Here is a statment made by loreena her self. When I came across Lao Tzu's words, I felt I had found an encapsulation of not only the manner in which "the book of secrets" and almost all of my recordings have unfolded, but of my life in general.
I had always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but here I am a musician with my own business. No doubt most people have encountered this humbling phenomenon: no matter what plans you make sometimes, life just comes pouring down on top of you, in ways and at times when you least expect it. It can carry you off in directions you could never have imagined or hoped for.
Given the many unexpected journeys that led to its creation, "The book of secrets" could probably best be described as a kind of musical travel writing. It would be impossible to describe the varied and numerous events and personal exchanges that took place during its research and recording, but a look at "The book of secrets" CD liner notes should give you hints of a number of its sources of inspiration, whether in the books and music I have discovered, or experiences I have had.
Sometimes that pan-Celtic springboard would project me into corners of history such as those hinted at in "Skelling", where Dark ages monasteries in Ireland helped to keep knowledge alive at a time when the Roman Empire was distancing. Or I might find myself on an excavation site in Tuscany, where digs revealed more of the Etruscans, contemporaries of the Celts whose arts and society influenced the Romans. "The mummer's dance" was the culmination of a line of encounters stretching from a puppet makers studio in Palermo to the traditional may day celebrations in a remote corner of Corn wall. Sometimes, I was led to areas that had little or no connection at all to the Celts, as when I found myself on a winter train journey across Siberia, an experience later woven into "Dante's Prayer".
The actual process of recording "the Book of Secrets" took place over a year or so at Real World Studios in England. Real World is Peter Gabriel wonderful rural residential recording facility, place which feels, at times, like a cross between a commune and a kibbutz. What made this arrangement particularly attractive to me aside from the fact that it is located in a stunningly beautiful part of the world, was that I knew that as the recording evolved I would probably want to have access to a rather eclectic assembly of instruments and players, over and above my regular crew of "idling Porsches", many of whom will be familiar to you from both past tours and tonight's performance. As Real Worlds is only an hour and a half away from London, which is a Mecca for old and strange instruments and players alike (no offense meant), I knew it would afford me the opportunity to work spontaneously.
The main control room, where we primarily worked, has a glorious front window looking onto a pond with ducks and swans. Some of my most favorite moments came when the room was filled to the rafters, with as many as thirteen people working at once, playing together and working creatively off each other: my regular colleague on fiddle, Hugh Marsh, jamming with the Egyptian fiddler Osama, or the faces of Martin Brown and Martin Jenkins when we called them back for the tenth time for the sixth version of "the Highwayman", or the bemused patience of Nick Haley when engineering assistant Jacque Turner and I began covering our faces with purple dots, for no reason other than to test his sense of humor.
I do hope you like the new recording and if not, as a friend of mine always says, you can always slip it under the short leg of a table.
"Translation taken from Tao Te Ching A New England Version by Stephen Mitchell.
Who is Loreena? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admi-red be.
Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness.
Love doth to her eyes repair,
To help him of his blindness,
And being helped, inhabits there.
Then to Loreena let us sing,
That Loreena is excelling.
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling.
To her let us garlands bring.
(William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, scene ii, 39-53)
Down bellow you will find my opinion on Loreena Mckennitt!
Loreena McKennitt is a singer unlike any other. Her lyrical style ranges from classic poetry, ancient
history, to original compositions based on her travels to foreign lands. Her musical style reflects her
travels as some songs will have various foreign flavors to them. Loreena's singing voice can be
described as ethereal and enchanting. Listening to some songs will put you in a trance of enchantment as you listen to the aural beauty of it.
"Suddenly I knew that you'd have to go
My world was not yours, your eyes told me so
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
And I wondered why."
Here are some Cool Links to other Loreena Mckennitt homepags!