Just in the 10th Anniversary of it's 1st edition, it was a pleasure for me to share with all of you the "Awen" album which I recorded under the BRAN line up in 79 festive hours between Sept. 22nd of 1997 and April 2nd 1998.
This time I post for you this new BRAN's EP 2010 edition which includes rare and odd tracks recorded after the Awen CD issue. Three studio tracks which were intended to be part of a second album and some assorted live tracks were specially compiled and edited for this EP edition, which covers the time when Bran remained as a duet between the years 2000 through 2004.
Please feel free to hit either the song or the play button to enjoy and share my music!
01- Children's Song (trad.arr.emp)
I love how this two tunes work together as a set. The first one is a Welsh Carol which I learned from my harpist friend Sylvia Woods' book "Teach yourself to play the folk harp". The second one is an Asturian Lullaby which I learned from the playing of the asturian harpist Herminia Alvarez, as played live on the album "Arpa Celtica".
02- Annwn (emp)
The Annwn is the "Otherworld" in Welsh mythology. Ruled by Arawn, or much later by Gwyn ap Nudd, it was essentially a world of delights and eternal youth where disease is absent and food is ever-abundant. It later became Christianised and identified with the land of souls that had departed this world.
In the First Branch of the Mabinogi, entitled Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, the eponymous prince offends Arawn, ruler of Annwn, by baiting his hunting hounds on a stag that Arawn's dogs had brought down. In recompense he exchanges places with Arawn for a year and defeats Arawn's enemy Hafgan. Meanwhile, Arawn rules Dyfed. During this year, Pwyll does not sleep with Arawn's wife, earning himself gratitude from Arawn. On his return, Pwyll becomes known by the title Penn Annwn, "Head (or Ruler) of Annwn."
In Culhwch and Olwen, an early Welsh Arthurian tale, it is said God gave Gwyn ap Nudd control over the demons lest "this world be destroyed." He led the Wild Hunt. A Christian story tells of the Welsh Saint Collen entering Gwyn's palace to banish him with holy water.
The early medieval Welsh poem Preiddeu Annwfn (“The Spoils of Annwn”), found in the Book of Taliesin, describes how King Arthur leads an expedition to Annwn to seek a cauldron. According to the poem: “ Three shiploads we went; save seven none returned.”
This is the 2008 EDIT version of the previously 2001 release issued on the Mellotron Magazine sampler. This song is based on the welsh poem "The Spoils of Annwn", written by Tomas ap Einion in the 13th Century. The verses relate to Taliesin, inspired bard and deity, who retells a raid on the Celtic Underworld (Annwn) led by King Arthur in order to obtain the magical Cauldron of Inspiration and Rebirth.
04- Brian O'Lynn (trad.arr.emp)
A humorous Irish Song which I learned from the singing of Robin Williamson.
According to Sam Henry's Songs of the People (Huntington, 1990): This hero of a comic song that has amused five generations was a real perosn. He was not a "Scotchman born," but of the ancient clan of the O'Lynns, of Hy Tuirtre, who were descended from Colla Ua.s [sic], King of Ireland about the third century.
Tom a lyn from the ballad is Tom Thumb (originally a dwarf from Scandinavia called Thaumlin). (Ref. "An explanatory and pronouncing dictionary of the noted names of fiction (1893). He is also called Tommelfinger (thumb) in Danish and Brian O'Lynn in Ireland.
There are several versions of these Tom O'Lin songs. A slightly longer (and racier) version of this song can be found in "The Emerald; or, Book of Irish melodies" (1863).
A set of three irish reels which ends with the cute Kitty's Wedding.
06- Castle Kelly - Maids of Mt Cisko
A set of two irish reels, both learned from the playing of Mickey Zeckley, the american multi-instrumentalist and owner of Lark in the Morning.
Bran's Line Up:
Eliseo Mauas Pinto : harp, whistle, irish flute, keyboards,lead vocals.
Xandru Reguera: nylon and metal strung guitars, bass, backing vocals.
Guest Musician on track 01 : Daniel Garcia de la Cuesta on asturian rabel.
Bran Logo by the asturian artist Vítor González
Cover design by Y Bardd