Y Mabinogi – The First Branch – Have a listen to a song!

Y Mabinogi – The First Branch – Have a listen to a song!

Yesterday I opened the pre-orders for my new album, Y Mabinogi – The First Branch. The fruit of a journey that began back in 1995 when I wrote the song Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet, and planted the seed that ultimately has led to the first of four double albums, each one telling the tale of one of the Four Branches of the Mabinogion. This album tells the tale of Pwyll and his meeting with Arawn, a King of Annwn, the ‘Celtic’ Otherworld. His meeting with the Goddess Rhiannon, and the birth of the Mabon himself, the focus of the tales of Y Mabinogi, Pryderi.

Cerri’s artwork for the CD is heart-achingly beautiful. She has outdone herself, sometimes staying up until 3am in her studio, drawing away, creating images that add even more to the experience of the album. The cover… oh, my Gods.

Here it is.

See what I mean?!

And here is a song from the album. This song happens at the beginning of the second part of the tale, just after Pwyll and his retinue walk to the top of a hill nearby called Gorsedd Arberth. It is said that when a person sits atop the hill one of two things will happen, either they will suffer injury, or they will see a wonder. Well, of course, with all of Pwyll’s warriors with him, he is not worried about suffering ‘wounds or blows’, but as for a wonder, he would gladly see one.

So he sits there, atop Gorsedd Arberth, to see what will happen next…

I’ve only placed songs where they progress the tale and I think it works well, that blending of story and song.

There are three guests on the album:

Alan Wheatly-Crowe – the guitarist from my old Heavy Metal band, Targa, adds his incredible skill to the song Who is this Coming?, the song that introduces Arawn – if any God demands some serious guitar shredding it’s Arawn! It was great to reconnect with Alan after so many years. He is one of the best rock lead guitarists I have ever known.

Kristoffer Hughes – The Head of the Anglesey Druid Order, we have been friends for years. Me and Kris are cut from the same pastry. We both love these tales and it was very important to me that Kris liked the album and the direction I had taken things. When he came to my studio to record his spoken word part I played him the entire demo version of the album. He was the first to hear it. I was happy and relieved. He loved it. Kris opens the entire album. The first thing you will hear when you press play is the sound of Gregorian Chant, then footsteps, as a monk walks through the cloisters to the Scriptorium. Taking a seat you then hear the sound of quill on parchment. Kris’ voice begins, telling the tale of the First Branch in its native language of Welsh. It was important to me to honour the original land of these tales and it brings me out in goosebumps every time I hear it. From his voice I then begin to introduce the tales, as the Gregorian Chant recedes.

S. J. Tucker – Yes! My Bardic Sister joins me on one of the songs. I knew that I wanted the final song to be a duet between Pryderi and Rhiannon. I won’t write any spoilers here, but it’s an emotional moment, and I wanted a particular voice to sing her part in the song. In June I went to the Pagan spirit Gathering in the USA and SooJ was there too. As I sat watching her first performance I knew straight away that I was listening to the voice of Rhiannon. I asked her the next day and I was delighted that she agreed.

In truth I cannot wait until the 26th September when the album becomes available to you all, but until then I hope this has wet your appetite! If you want to pre-order the CD you can do that here. If you order from me directly you’ll get an email on the day of release that will have a link for you to download the album, to listen to right away, while your CD is on its way to you in the post.

It’s been quite some Journey. Soon I will hold a small ritual, to thank Pwyll, Rhiannon, Pryderi, Teyron, Arawn and all, for their blessings and guidance. For holding my hand and leading me through their tale. Then I will open to Bran and Branwen. Invite them in, and to take my hand as I begin the next part of the Journey, into The Second Branch.

Already the corvids are gathering.

It seems they are impatient for their tales to begin.

I will not be keeping them waiting.

17 responses to “Y Mabinogi – The First Branch – Have a listen to a song!”

  1. Cerri’s art is just so beautiful, and the corvids and the horse are so close to my heart, I so love Rhiannon as I feel close to her with her faery horses. I just love that album cover, Cerri, well done such amazing work! And Damh, love the song, and I just know the whole album with be totally Magickal! I have pre-ordered and am SO excited because those Tales have always meant so much to me since I discovered them a while back.

    I look forwards also to hearing the guests on the album.

    So Damh and Cerri all your hard work has paid off. And as you say, on to the next branch, which I know I am not alone in wonder and anticipation.

    Blessed be

  2. This is going to be truly epic. Perhaps one day, a movie will be made based on your works of these tales!
    That would be so exciting!! Can’t wait for the album release.
    Blessed be

  3. AWESOME! This is just awesome, I listened all day yesterday to your beautiful releases . . . I am SO looking forward to this completed series . . . no need to go to a place to listen. . . your stories take me there instantly! Blessings. OH and the ARTWORK – just beautiful! What a pair you two are!

  4. Pre-ordered. Just listened to the track…spine-tingling! And the cover is gorgeous! The awen flows in both of you and you’re such lovely people as well…we’re truly blessed!

  5. Fantabulous ! Cant wait to hear the rest of this album … but I will just have to ! Cerri’s artwork is more than a bit special too …… xx

  6. Love the Music! Love the Cover Art! Well Done, Both of you! Looking forward to seeing & hearing it on CD, & to holding it my hands…

    Brightest of Blessings, Brigit 🙂

    • Hi Rheanna. The music is the little music player embedded in this post. Just click the little green play arrow in the box of ‘These Hollow Hills’ and it’ll start.

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