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California native and bay area local Inés Beltranena takes her triumphant theatrical folk-rock and combines it with stories and visual art to create one sensory-gratifying product, presented under the name Idea The Artist.
Her new record, “The Northern Lights Are On…” explores the idea that all pain and suffering can ultimately lead to triumph, and culminates, a heart-wrenchingly hopeful collection of songs. Over the course of the eleven compositions that make up The Northern Lights Are On… Beltranena’s hauntingly beautiful voice rings out both captivatingly powerful, and delicately finessed, accompanied by lush vocal harmonies and string arrangements, piano, guitars, bass and drums. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Joby Baker (Alex Cuba, db Clifford) of Baker Studios Ltd in his studio in Victoria, British Columbia, The Northern Lights Are On… introduces a young songwriter and artist realizing her craft with a maturity not heard from performers twice her elder.
In addition to Beltranena’s musical talents, she is an accomplished visual artist, and each carefully crafted track from the record is coupled with one of Inés’ brightly colored fauvist-expressionistic paintings, pastels or sculptures in the accompanying CD booklet.
Many of these works of art are inspired by her as of yet unreleased illustrated novel, which retells Grimm’s Brother’s Fairytales and Greek myths and legends in a fashion similar to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, only darker.
Overall, Idea the Artist is a painfully beautiful and inspiring project, which, according to Inés, “should make you want to do nothing less than
fly.” When asked what it means, Inés explains that to “idea the
artist” is to realize that you alone are the creator of your
colorful and potentially explosive existence, and that to
see this, to know this, and to act on this, is to idea