Comedian takes up challenge of joining chamber ensemble.
AS part of a special programme for Radio Cymru, comedian and presenter, Tudur Owen, will face one of the biggest challenges of his career when he joins six professional Ensemble Cymru musicians for a one-off live performance at Pontio Bangor, on November 12.
Wales's leading chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru, challenged the comedian to learn a piece of chamber music and then perform it live, in front of an audience. As someone who relishes a challenge, Tudur was keen to accept and has undergone a crash-course in chamber music over the last few months with Ensemble Cymru's Principal Percussionist, Dewi Ellis Jones.
Describing himself as an "amateur drummer with a very big 'A'", Tudur admits he may have, "bitten off more than I can chew" as he prepares for his debut as a chamber music percussionist as he explains: "It took me by surprise as it was far more complicated than I had imagined. I'm used to bars of 4 / 4 timing or 3 / 4 timing, but here all the bars were different lengths, and I just thought someone was making fun of me."
Luckily, Dewi Ellis Jones was on hand to help Tudur get on track, "Once Dewi told me it was as important to listen to the music as it was to count the bars, then it all clicked."
Ensemble Cymru's Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans says he has discovered some similarities between chamber music and comedy from working with Tudur, as Peryn said, "What's been interesting is finding the common ground between the two art forms. They are both similar in the way the space is set up and how comedy and chamber music relies on that link, or close relationship with the audience."
Peryn continued, "It's been brilliant to have Tudur come in as part of the Ensemble and for him to bring chamber music to the attention of his audience - it means we're hopefully extending the reach of chamber music and enabling more people to enjoy it."
Radio Cymru presenter Tudur admitted he knew little about chamber music before embarking on this project with Ensemble Cymru which is part of a programme for Radio Cymru, due for broadcast in December. However he has been bitten by the chamber music bug and is now keen for more people to experience it: "As with any form of entertainment, if you appreciate quality and good music, then of what I've gathered and of what I've heard, chamber music will have something that will suit you."
Ensemble Cymru are performing dates across Wales with their 15 Year Anniversary Tour. Tudur Owen will become an honorary member of the Ensemble for one day when he joins the musicians in a prelude concert at Pontio, Bangor on Sunday 12 November at 2.15pm before the main Ensemble Cymru concert at 3pm.
| ENTRY to the prelude concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the main concert. Visit www.ensemble. cymru for more information or to book tickets contact www.pontio.co.uk 01248 38 28 28.
Ensemble Cymru Principal Percussionist Dewi Ellis Jones with comedian Tudur Owen, who will join Ensemble Cymru for just one concert