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Guto said Niamh and Tayla's compositions will be accompanied by new music by Gwydion Rhys, from Rachub, near Bangor, and the late Welsh composer Hillary Tann alongside two pieces selected from the call for scores for the William Mathias Composition Prize.

"Gwydion is a student at the Royal College of Music in London where he is studying composition with Alison Kay and the piece to be played at the festival is the one he won the Composer's Medal at the Urdd National Eisteddfod at Llandovery, Carmarthenshire last May.

"He is also a fine cellist and is a former pupil of Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias," he said, “and it’s great that the Centre is continuing his musical development, but this time focusing on his creative side rather than his performance!”

Later in the afternoon young talented performers currently at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias will be performing an eclectic mix of music for soloists and ensembles in Pontio's Bar Ffynnon.

Also during the afternoon and in various public spaces in the Pontio building, the Bangor New Music Ensemble will present new music by Bangor University student composers.

On Sunday, February 18, Electroacoustic Wales will take part in a live performance in Theatr Bryn Terfel at Pontio with the Sound and Image Research Centre at London's University of Greenwich and Luxi Tian, a PhD student at Bangor University, who plays the Guzheng, a Chinese plucked zither.

The concert, which starts at 3pm, will also feature the World Premiere of Jo Thomas' work, Cascade Infinity, commissioned by the festival.

Guto said Jo Thomas is a successful composer, sound artist, producer and performer who works primarily with electronic sound.

He said: "She often works with recorded sounds and creatively manipulate them into an interesting collage that is performed through an immersive PA system. Her inspiration often uses emotive thematic elements, such as feelings or personal reactions.

"For this year’s festival she has collaborated with Luxi Tian who plays the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument, and will focus on writing a piece for meditation and relaxation that involves the wonderful sounds of the traditional instrument and some atmospheric electronic sounds."

Guto added Jo, who is now based in London but hails from Bangor, studied music at Bangor University where she gained a Masters degree.

Earlier in the day, Electroacoustic Wales, directed by Andrew Lewis, will present a selection of pieces written by Bangor University student composers. This hour-long concert starts at 12.30pm

The festival's opening concert on Thursday, February 15 features Cardiff-based Afro Cluster who will join local ensemble Banda Bacana in an evening of music from two continents that is inspired by African music and Samba rhythms.

Staged cabaret-style at Pontio's Theatr Bryn Terfel, Guto said the auditorium seats will be replaced by tables and chairs but with plenty of space for dancing, which is encouraged.

"Banda Bacana’s music is great for dancing and the cabaret style setting will make it more of a gig than a formal concert," he said. “They have a great local following and their set is always lively and full of rhythmic energy.”

During the festival Marie-Claire Howorth will host sessions introducing music to children aged six months to three years old and later with four to seven year olds. These sessions are staged in collaboration with Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias. Also, Ash Cooke will host an improvisation workshop as part of the Tŷ Cerdd’s Off-Grid activities.

In addition the festival will stage a day of workshops for local schools in early February.

Guto said local musicians Dewi Ellis Jones (percussionist) and Mared Emlyn (harpist) will offer Anglesey secondary school pupils "an eclectic mix of new music" in their composition and performance workshops.  

Further information about the festival can be found online at Tickets are available from the Pontio website at or telephone 01248 382828

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