Toby Hay & Jim Ghedi will play Cambridge this October. The pair play the Blue Moon on October 9th, with tickets on sale now.
Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay both make music so deeply entrenched in a sense of place – such as their homes in Rhayader and Moss Valley – that the landscapes of those environments runs through their records like gushing rivers or rolling hill tops. But what happens when one is removed from such a sense of place? Plucked away from the dark skies, savage weather and isolation of a Welsh town or the community at the heart of a village on the border of South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire, and onto an open road of hours spent in cars and dining in service stations, when life on tour brings about a new sense of place daily? The answer for the pair was to make a record about it.
When living in Belgium, Ghedi sent his music to Hay and he then released Ghedi’s debut album Home Is Where I Exist, Now To Live and Die on his label, Cambrian Records, in 2015. The pair, whilst both possessing distinct musical personalities and traits, soon bonded through their shared guitar virtuosity and blended exploration of classical and contemporary folk music.
Wanting to capture the simplistic essence of their shared performances and time-killing jams, they went to Hay’s brother’s house in Leeds for a weekend and set about putting something to record. The pair would improvise around one another, letting the intricate guitar work twist, turn, snake and collide. Although it was also an exploration of reduction and restraint where needed too. The process was not a duel for authority but a deeply ingrained understanding of the space needed between them.
The result is a record that, across ten instrumental tracks, moves from tender, gently plucked guitars that slowly purr to vivacious bursts of energy as the two dash in and out of one another. Whilst the record has the notable input and personality of both individuals – individuals who have both released critically-acclaimed solo albums in the last year via Ghedi’s A Hymn For Ancient Land and Hay’s The Gathering – combined they create something new; a flowing, considered and ever-moving record.