Maelog is a Cardiff-based collaboration of Galician and Welsh artists that explores the links between the traditional folk music of both Celtic shores.
Maelog’s music is a well-balanced brew blending the contagious effervescence of Galician music with the melodic charm by which Welsh folk has always been renowned. Traditional Galician drums like bombo, tamboril, pandeireta, peitoque… drive the rhythms; guitar and bouzouki nimbly paint the harmonies, allowing the Welsh fiddles to soar in melody and counterpoint. Through it all, the effortless energy and purity of the gaita, the Galician bagpipes, will have you throwing your arms in the air and your feet won’t stop. The frothy head over this bold new flavour of sound are the Galician and Welsh voices, which spill traditional and contemporary songs over the side of the glass.
The five-piece formed in 2014 and have since performed in several Welsh folk festivals like Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau, Cwlwm Celtaidd in Porthcawl and also the Hay Festival where they supported Grammy Award-winners Tinariwen and were recorded for BBC Radio 3’s World on 3. The band also travelled to Galicia in 2014, where they performed at the Espazo Activo da Ulla festival in Vedra and also in the fringe events of WOMEX 14 in Santiago de Compostela.
Maelog take their name from Sant Maelog, a 6th century pre-congregational Saint whose church still exists at Llanfaelog, Anglesey. During this period of growing unrest many Britons were displaced, fleeing from the invading Germanic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Some of them made their way first to Brittany and then on further south, finally landing on the north coast of the Iberian Peninsula, in what is today known as Galicia. Here they settled and the Welsh speaking colony became known as ‘Bretoña’, with a certain Mailoc named in 572 as their bishop. Whether or not Maelog and Mailoc are the same man is unclear, but the Galician-based Brittonic colony existed and its influence on Galician place names still persists.
The band likes to create musically the trip that they imagine Maelog making from Welsh shores onto
the Galician ones.
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