WOMAD At Home: An aural adventure in North Wales with 9Bach

9Bach have taken part in WOMAD At Home — a series of immersive recording sessions mixed especially for headphones. Each Thursday night at 8PM GMT over the past six weeks, a different artist has been featured, transporting listeners to unusual acoustic spaces, using all of the latest immersive audio technology and skills available through Real World Studios and our in-house engineers.

For 9Bach‘s session, which broadcasts this Thursday, October 29th, at 8pm GMT, Real World engineer Oli Middleton was invited to their home in rural North Wales, and went on a journey with them to some interesting locations to capture their performances in unique acoustic settings. Check out some of the photos below, along with an account of the recording session.

9Bach’s music is an atmospheric, evocative and emotional hybrid of the Welsh folk tradition, and of contemporary influences and working practices. Building on a deepened, almost ambient sound picture, the songs take you into the landscape and the emotions that it evokes. 9Bach’s WOMAD at Home session is a journey through rural North Wales, capturing Lisa Jên Brown’s haunting vocals in unique acoustic spaces. Through music and chat, 9Bach bring to life the history and folklore of their locality.

After a great big feed of Mexican breakfasts and home made scones, we all took to the mountains and recorded Lisa and Mirain’s vocals, using world-class sound technology and brand new techniques developed at the studio.

Lisa was certain she wanted to record her vocals rooted to the actual earth that has informed her songwriting from the beginning but before doing so she decided to write songs specifically for her surroundings. These songs are all about the vibe of the land and landscape here in North Wales, that forms the character of the local community.

Photo credit: York Tillyer.

The walls are crumbling in Ysbyty Chwarel, the quarry hospital in Bethesda, and trees grow now where men once screamed in pain from injuries endured at the quarry. The song ‘Ether’ is about that human suffering and how anaesthetic, when it was introduced at the hospital in 1847, brought some much needed relief!

Photo credit: York Tillyer.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.


‘Dial’ is a song from the alternate perspective of the mountain itself, when it decides to retaliate against the men of the quarry, whilst ‘Llithro’ is a celebratory song about looking, listening and feeling this place where we live. Both these two vocals were recorded in a cave — really an old tunnel — at the foot of Gyrn Wigau in Chwarel Dr Hughes, surrounded by the ancient wild Carneddau Ponies and fern and the sound of the wind. At one point the ponies galloped past us — they’re magical creatures that belong to the land, so I’m chuffed they collaborated with us on this song!

Photo credit: York Tillyer.

‘Cwm Clyd’, recorded in Capel Nant y Benglog at the foot of Tryfan, lists all the beautiful local place names of Eryri, Nant Y GilfachFynydd and Cwm y Bedol Arian that are often overlooked or renamed in English. There is pride and pleasure in the meaning of these beautiful Welsh names given by our ancestors and understanding and using them connects us to this place and helps us respect the significance of the mountain.

Photo credit: York Tillyer.

It’s been great working with Andy Gangadeen (Massive Attack, The Bays) on new songs, creating a sound that’s sympathetic to 9Bach’s vibe and storytelling, but also bringing his vision and stunning drumming in to the mix — we’re very excited.

Listen to 9Bach’s WOMAD At Home session

Remember to wear your headphones, and tune in to WOMAD at Home this Thursday. There will be nothing to see, but rather the whole earth and landscape of Eryri to take in through your beautiful ears and into your soul. Lots of love to you.


  • 9Bach


    9Bach's music is an atmospheric, evocative, and emotional hybrid of the Welsh folk tradition, and of contemporary influences and working practices.

By 9Bach

Main image: 9Bach's Lisa Jen Brown in North Wales on a field recording session for WOMAD At Home. Photo credit: York Tillyer.

Published on Wed, 28 October 20

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