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Join Gwenifer for Down at the Abbey today

Gwenifer Raymond
Gwenifer Raymond is taking part in Down at the Abbey today

ANYBODY on the lookout for a new sound should keep an eye out for this Welsh artist.

Gwenifer Raymond, who is known for her experimental, instrumental folk music, is performing at Down At The Abbey this weekend — and she is urging people to come along.

Ms Raymond, who started playing guitar when she was just eight, released her second album Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain towards the end of last year.

Now, she is gearing up to take Reading by storm with her unique American Primitive sound.

“It looks like [Down At The Abbey] will be a great festival,” she said. “Gigging is my favourite thing to do, and there’ll be some fantastic people playing.

“We’ve been without live music for so long and I think any music that’s good is always better live because you connect to the artist playing it, and the sound fills you up.

“Everyone should get out and see as much live music as they can.”

Ms Raymond describes her music as something that is always growing and changing.

While she started producing her solo guitar pieces, she drew on techniques from American folk styles including the blues and Appalachian music.

Now, as it has been
influenced by other genres, the musician sees her sound as more avant garde, calling it Welsh Primitive.

“It’s hard to articulate, but some of it sounds Welsh to me,” Ms Raymond said.

“There’s also a horror, goth element to my latest album.”

Outside of the recording studio, the Welsh guitarist has an impressive portfolio with a PhD in astrophysics and a side gig programming computer games.

But it is her love for music that is undeniable.

“Music is a natural thing to me,” Ms Raymond explained. “I find it easier to communicate musically than I do verbally.

“I can normally be a bit of an incoherent, rambling mess but I am fairly eloquent on the instruments.

“To pick up something and get a sound out of it is cool.”

After launching her first album in 2018, the instrumental guitarist said she is having a fantastic time back on stage after not being able to perform live during the pandemic.

“After my first album, I was gigging quite heavily and it was nice,” she said. “My schedule exploded, and I got to visit lots of countries.

“All of a sudden, having that ripped out from under you wasn’t good, but there are a lot
of interesting albums coming out as a product of the pandemic.”

As she looks towards Down At The Abbey, Ms Raymond said she hopes people come long to enjoy the entertainment.

When asked what people can expect from her on the day, she said: “A bunch of weird songs on solo guitar and very little chat between them.”

Down At The Abbey is taking place on Saturday, September 11, at Reading Abbey Ruins.

Ms Raymond will perform on the second stage at 7.30pm.

For more information, including how to buy tickets, visit: www.downattheabbey.co.uk

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