Folk - Sild

‘Sild’ means marriage in Estonian, and the name of the band has been carefully chosen. This male-female duo, formed in 2001, have concocted a sound which marries the musical heritage of the two countries they are from. Martin Leamon comes from Wales, Sille Illves is from Estonia. “I was playing in a folk festival in Estonia, and we met,” says Martin. “It was a meeting of minds. Sille came to live in this part of the world and we found it very interesting to make music together.” Martin is a multi instrumentalist: with Sild he plays guitar and bazouki. Sille sings and plays the hiuu kannel, or bowed harp, a rectangular four-stringed instrument, and the fiddle. She is said to have an astonishing voice.

“Sille had had more experience of Western musical tradition, so she found it easier than me to adapt to our fusion of styles,” says Martin, “though slowly I learnt. Estonian music comes from a very different background; Estonian isn’t an Indo-European language and the rhythms and metre are very different to what I was used to. Generally the words of our pieces are from traditional Estonian songs, and the music is adapted from old Welsh tunes. A lot of the fun comes from adapting the tunes to fit the songs. I hope that fun comes across in our performance.” Their first album, recorded in 2004, is called Priori, Welsh for ‘marriage’, and it is doubly apt. The couple wed soon after they met. AG

Sild – with this sing-song I thee wed
The Royal Oak, 3 Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk at the Oak:
(t) 01273 478124
(w) Website