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Thursday, October 18, 2007

On a dark New Year's Night, on the west coast of Clare, a vision came o'er me.."

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Well I must report that I just got back tonight from the Loreena McKennitt show in at the Patriots Theatre in Trenton. This is my second time being blessed with seeing her live. My friend has always been able to somehow score the best seats and I really don't know how he does it. We were able to get 1st row at Radio City 10 years ago when I first introduced this die hard Jethro Tull fan to the outstanding musician and performer that is Loreena McKennitt and her talented band. I have been a huge fan spanning about 15 years now. Here I am, 10 years in making just waiting for her to tour the US again. This time I am on my home turf at the Patriot's Theatre (aka The War Memorial), smack in front of Loreena. In fact my neck is somewhat sore for looking up at her the whole time! She looked down and smiled at us several times as I must have looked like I was ready to burst.

I think most of you have figured out that Ireland is a place I hold very dear to my heart for alot of reasons and not simply heredity. Just sitting on an old stone wall Miltown Malbay can transport you to ancient times of the Celts. With Loreena, I find a lot of myself in listening to her speak about her travels, most recently to Turkey, and how cultural dynamics inspire her. This inspiration for her develops into a musical scrapbook of her journeys. Her music is heavily influenced by the history of the Celts, but as you know, the Celts were not restricted to just 7 Nations. As far away as Asia Minor, you have evidence of mummies with red hair wrapped in tartans and documentation of speaking a language based on the same principals as Gaelic. The history is fascinating the stories are reflected in the notes and lyrics.

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The sound of the harp, or a bodhran, a hurdy gurdy...just gives me chills. The cellist and fiddler are either strings of fire or slow and haunting. It's either the mysterious pagan Celts, a bittersweet love story, or resonance of ancient times past. Either way it moves your soul.

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Anyway she played the following- mostly in no particular order.
-She Moved Through the Fair
-Gates of Istanbul
-The Mummer's Dance
-Raglan Road
-The Highwayman
-Marco Polo
-Dante's Prayer
-The Old Ways (my personal favorite)
-Mystic's Dream
-Bonny Portmore
-The Lady of Shallot
-The Bonny Swans

1st Encore- Huron "Beltane's Fire" Dance (another favorite)

2nd Encore- Penelope's Song

I'll tell you, the last couple of months have been rather rough for me. Lots of changes at work have made an impact on my mood. Overall I just felt like I've been working and not living. Tonight's performance made me reach in and drag out my soul that has been buried under mounds of printer paper, emails, and undue stress. I feel ALIVE again. The power of music is a wondrous thing. How grateful I am that music can speak to my soul, lift my spirits, open my mind, and animate my senses.
She is still playing dates in Pennsylvania for another week or so. The show was, as always, was phenomenal. I highly recommend it if any of you have the ability to go and see them perform in your area!

I don't think I can possibly sleep tonight. I mean look at me. I can't even write a coherent post. I'm in suspended animation.

Well with that, have a lovely weekend at Rhinebeck everyone! I am staying back to celebrate Mom and "the Pant's" birthday on Saturday. I may drive up on Sunday.
Thank you Loreena from the bottom of my heart for sharing your talent, spirit, and vision with us again 10 years later. I am simply elated to be in Celtic suspended animation once again.
Blessed Be.

Slán go fóill!


At 1:25 AM, Blogger R a i n said...

Oh gosh, I LOVE the Mummer's Dance (thanks to legacy) and The Highway man.

I can't even begin to imagine how completely awesome her live performances must be.

You are SO LUCKY! And I'm glad it's got you feeling so good now.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Dipsy said...

I've been a big fan of Loreena's since - well, since many, many years, the early 90's actually. Her music is probably not much like the music I usually listen to (like Rammstein and the likes...), but it's definitely the music that reaches deepest into my heart and that makes me feel being one with the world - her world - again. You're very right when you say music is such a wondruous (sp?), powerful thing - and especially Loreena's is so soothing to the soul. You're very lucky indeed to have seen her live performance twice - and thank you ever so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings after this concert with us. Off I am to listen to her tunes right now!


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