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Brynilde
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Brynilde
new alternative music

Artist Bio

Brynilde’s new album takes you on a journey to discover the very core of who you are. The music has a way to make you contemplate everything that creates your being in a way that is explorative, powerful and transformative.

Glimpses of the Sunlight

Behold! Human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning their heads
Socrates
Plato's Allegory of the Cave

“Behold! Human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning their heads” starts Socrates in Plato’s Allegory of the cave. One day, one of the human beings broke free from her chains. She was able to turn around and walk to the light. The sunlight is bright, and it takes time to get accustomed to it. Slowly, the outside world unfolded in front of her eyes. She understood that her perceptions in the cave were deceiving. The shadows cast on the walls of the cave were just the pale reflections of a higher reality. She understood the Nature of Reality. 

I was in high school and learned that, for Plato, philosophers can break free from the chains and walk to the sunlight. Philosophers investigate beliefs to uncover the truth about the ultimate reality and therefore can access the world of Ideas. I believed I had found another way to break the chains and see the sunlight. 

I was playing the electric guitar in a band with three friends. While jamming together one day, we suddenly fell in sync while losing autonomy over our hands. It felt like a melody took life on its own, emerging from the tips of our fingers on each of our instruments, in the same time. For a brief moment, it felt like being out of time and space. I felt the chains around my neck loosening. I was able to turn my head and see the sunlight outside the cave. We called that song La Porte (the door in French), as we knew that for a few minutes, the door to the higher reality was open to us. And so, I knew that not only philosophers but poets, artists, seekers, healers, outliers see the sunlight too. 

I would spend the rest of my life searching for that door again. I got sidetracked from this quest early on, disappearing in some dark limbos of my psyche. I felt I needed a solid ground on which I could walk and I chose a scientific path to investigate the Nature of Reality. I left the music and the artistic world to embark on a scientific career trajectory. I received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of René Descartes in Paris, France, in 2006. The same year, I moved to the USA to work at the National Institutes of Health, as a cancer cell biologist. I did not touch a piano nor a guitar for 15 years. But I never forgot my life purpose and explored different routes to find my way back to the sunlight. In 2010, I started to explore Buddhist philosophy. I was fortunate to meet the internationally renowned Tibetan Master, Segyu Choepel Rinpoche, who became my teacher. An experience that changed my life. I went back to grad school to study psychology. I received a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2017, at the University of Maryland. A voice calling me and asking me to go back to the artistic world never left me. I finally bought a piano and took some singing lessons. Over the years, cracks in the tapestry of my life enabled me to perceive glimpses of the sunlight. I knew I was on my way back out of the cave, only I had called it different names; healing, descending into the unconscious, perceiving the nature of reality, seeing the ultimate reality, the path to enlightenment, connecting to the collective unconscious, individuation, reaching immortality, seeing glimpses of eternity, seeing beauty, breaking free.

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The Door Opened Again

An evening on November 2017, I laid down on the couch after a long day at work. Afflicted by migraines since a very young age, I was experiencing one of these episodes. I hoped for silence, darkness, and resting time to soothe the pain, eventually. Migraines are more than physical pain to me; they affect my perception, my level of consciousness, and are often associated with anxiety and disconnection. But this time something totally different happened as my consciousness drifted away. I felt a sudden impulse to get up and walk to the piano. I sat down on the bench and watched in awe my fingers moving purposely on the piano keys. My fingers knew where to go, I did not. I liked the melody coming out of it.

In her book Big Magic, Elisabeth Gilbert talked about the creative process and perfectly described what I was experiencing that day: “When it all comes together, the only thing you can do is bow down in gratitude, as if you have been granted an audience with the divine. Because you have.” 

The memory of my high school rock band and Plato’s allegory of the cave came back to my mind. It was 20 years ago. I had finally broken the chains, turned around, walked toward the sunlight, and felt the sun warming my heart and soul. The door was open; lyrics and melodies could come through. 

French vocal artist
new alternative music

Brynilde

A Key Encounter

new alternative music

My vocal technique was remaining mediocre despite singing lessons and my knowledge in music theory was limited. Music composition felt nonetheless cathartic and liberating. The artistic expression was a tool to heal myself, exorcise some emotions, and feed my soul. 

I set up a rudimentary home recording studio and I started to follow tutorials on how to use the recording software Pro Tools. Unsatisfied by the results, I made an appointment with a sound engineer to record in a professional setting, naively thinking that, somehow, my voice will sound better. I wanted to record a few covers I was singing and playing on the piano. 

