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Martin Neil

Te-lah-nay stone memorial

By | My Stories | No Comments

I had read the stories but it was a very moving experience visiting Tom Hendrix’s 30 year journey of building an incredible stone memorial honouring his great great Grandmother, Te-lah-nay. A young Yuchi teenager who was forced to walk to Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears. Having grown up by the Singing River in Alabama, the sound drew her back. So after escaping she spent 5 years walking back to her land. Each stone on the memorial wall represents one step of her journey. Also, the shape, height, and width of the wall changes to represent the various obstacles she encountered.

Mnase Graduation

By | Blog, Tanzania | No Comments

In 2003 when we first visited Mnase village education was not a priority for children, for all sorts of reasons. Things have changed and this year they just had their ninth graduation – very excited to receive these pictures from our contact Seth. #VFTN2018


Stringed Instruments

By | Strings | No Comments

For thousands of years people have used the simple technique of vibrating strings to create sound and harmony. Bowed, plucked or hit we have been amazed at the incredible sounds that we have heard on our travels, created by sinew, fishing line, string and wire.


By | Strings | No Comments

Another instrument that intrigued me whilst in Wales was the crwth, one of Wales’ oldest instruments. It is a form of stringed lyre which is played with a bow and which has a range of just one octave. Cass Meurig is one of the leading exponents of this wonderful instrument.

Welsh Triple Harp

By | Strings | No Comments

Rebekah and I have just come back from spending 8 days traveling around the south of Wales exploring some of the ancient Celtic sites. During this time we also discovered more of the rich history of music and song. The unique triple harp originated in Italy in the 16th Century yet became so popular in Wales that it is now known as the Welsh harp.

Tabwrdd drum

By | Drums | No Comments

IMG_0933After an evening of listening to storytelling and songs from Ray Hughes in a church in Milford Haven I got to play a tabwrrd, a traditional Welsh drum. That day I had been doing some research about this instrument and found out that there was only one drum maker in the whole of Wales who still made this traditional drum. So you can imagine my joy in turning up to a church who had a drum made by this same company. Two days later I met the makers and I am now excited to tell you that they are now in the process of making me a drum. Read More