New Album Update – Y Mabinogi – The Third Branch

New Album Update – Y Mabinogi – The Third Branch

Well, my friends, it’s nearly here.

If you are a regular reader of the blog you’ll know it was my intention, after releasing the Second Branch album, to write an album of music, but that was not to be. The Third Branch picks up from the moment the Second Branch ends, and try as I might I could not move away. The crows were back as I walked Oscar by the river, flying over my head, walking along a few feet before me, shouting. The Blessed Corvids wanted their tale finished. So I surrendered and began the process of creating the Third Branch. That process comes to head this Thursday when a few close friends are coming over for a private ‘Beta Test’ evening. They will hear what I think is the final album, mixed, mastered, and ready to go, but I am keen to make these albums the best they can be, so if they hear anything, feel anything, that might be improved, they tell me. I did that with the previous two Branches, and the feedback from both was hugely valuable.

Of course, I’m hoping they think it’s ready to go too!

And if that’s the case, Cerri will be in the studio creating her magical artwork for the album cover and booklet. I can’t wait to see what she dreams up this time!

How has the creative Journey been?

I confess, of all of the Branches of the Mabinogion this was the one I originally felt the least connection with. For years I had approached it almost as Second Branch 2.0, not really fully seeing its own power and story. Of course, as I began the research process I soon realised that it held just as much magic, just as much power, if not more so, as the previous two Branches, and over the 18 months it has taken to get to this stage I have now utterly fallen in love with it. It has its own energy, but it also ties up all of the loose ends from both the First and Second Branches. If the Second Branch is like the ‘Game of Thrones’ of the Mabinogion, then the Third Branch delves right back into the relationship between Abred and Annwn. Magic journeys through the Third Branch like a river, with tributaries branching off and seeping into all of the corners of the story. And if I didn’t love Manawydan enough already, I adore him now.

There are four songs on the album which are placed at particular points where I felt the narrative of the tale would be better told through music and song. Again, if you are a regular reader of the blog you will know that there have been times during this project where it has felt like my hands were being directed by forces completely out of my control, and the writing and recording of these four songs have provided more of those moments. I wrote all four songs in one week. Recorded them the next. They weren’t rushed, they just came together so quickly and effortlessly it was as if they wanted to exist, and I was just the conduit to get them here. Once again, when I dropped them into the story the intro pieces of the songs, where the vocals began, how they ended and the narrative was picked up with spoken word once more, they just fell into place. I found myself on more than one occasion jumping around the room cheering out loud when I dropped a song in place, pressed play, and listened to what you will hear for the first time.

It really has been a joy creating this album.

So what next?

My friends this time I mean it. I’m going to have a break from the Mabinogi albums after the Third Branch and will be writing an album of music. The end of the Third Branch is a good place to rest before the epicness of the Fourth Branch begins. Bran and Branwen’s tale is told. The crows can leave me alone now. I need to stretch my songwriting wings and fly to new places for a while, but in the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the third in this four-album series. Once Cerri begins the artwork I’ll have a better idea of the launch date, but at the moment I think it’ll be between the Spring Equinox and Beltane, so not long!

Watch this space.

11 responses to “New Album Update – Y Mabinogi – The Third Branch”

  1. so interesting and fun to hear your process you go through making these albums. looking forward to hearing the latest 🙂

  2. My friend, you’re done with The Mabinogi when THEY say you are done with the Mabinogi! I hope They agree with you, but if not…. Clearly the Old Ones Spoke to you during the writing process and Awen flowed like a river. Thank you for sharing the old tales.

  3. Hi Damh. It’s been a while since I’ve written a note to you. Just want to say congratulations on your masterpiece music translations of The Mabinogian. I’ve listened to almost ALL of your music and I’ve been impressed enough of your songs that I mentioned you in my book, “Guitar Gods: Folk Heroes” music series, a few years back. Though I no longer belong to a Wiccan coven, I’m still a pagan through-and-through and lean on Druid teachings and of course, pagan music. I enjoy your monthly podcasts and get surprised each time when I’ve been thinking of something and then receive a podcast that touches upon that same subject. Keep playing and performing your music because my ears pick up all the way from across the pond in South West Florida. You continue to be one of my greatest influences in music and philosophy. Peace and Love.

  4. Thanks for sharing these insights into your work. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I also wish you well on Thursday but I am confident that whatever the outcome the Third Brand will bill Fantastic and I for one am looking forward to it. BB

  5. The forces at work behind these ‘stories’ are powerful indeed and very much alive. Once you start to ‘tell the tale’ their energy pours through. I started to write a series of poems and had similar experiences. I felt that I was not so much channelling their energy, but that I was falling into their story and they were using me to tell it. I recall this is a feature of the ‘old ones’.
    A wee confession to make Damh. The second branch was so hauntingly searing I have only listened to it once. I need someone to lie down with me, holding my hand, in a candle filled room, to listen to it again.

  6. I have listen to the first and second branch, along with every other album of yours, at least 100 times. I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself. Thank you!!!

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