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Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennitt's literate and sometimes experimental focus on Celtic-tinged traditional and original material, coupled with her haunting harp playing, has made her Canada's national chanteuse and new age troubadour since she broke through to prominence in the mid-'80s. The daughter of a nurse mother and a livestock-trading father, McKennitt studied classical piano and voice and learned to dance in the highland style as a youngster. Her love of traditional music was strengthened in the folk clubs of Winnipeg, which she frequented during the brief period she studied veterinary science at the University of Manitoba. Relocating to Stratford, Ontario, she continued to sharpen her skills as a composer and performer. In 1981, she auditioned for a role in the city's Stratford Festival of Canada. Although she did not get the role, she remained inspired. After reading Diane Sward Rapaport's book How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording, she formed her own label, Quinlan Road.

After releasing two albums, a nine-song cassette, Elemental, in 1985, and a collection of Christmas tunes, To Drive the Cold Winter Away, in 1987, she had her first breakthrough with her 1989 album, Parallel Dreams. With the help of a network of small independent distributors, the album sold more than 40,000 copies within four months. Its success was surpassed by McKennitt's fourth album, The Visit. Distributed by Warner Canada, the album sold over 600,000 copies (six times platinum) in Canada and received a Juno Award, as did McKennitt's next recording, The Mask and Mirror, in 1994.

While her albums have featured soothing, ultra-melodic arrangements, McKennitt's lyrics have reflected her interests in the poetry of W.B. Yeats, William Blake, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Her music has been heard on the soundtracks of numerous plays and films. In 1989, she was commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada to compose the music for a film series, Woman and Spirituality. Her subsequent commissions include such films as Jade, Highlander III, and Disney's The Santa Clause, as well as TV shows including Northern Exposure, Due South, and EZ Streets.

In 1998, McKennitt scored her biggest hit with "The Mummers' Dance." She became a hit in America, which led to The Book of Secrets selling more than four million copies. Sadly, her world crumbled that July when her fiancé, Ronald Rees, died while on a sailing trip with his brother and a family friend in Georgian Bay. Everything stopped immediately in order for McKennitt to grieve. Rumors of her retirement also circulated. At the time of her fiancé's death, McKennitt was mixing a new album, Live in Paris and Toronto, at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios. Recorded in Salle Pleyel in Paris and Massey Hall in Toronto during spring 1998, the album was released in 1999. All profits from the album have gone to the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund, which McKennitt set up to finance water safety initiatives and education across Canada.

In the new millennium, McKennitt allowed herself some healing time. She didn't disappear from music altogether, however, and worked with a number of local and national charities. Her Spanish version of "Dante's Prayer" was featured in the Canadian/Venezuelan feature film A House with a View of the Sea in 2001. In 2002, she headlined a concert in Winnipeg for Queen Elizabeth, and in 2003 she received the Order of Canada. Two years later, McKennitt began work on her seventh studio album, Ancient Muse, which was released in 2006. Nights from the Alhambra, a live CD/DVD, arrived in 2007, followed by Midwinter Night's Dream, a collection of holiday music that included 1995's Winter Garden EP in its entirety, along with eight new recordings. A Mediterranean Odyssey was released in 2009; the two-disc set included Olive and the Cedar, an 11-song compilation of some of her best-loved Mediterranean pieces, along with From Istanbul to Athens, which was recorded live on her 2009 Mediterranean tour.

In 2010, McKennit returned with The Wind That Shakes the Barley, an album that found her revisiting the traditional Celtic style of her earlier work. In 2012, McKennit followed up that studio effort with the live and unplugged concert album Troubadours on the Rhine: A Trio Performance. Nights from the Alhambra, released early in 2014, was drawn from her 2006 tour in support of the Ancient Muse album. The two-disc The Journey So Far: The Best of Loreena McKennitt, which surveyed her three-decade recording career, drew a dozen key songs from her eight studio albums and her single releases and collected them on the first disc, and added a second bonus disc that featured live performances recorded in Mainz, Germany during McKennitt's 2012 A Midsummer's Night tour. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