I met Jeff Gruber, from the Blue House Productions, in July 2018. After a few minutes trying to record the cover, Jeff told me that I was not a singer. Surprisingly, his feedback was liberating. He listed all the vocal technic issues I had. He was the first person to be honest with me, giving me constructive feedback. I thanked him profusely! Jeff then asked me if I had some original songs. I was not expecting this question and hesitated to answer. Wouldn’t be an insult to the superb grand piano if I start playing one of my songs? I timidly walked to the piano and started playing The Descent. Jeff liked my song! I felt it was an honest compliment since he did not hesitate to criticize my singing. Noticing he was working with Pro Tools, I told him I had bought that software. I was delighted to see his excitement and his desire to teach me everything about Pro Tools. Very generously, Jeff taught me all the tips and advice necessary for me to do the recording myself at home. A few more teaching sessions followed over the year. To this day, I am incredibly grateful to Jeff, for his precious technical guidance and mostly for making me believe in my artistic abilities and pushing me to pursue my artistic journey. 

I met Jeff Gruber, from the Blue House Productions, in July 2018. After a few minutes trying to record the cover, Jeff told me that I was not a singer. Surprisingly, his feedback was liberating. He listed all the vocal technic issues I had. He was the first person to be honest with me, giving me constructive feedback. I thanked him profusely! Jeff then asked me if I had some original songs. I was not expecting this question and hesitated to answer. Wouldn’t be an insult to the superb grand piano if I start playing one of my songs? I timidly walked to the piano and started playing The Descent. Jeff liked my song! I felt it was an honest compliment since he did not hesitate to criticize my singing. Noticing he was working with Pro Tools, I told him I had bought that software. I was delighted to see his excitement and his desire to teach me everything about Pro Tools. Very generously, Jeff taught me all the tips and advice necessary for me to do the recording myself at home. A few more teaching sessions followed over the year. To this day, I am incredibly grateful to Jeff, for his precious technical guidance and mostly for making me believe in my artistic abilities and pushing me to pursue my artistic journey. 

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The Sound of The Winter Sun

My first songs started to reach a final form. For the three first ones, The Descent, Ungracefully, and the Red Shoes, the creative sparks came from the inspiring book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. Slowly, what was a personal and private experience shaped into the ambitious project to make an album. Learning all the technical aspects of recording, composing with virtual instruments, and mixing took me some time. Finding my voice took me several years! While working on music composition, vocal technique, lyrics, and Pro Tools recording, I also decided to develop visual support for each song. I started to follow tutorials to use Adobe Photoshop to create digital art. Luckily, I had a collection of inspiring photos taken by a talented photographer, Claude E. Gril, my father. The photos captured beautiful landscapes and historical sites in France, Peru, and the USA. I designed and drew the three birds’ logo. My songs explore different themes, such as identity, courage, authenticity, addiction, individuation, reality, and spirituality, with the same overarching goal of breaking free from the chains of perceptions and emotions. The Sound of the Winter Sun was emerging.

new alternative record release sound of the winter sun

My songs explore different themes, such as identity, courage, authenticity, addiction, individuation, reality, and spirituality, with the same overarching goal of breaking free from the chains of perceptions and emotions. The Sound of the Winter Sun was emerging.

alternative music
An Empowering Collaboration

I treasure the creative process and the marvelous experience of putting my emotions into lyrics and melodies. I enjoy discovering and composing with the variety of virtual instruments on the recording software.

Leo Margait and Brynilde

I progressively find my voice. The process is a lot of work but a bliss too. As I was creating the drum patterns on my fifth song, I felt I had reached my limits. I was rarely satisfied with my drum patterns and decided I needed help from a drummer. Everything happens for a reason; it is all cause and effect. 

In 2013, I was delighted to see that my favorite band, the Swedish band Pain of Salvation was touring in the US. I drove to the venue in Virginia with a friend. After two opening bands and what seemed to be an interminable break, the lights turned off and the band came on stage. As I watched the drummer stepping on stage, I suddenly felt an unexpected sense of familiarity. I felt transported in the south of France. I starred at the drummer for most of the concert trying to comprehend why a Swedish band reminded me of my hometown in France. On our drive back home, I googled the band and read the name of the drummer; Leo Margarit. OMG, I remember now! I had met Leo back in the’90s. Sweet memories of my adolescence during which playing music and going to concerts were the only things that matter to me. Two days after the concert in Virginia, Pain of Salvation was performing at a venue in Maryland. I drove there. Luckily, the band was at the bar. I walked straight to Leo.

What a surreal experience: two French expatriates reunited 20 years later in a bar in Maryland! We subsequently saw each other at the next Pain of Salvation North American tours in 2014 in Virginia and Pennsylvania and in 2017 in Chicago. 

