One of Wales’s most talented singers has turned composer and lyricist to launch a collection of new Christmas songs.
Top mezzo-soprano Sioned Terry, who lives in Kinmel Bay, is releasing her debut music book of a trio of songs complete with Welsh and English lyrics.
The book is being published by Curiad Music who have worked with stalwarts of the Welsh music scene such as Robat Arwyn, Gareth Glyn, Brian Hughes and Mervyn Burtch.
She’ll be singing all of the songs together for the first time at her annual Christmas concert at the North Coast Church, in Towyn, on Monday, December 21.
Sioned, from Towyn, near Abergele, has performed with the likes of renowned harpist Catrin Finch, top tenors Rhys Meirion, and Wynne Evans who famously featured in Go Compare advertising campaigns, and the musical twins from Britain’s Got Talent, Richard and Adam.
The former music teacher, originally from Bethel, near Caernarfon, wrote the Welsh lyrics herself and were translated into English by Peredur Glyn.
She said: “The book is made up of little snippets of Christmas. I didn’t set out to write Christmas songs but once I started to write certain melodic lines, as they evolved somehow lyrics on the Christmas theme seemed to sit well with them.
“For example, one song, Cwsg – Hwiangerdd Maria is a simple lullaby about Mary holding Jesus just after he is born.
“Even though it’s a moment of extraordinary significance, at that time she is just a mum, holding her new born son and it’s written from a mum’s perspective. When you’re holding your child in your arms, that’s all that matters, and you don’t think about anything else.
“The song, Yn Ei Dro, has a completely different feel and character to it and tells of the coming of Christmas in its own time and season whilst Teyrnged yr Engyl, which is also the title for the collection, is much more jubilant and triumphant in style.
“To be publishing these songs is really a dream come true, because it’s an ambition I’ve had for a long time. Singing and performing is my life and that inspires me to write music. The writing process can be quite a lonely one at times.
“I love being out and about meeting people and singing in concerts, but I also enjoy the song writing process. When I write I like to cut myself off from everything. The peace and quiet can be therapeutic. Having said that, the writing process can also be torture.
“It can be a long process as I refine the songs. The book includes the sheet music as well as the lyrics. They’re all in the classical style because that’s the kind of music that comes most naturally to be because that’s what I sing most of the time. I’d like to do a choral version of them one day.
“Writing song is something I haven’t done a lot of since college, so it’s really nice to get back into it. I wrote a song called Cerddwn Gwalia for the charity walk organised by tenor Rhys Meirion, Cerddwn Ymlaen in 2014. That was the first time I’d written something in ages and it made me want to write more. I had the opportunity to do it and this books of songs is the result.”
Before embarking on a full-time singing career in June of 2012 Sioned spent “12 wonderful years” as a music teacher at the former Howells School for girls, in Denbigh.
Sioned’s debut EP Think of Me/ Cofia Fi was released for download on iTunes on the Sain label in December 2013.
Since then her career has gone from strength to strength. She has recently been touring the UK in the brand new dance-theatre production by Sweetshop Revolution, about the life and loves of Welsh composer Morfydd Owen Morfydd Owen called I Loved You and I Loved You.
It centres on her relationships with both her husband Ernest Jones (leading British psychoanalyst and close associate of Sigmund Freud) and her intense friendship with Elliot Crawshay-Williams, who was parliamentary private secretary to Winston Churchill.
Sioned said: “I play the spirit of Morfydd Owen looking back at her younger self and what she went through. She married someone she didn’t truly love and was passionate about someone else. It was all very complicated.
“She was a prolific writer and she was a genius. She’s definitely someone I look up to as a composer. The production is touring across the UK until February. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of it.”
For more information please visit www.curiad.co.uk or go to www.sionedterry.com.