed and co-written with a range of musicians in different styles and genres, including work with poets and artists also. Steeped in the traditional music of Wales, Angharad is never tied down by her roots, but uses them as a springboard to explore new musical avenues.

She is probably best known for playing the fiddle in the Welsh folk group Calan celebrated for breathing new life into Welsh traditional music. The band have toured extensively around the UK, USA and mainland Europe. They have released four studio albums with Sain Records, Bling (2009), Jonah (2011), Dinas (2014 – which was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize in 2014), and Solomon (2017).

Angharad also plays in a duo with her mother, the harpist Delyth Jenkins and they perform under the name DnA. Their debut album Adnabod, which was released on fflach:tradd in 2013 was shortlisted for Albwm Cymraeg y Flwyddyn, (the Welsh Album of the Year award). With just a fiddle and a harp, it is in this outfit that she has the most freedom to experiment and push the boundaries of her violin simply by exploring natural timbre of the instrument. Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6 said that of their sound that “this music is rooted in tradition but altogether original sounding and beautifully written… a thing of beauty.”

In addition to her interest in traditional music, Angharad brings her violin music to other musical genres including the electronic-dance outfit Kaikrea, and the Swansea based rock band Broken Fires, which she records as a session musician.

Angharad is a musician on the Live Music Now scheme and has recently been commissioned, along with her band-mates in Calan, to write music for the children’s story The King, the Cat and the Fiddle by Yehudi Menuhin and Christopher Hope. The band continue to perform the show around SEND schools, and are experienced in running participatory performances for children with special educational needs.

In 2014, following the death of her father the poet Nigel Jenkins, she collaborated with the artist Iwan Bala to create the PROsiect hAIcw. In cathartic and creative response to her grief, the two created a body of work (music and images) which culminated in a multi-media performance where music, art and poetry were married in an emotionally powerful expose.

She also works as a session musician, has presented programmes for BBC Radio Cymru, and has done voice over work for local and national radio stations.