16 March 2007

Behind The Music

I first came across Loreena McKennitt when I heard "Mummer's Dance" from her album Book of Secrets. Wonderful modern celtic music - it really gets inside my head... or more specifically, in my blood. I recently picked up her album The Visit at a used music shop, and while it's not quite as cool as Secrets, it's still quite good.

One of my favorite things about Ms. McKennitt is the liner notes - which are often written in multiple languages. She includes all the lyrics (why doesn't every musician do this?), AND some background about the song... where she was when she wrote it, what inspired it, etc. For example, "This piece was inspired by the imagery of a Japanese tradition which celebrated the souls of the departed by sending candle-lit lanterns out on waterways leading to the ocean, sometimes in little boats; along with the imagery of the Celtic All Souls Night celebrations, at which time huge bonfires were lit not only to mark the new year, but to warm the souls of the departed."

I love it when musicians do that...


(I'll have to pick up a new copy of Book of Secrets sometime - mine was stolen out of my car a few years ago, when it was at a garage being repaired... I didn't realize it until several days later, and never followed up).

5 comments:

Mark said...

Au contraire! I think The Visit is better than Book of Secrets. I particularly like the somewhat epic "Lady of Shallot", to which my high school English teacher introduced me. I wonder if our opinions are affected by which album we heard first...

Then I think I heard "Mummers Dance" on the radio too much - so it sort of turned me off - but just a little bit. Still like her music very much. She and Enya make up the "seeds" of one of my Pandora stations.

Dan said...

Glad to see someone else knows about her! As for which is better, I've often wondered about the impact of timing on preference (i.e. the album we hear first is the one we like best).

The Lady of Shallot is a very good one - it's actually playing on my CD player right now...

Kim said...

I'll have to check her out. Would some of her music be included in what we got from you, Mark?

Dick Field said...

Dan --

--then you must really like Celtic Woman. Also, if you listen to Live365 online, but sure you try Celtic Melt for modern celtic.

Happy St. Paddy's!

Steve Sherlock said...

Dan, another source for Celtic music is available via the web. WGBH 89.7 FM has aweekly show by Brian O'Donovan called "Celtic Sojourn". It broadcasts on Saturday afternoons but is available via streaming media as well. I have heard Lereena there a few times.