Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Prydwyn & Green Crown

Prydwyn "At the Feet of Mary Mooncoin" 1995

Green Man Review:
Right from the gitgo, let me state that any man who can gleefully sing of the ritual castration in worship of the Goddess Cybele and from there leap vigorously into a love song, a sprightly love song at that, has got my vote. In Olvardil Prydwyn's debut CD, At the Feet of Mary Mooncoin, not only does he provide such entertainment, but he also demonstrates a more than nodding acquaintanceship with language and the joy of poetic expression holding true to the bardic tradition to which he aspires. There is little self-consciousness or self-aggrandizement in the rendition of the ballads, but rather a sincere invitation to listen to a tale well told.

Prydwyn, under the influence of an education in the Classics and doctoral work in Celtic studies, performs solo on At the Feet of Mary Mooncoin. accompanying his vocals with harp, whistle and guitar. An eclectic mix of folksongs and originals with a style heavily influenced by Prydwyn's Pagan outlook, one certainly does not need to be Pagan to appreciate the poetry of the original lyrics or the gruesome ironies of the traditional "I loved her so I killed her" folk ballads.

I was prepared to not like any of this stuff. There is already enough devotional material in the world, which is utterly sincere but not really fit to be shared. Imagine my surprise! The lyrics are well written, the music melodic, with a strong traditional flavor neither derivative nor boring. Author/artist Prydwyn espouses music as religion and At the Feet of Mary Mooncoin has made me a convert.

Starting with "Naked Beauty," Prydwyn's ode to the Goddess, to the gleeful interpretation (and translation) of Catullus' "Cybele and Attis," the musical interpretations reflect humor, irony and a devotion to the story-telling implicit in our modern interpretation of the bardic tradition. While more than half of the songs are originals, the artist also provides interpretations of several traditional Celtic folk songs. It is a credit to the artist that to decipher whether many of the songs are original or traditional Celtic tunes I had to consult the liner notes. Prydwyn's originals, "A Maid Walked Slow" especially, blend seamlessly with traditional ballads like "The Death of Young Andrew" and " The Nobleman's Wedding." Julia Sulo prettily backs up vocals on a beautiful Scottish Gaelic song, "Fhira' a Bh`ata."

Green Crown "Washed in Her Blood" 1998

The debut CD from Prydwyn (also of Stone Breath) and company. You´re not likely to find a group of more talented musicians. Truly magical music: psychedelic-Celtic and folk-rock tastefully and masterfully blended into a fluid musical prayer to the gods and goddesses.

Psyche Van Het Folk:
The best and most significant release I knew so far, and which I considered one of the best starters (of the whole genre of pagan folk as well) is "Washed in her blood" (1998), a beautiful prog/psych folkrock release with the talent of Prydwyn (one of the most mature beautiful bards around, also harp-and guitarplayer, with occasional other instruments), Whitedeer (percussion & tablas), Jim Brewer (flutes & percussion), Violette, acoustic bass, Diana McFadden, cello, and some other occasional musicians. Songs of Country Joe McDonald, Gong, Incredible String Band, all songs related with Pagan themes-, were interpreted with their typical, and beautiful original sound. It's one of the best pagan releases I know of.


Blogger wibbler said...

I can't imagine whether I'll like it or not, but I'll find out.....

12 December, 2006 06:25  
Anonymous nildro-hain said...

These albums are amazing- 2 of my absolute favorites. I already have them so I won't be downloading, but I highly encourage others to take a listen to Prydwyn's music. He has a very distinctive voice and is extremely knowledgable about the subject of his lyrics. He used to have a website (www.greencrown.com) but it doesn't appear to be active at present. More info about Prydwyn, his music and lectures can be found on these websites: www.somedarkholler.com and www.theunbrokencircle.co.uk/special_features-prydwyn.htm

12 December, 2006 09:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sound great...thanks.

12 December, 2006 15:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

green crown is like a twisted stripped down loreena mckennitt. hautingly beautiful.

12 July, 2007 12:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come I always think I've totally explored this blog only to return and find a fascinating posting from ages ago?! Long may you continue to entangle and enchant such as I...


27 October, 2008 19:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please can you reupload these two gems?!!!!
many thanks!..

23 January, 2010 06:45  

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