String Beats ran a tour around their
Lunchtime concert in November 2018:
Coleham Primary School | Longden Primary School | Uplands Carehome | Baschurch Primary School
Animal noises; sounds of the sea; high octane jazz drumming; a few bars of Beethoven and the sounds of birds. All of these, and more, were conjured up by Dean Yhnell using just his voice and a microphone.
With violinist Angharad Jenkins, Dean is half of a duo called String Beats. They gave a lunchtime performance at the Lion Hotel, an adventurous piece of programming for Shropshire Music Trust which attracted a large audience - some of them very young.
Angharad played on a conventional violin for all but one number for which she used an electric ﬁddle. Her tone is rich, gloriously sonorous and as rhythmically secure as her partner’s.
They played some traditional Welsh tunes, a bit of hip-hop and some rap. Rhythm was the key to every number; a lot of young children stood on their chairs and clapped in time; Dean rewarded them by bringing them to the front and getting them dancing!
It was a delight to see such obvious pleasure and proved what a superb communicator and teacher Dean is. On this visit, String Beats are also running the programme at several schools and care homes.
Before we all joined in, we learned that Beat Boxing started in 1980s' New York as an attempt to mimic drum machines with the human voice. The range of sounds possible is amazing and often, along with the ﬁddle convinced us we were hearing several instruments. Angharad explained that she had spent longer than intended on an island off the west coast of Scotland - she wrote a hauntingly beautiful tune called “Stranded”. It was exquisite, as was their ﬁnal number, “The Sea Monster” by Welsh musician Simon Owen. This featured the ﬁddle and the sound effects which brilliantly portrayed the sounds of the sea. A ﬁtting end to a gig which the audience loved, not least because it gave them plenty of scope for joining in – a lovely lunchtime event.
“The school are still buzzing and parents I've met have told me how their children came home full of it and put on impromptu concerts – everyone is asking for microphones for Christmas!”
School PTA member
“It went down a storm –fantastic”
Comments from the children:
“My favourite bit was the electric ﬁddle, it was so exciting!” Year 1 child
“I loved the way he used the loop pedal to blend together lots of different sounds” Year 3 child
“It was just awsome! I want to beat box like Dean” Year 2 child
“Gina from Opportunity Playgroup scooted up to me saying how wonderful the Lion Hotel concert was and how her children all danced!”