Brythonwen is the Welsh name of the Welsh-American singer and composer, Bettina Sheppard. The powerful mood and energy of her new album Solus is inspired by her childhood in Wales and reflects it's raw nature of passion and beauty. Sometimes forceful and driving, sometimes moody and mystical, the music is often imbued with images of nature. Celtic folklore comes alive in the vivid and expressive music of her latest original compositions and arrangements of traditional Welsh songs. Her childhood playground of Caerphilly Castle in southern Wales provided a rich heritage in the stories and music of the druids and fairies. The language of Tylwyth Teg is an integral part of her music, as is the Welsh language. She says, "I played in Caerphilly Castle as a child. How could I help but see images of centuries past." The dark, mystical quality of her songs is enhanced by her long-term classical studies in piano and voice. An award-winning child pianist, Bettina continued her multi-faceted performing career as a singer/actress in musical theatre, light opera, jazz, film, and television. Her present works reflecting her Welsh home and ancestry utilize elements of these styles while staying true to traditional Celtic textures. The interweaving of other ethnic cultures, such as African and Middle Eastern percussion and vocal styles, other musical styles, such as rock, and other time periods all make the statement that music and language are universal magic. Brythonwen audiences have likened her music to Dead Can Dance, Loreena McKennitt, and Enya, but with a unique strength and edgy quality of it's own. Each song tells a powerful story and could easily accompany film sagas in the vein of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. She and producer, John Gentry Tennyson, have gathered together some of New York's finest musicians for this project, incorporating percussion, fiddle, flutes, cello, uilleann pipes, and an amazing rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. The combination is pure magic.
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