So good.
Beyond comparison.
saef
Truly magical
westropeclan
Check out Royal Tailor radio
talonsmark7
she is truly a woman of magic in the most real sense.
I would love to see Enya, Sarah Brightman and Loreena McKennit perform together.
lovely voice
Hypnotic.... . . can't get enough of this!
gigee48
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Her music makes me feel truly right within the peaceful and happy world of my own making, it's called retirement and I am at peace!
I love her music!
For Rayven...the True Valdez !!!
I call it Fairy music, but I think
It would be considered new age or folk
Whats the name of this style of music, I wana look up upcoming shows
mannyacuna
Yo
sthomas597
I have been listening to lorenna since first introduced in a yoga class 20 years ago. Her music is what I used while in labor with my son. I have never, ever tired of listening to her music. It always takes me away, relaxes- yet energizes me. I was unaware of her tragedy. God bless you lorenna.
Love this track!,
Enjoy her Middle Eastern influenced songs. Which she had an entire album of that flavor.
gordon_brodi e
This lady was blessed with one of the great natural voices. Forget the music, this does not need it at all.
Loreena McKennitt has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard!
the time of autum comes near as leaves fall from mornings clear and doves bask by frozen springs as frollick sounds when deer antlars ring snow peaks magestic cues with winds playing threw mountains hue all of nature rest for seasons slumber till next years burst of spring time wonder and crisp air takes shape early when waters vairy in crystal blues evening sworlly hanging just by glimmering fancy as every winter song bird starts to sing earths song everlasting
@aaronjamess h i l l v
I agree
I love the voice and music
Blessings.to all
aaronjameshi l l v
BOO!!!! BOO!!!!
GreyFox & I... Her Voice is amazing!
Isle O Skye... Agrees. GreyFox. One of the Great Celt Artists O Our Time.
What your music does to my soul is hard to explain .
samirbebawi
VERY SPIRITUAL LADY (ONE IN A MILLION ) WE LOVE YOU lOREENA.
Beautiful!
Amazing
barbara.nado n
I love her music. Soothing, deep, sensual and yet also deeply spiritual.
Loreena is literally one of my favorite artists of all time. I have loved her since preschool and I love her still! For a while I only knew The Book Of Secrets, until I found The Wind That Shakes The Barley, An Ancient Muse, Troubadours on the Rhine, and The Journey So Far: Best of Loreena Mckennitt at the library this year. I was very disappointed that she was not coming to Colorado this year, I would have seen her in a heartbeat. Lorena, I love you!
She is beatuful
She is awesome! This is my first time hearing her music. She should have been on the Outlander soundtrack ��
One of the Great Artists of our time.
i does!
there is no one..no one like Loreena..tra n s c e n d e n t artistry.
never but for a moments hue do dreams lift out of tortured skew as one soul lies only to die deaths endless quest in life and agony pertains of its stain drowning hearts pain to begin it all again, wounds bleed running over body and mind pouring out with the sand of time, thoughts drift as windy plains running to escape the truth that even in longing you can't escape solitude, and all ways it finds you till the universe ceases to start a new.
I like that she sings Lady of Shallot. Anyone remember when Anne of green gables and her friends recite this?
the passions of twilights midnight all souls dance in trance and bring to light the dark of night to gailic sounds stiring all around passing the days jurney in sway by the winds play and every creatures phantom come to the fantazom lively singing the praise giving into haze and mistic gaze while imagined beings dare dreaming hold each other in soft somber to reach a greater state until the season is late and every whilm is forfield before the end date so lust & desire is saticefied by last day
I absolutely adore her voice.
Been.listeni n g to her for years just rediscovered her now.
Absolutely amazing artist
dafleeg
Love this track
Loreena is such a strong artist. Her voice has so much emotion, and for some of the songs it's easy to see why. Such a sad story.
LM is an incredible talent, but the musicians that support her are amazing, too. As she herself told the audience, during The Mask & Mirror tour, these guys are like a Ferrari behind me, idling..... I thought, what a tremendous compliment to your band mates. Well said.
I love Loreena's music. Blessed be!
just discovering your music for the first time! Thank you for your beautiful talents
Lorena, I adore your music so much..have been listening and collecting your music for years..would not be w/o it in my car
i would like too here alot more or all of her music i love it
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