In autumn 2020, the world had been stuck in the “COVID life” for several months and virtual connections had become normalized. I realized that drum lessons could be done virtually. I reached out to Leo. I told him about my album project, my struggles with the drum, and asked if I could take drum lessons from him. He suggested a much better option that I would have never dared to ask. He not only proposed to record the drum but also to produce the album. I was thrilled! I was excited to have his unique drum sound on my album but somehow hesitant about the producing part not knowing what it meant. It was not easy to let someone enter my personal creative space. Since I was a fan of his talent as a drummer, I decided to trust him with the production. I listened to his creative work of production on my first song in awe. I thought again about the quote from Elisabeth Gilbert. I bowed down in gratitude and told Leo that seven other songs would come. What a blessing that I had crossed the path of such a gifted musician! 

What a surreal experience: two French expatriates reunited 20 years later in a bar in Maryland! We subsequently saw each other at the next Pain of Salvation North American tours in 2014 in Virginia and Pennsylvania and in 2017 in Chicago. 

In autumn 2020, the world had been stuck in the “COVID life” for several months and virtual connections had become normalized. I realized that drum lessons could be done virtually. I reached out to Leo. I told him about my album project, my struggles with the drum, and asked if I could take drum lessons from him. He suggested a much better option that I would have never dared to ask. He not only proposed to record the drum but also to produce the album. I was thrilled! I was excited to have his unique drum sound on my album but somehow hesitant about the producing part not knowing what it meant. It was not easy to let someone enter my personal creative space. Since I was a fan of his talent as a drummer, I decided to trust him with the production. I listened to his creative work of production on my first song in awe. I thought again about the quote from Elisabeth Gilbert. I bowed down in gratitude and told Leo that seven other songs would come. What a blessing that I had crossed the path of such a gifted musician! 

An Empowering Collaboration

I treasure the creative process and the marvelous experience of putting my emotions into lyrics and melodies. I enjoy discovering and composing with the variety of virtual instruments on the recording software.

I progressively find my voice. The process is a lot of work but a bliss too. As I was creating the drum patterns on my fifth song, I felt I had reached my limits. I was rarely satisfied with my drum patterns and decided I needed help from a drummer. Everything happens for a reason; it is all cause and effect. 

In 2013, I was delighted to see that my favorite band, the Swedish band Pain of Salvation was touring in the US. I drove to the venue in Virginia with a friend. After two opening bands and what seemed to be an interminable break, the lights turned off and the band came on stage. As I watched the drummer stepping on stage, I suddenly felt an unexpected sense of familiarity. I felt transported in the south of France. I starred at the drummer for most of the concert trying to comprehend why a Swedish band reminded me of my hometown in France. On our drive back home, I googled the band and read the name of the drummer; Leo Margarit. OMG, I remember now! I had met Leo back in the’90s. Sweet memories of my adolescence during which playing music and going to concerts were the only things that matter to me. Two days after the concert in Virginia, Pain of Salvation was performing at a venue in Maryland. I drove there. Luckily, the band was at the bar. I walked straight to Leo.

What a surreal experience: two French expatriates reunited 20 years later in a bar in Maryland! We subsequently saw each other at the next Pain of Salvation North American tours in 2014 in Virginia and Pennsylvania and in 2017 in Chicago. 

In autumn 2020, the world had been stuck in the “COVID life” for several months and virtual connections had become normalized. I realized that drum lessons could be done virtually. I reached out to Leo. I told him about my album project, my struggles with the drum, and asked if I could take drum lessons from him. He suggested a much better option that I would have never dared to ask. He not only proposed to record the drum but also to produce the album. I was thrilled! I was excited to have his unique drum sound on my album but somehow hesitant about the producing part not knowing what it meant. It was not easy to let someone enter my personal creative space. Since I was a fan of his talent as a drummer, I decided to trust him with the production. I listened to his creative work of production on my first song in awe. I thought again about the quote from Elisabeth Gilbert. I bowed down in gratitude and told Leo that seven other songs would come. What a blessing that I had crossed the path of such a gifted musician! 

Leo Margait and Brynilde

Leo Margarit, Plastpumpa Productions

alternative music

Brynilde

A continuous evolving journey

While composing my last two songs, I went through a year of soul-searching to reinvent my identity as a scientist. The journey coincided with the struggles of the COVID life and led me to a scientific trajectory away from the bench research. I finally finished composing/recording my last song in autumn 2021. I have learned to embrace my multiple identities, but I am still learning to smoothly navigate between my scientist and musician/songwriter life and between my French roots and my American home.  

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Acknowledgements

In addition to the precious photographic support of my father, I had the unwavering attention and support of my mother. Our philosophical discussion, her introduction to the most inspiring books and authors, and her precious encouragement enabled me to pursue what was initially an unrealizable dream. Finally, the project became visible thanks to the vision and creative skills of a dear friend, J. Lee Ayres-Collins, who developed this website. This project started 25 years ago and is still evolving. I am grateful for all the beautiful encounters I had made and friendships I had built along the way and I am excited about the future ones to come.

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