Fiddlebox is a duo well known on the folk music scene.

Helen Adam (fiddle) and George Whitfield (box) are two accomplished and inspirational musicians who play what they term ‘Klezraeg’, an amalgam of moving and melancholic Jewish music, Klezmer, and Cymraeg, traditional music with roots in Wales.

They have teamed up with Nick Swannell, producer and engineer at Narberth’s Studio 49, and a well known musician in his own right, to make this CD, ‘Tears of a Robot’ which is an amazing and probably a unique body of work.

I know George is fascinated by unusual electronic instruments and how they can augment the sounds of his accordion and Nick, among other things, is an award winning film maker who brings a cinematic quality to the tracks.

They then throw (well, probably ‘insert carefully’ is a more correct term) various found sounds into the mix – sounds which include wind turbines, a water wheel, spinning and carding machines, wild birds, even a cat (but not a kitchen sink apparently).

Layered into all of this is Helen’s stunning violin work, which serves as the ‘voice’ on the album.

The result is a clever and imaginative merging of their disparate and myriad influences to create the nine original tracks on this CD, and is the trio’s take on “the dreams of a machine… can a robot learn to empathise, or can it learn to empathise so well that we as humans perform the same trick? Do we need to really feel or is faking enough?”

I think as much philosophising as making music went into the manufacture of this. But it’s no prosaic comment on ‘fake news’ or even Bob Monkhouse’s observation that “once you’ve faked sincerity you’ve got it made”. No.

Quite simply it is a beautiful and haunting collection of music you can immerse yourself in time and time again and always be delighted by the joy and excitement it delivers. That’s enough.

BB Skone

BB Skone presents the Pembrokeshire Music Show at 7pm every Sunday on Pure West Radio