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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Siobhán Owen - Celestial Echoes - CD Cover
image © Siobhán Owen 2009

Siobhán Owen
click to visit Siobhán's MySpace
photo © David Sharrad 2009

(16 April 2011) Siobhán Owen is a seventeen-year old Celtic/Classical singer and harp player. She was born in Wales with Welsh and Irish heritage. Classically trained, Siobhán turns her crystalline soprano voice and delicate harp playing to a repertoire of traditional Celtic songs. She has already recorded three albums, won classical and folk awards and has played at major festivals. Today based in Ausralia, Siobhán is a truly enchanting performer. We received her second album, a self-released sixteen-track collection entitled Celestial Echoes (9 3299535 007171, 2009) recorded when the artist was just fifteen, for review in mid-2010.

From her website, Siobhán has been singing since she was very young. At nin years old, She did her first major solo performance in a Riverdance style show called Shades of Green which toured South Australia. She recorded her first album With Love From Siobhán when ten years old as a gift for family and friends. When Siobhán was twelve she performed at the Adelaide Festival Theatre, singing the beautiful Irish traditional "My Lagan Love." Siobhan has been won many local Eisteddfods and competitions since her first in 2003.

Siobhán has also recently been training in classical music. Over the last few years Siobhán has given five solo lunch hour recitals. Within the long list of awards at the artist's website, readers will note that she won the 2008 AMEB Grade 5 Singing Prize, and was invited to sing at the 2009 AMEB "High Achievers' Concert" after earning a High Distinction for her Grade Six Singing Exam. She also won the 2009 Adelaide Eisteddfod "Junior Vocal Championship". Siobhán completed a Diploma of Classical Music (Voice) at Adelaide University's Elder Conservatorium in 2010, and is now studying towards a Bachelor of Music Education in classical voice.

Siobhán is credited with the vocal and harp performance on the album. She is ably assisted by Malcolm Day on piano and thoughtfully credits vocal coach Norma Knight. The album was recorded by Gabriel Agostino at Chapel Line Studos and mastered by Neville Clark at Disk-Edits Audio and Mastering.

While some consider her a classical crossover artist, Siobhán's second album includes vocal numbers performed in two more classically-oriented styles. Her album is certain to draw significant interest from fans of traditional Irish folk music. Many of the tracks are gentle folk songs sung atop the harp that she also plays. The remainder are classical standards performed with piano, or piano and harp arrangements.

Siobhán's classical standards illustrate the artist's education and include stunning renditions of "Pie Jesu," (incredible!) "Ave Maria" and "Der Nussbaum." The two most notable folk numbers on the album are the Welsh "Ar Hyd y Nos" and traditional Irish "She Moved Through The Fair" and "Down By The Sally Gardens." In addition to these traditional numbers, Siobhán's outstanding vocal performances of "Twilight Fancies," "A Fairy's Love Song" and a great rendition of of Rolf Loveland's (Secret Garden) "Nocturne" also grace the compact disc. The album concludes with a brilliant performance of the hymn "We'll Keep A Welcome" sung atop piano.

Siobhán Owen's new 2010 album Lilium is certain to demonstrate the artist's continued growth since her 2009 release reviewed here. Clearly a young woman with a bright future in classical and Celtic voice, her crystalline voice and harp playing clearly set her apart. We can't wait to hear more from this exciting Australia-based vocalist.

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