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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
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Selected Discography

Comments

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mscout557
There is something hauntingly familiar with her voice and arrangements . Her talent and music transends all earthly bounds and harkens to our souls. I am grateful I have listened and enjoyed all that she has to share.
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Between lines of shadow conjure ever changing tiffs forming the divine light of darkness within secret hollows to follow descent in accord where such words score as from edge of pagan sword while life's foison entwine with pseudo belief gone questioning the why as spirits arrive seeking rest so longed in days without sagacity beyond realm clinging as a child to mother's helm before breaking away to drift towards the grave that unholy worlds caste without save looking for some worth in what lay
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kirkmyers02
Excellent.
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I love every song she ever made butt my siblings HATE IT!!?? I don't know how but I have been blasting it in their ears whenever I can. I think it's working
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Rarely is heard an artist who captivates with vocals, musical arrangement, and originality. Her haunting vocals and stage presence are hard to equal. Despite listening to her for years I never get tired of her artistry.
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maho505
This hauntingly beautiful music invigorated my spirit, taking me back to a familiar memory that goes beyond logic or rational.
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The passion of twilight's midnight all souls dance entranced & bring to light the dark of night to gaelic sounds stirring all around passing the days journey in sway by the winds play & every creature phantomed comes to the phantasm lively singing the praise giving into haze & mystic gaze while imagined beings dared dreaming hold each other in soft somber to reach a greater state until the season is late & every whelm is fulfilled before the end date so lust & desire is satisfied in lasting take
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Happy that you exist.
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An interesting version of The Highwayman-- I personally prefer Phil Ochs' version (now 50+ years old!), but that's probably because I heard it first. Interesting that this 'old chestnut' of a poem continues to captivate some people--did Alfred Noyes every write anything else worthwhile-- I ' l l have to look it up.
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Dreaming of you my great lady…sweet angle .
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One of best musical discoveries I ever made. Beautiful, haunting voice, and Hugh Marsh is one of the best fiddlers I've ever heard!
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canete.villa f r a n c a
Happy that you exist I'm Cuban and I work in my medical office with your disc
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Hypnotic..lu v v v
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One of the most melodic and captivating artists I listen to on Pandora.
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Great music!
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painted across days of old faded colors of green still abode entwined with thoughts so inspired drifting above clouds lightly admired in times lost that ancient dwellings once sired as beings imagined from broken eaves still pay homage to archaic leave by waking dreams while foliage falls from fissured tree cascading down babbling sounds of streams washed away in the last memories that curiosities found playing by ruins standing just so caste fourth by ages bound long ago
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We fell in love with her music on the Highlander TV Series, off the album the Visit : Bonny Portmore.
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Putting a voice to Dante & Beatrice...q u i t e lovely
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kcclark665
Gosh could someone stop putting don't read this because it actually works thing I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT AUGHHHHHHHHH
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Iove this music very relaxing
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It's possible to feel love for a musician from their music alone.
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Contemplatio n is an opening-up of energy centers toward energizing the whole being and making connection w/ Being… As our psychic being becomes increasingly spiritualize d this process becomes ever-more developed in Spirit. -- as the indwelling spirit takes over there’s an inner-change , repentance, spiritual conversion: A metanoia must, primarily, be experiential – the Higher Power– within us at the depths of being in the direction of benevolence – goodwill – creative harmony forever more…
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tarrahlee1
I heard this song once and loved it ,but never found out the name or artist. So glad I came across it again!
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In these times uncertain are signs though they give way to lines written in rhyme about forgotten finds opposite states attract intellectual minds to pawn over what may be hidden inside among ruins caste from the day when the past played within a future shown in present decay strawn about where they lay but lacking substance in the founding clay broken by the weight bearing down on a lost history seldom displayed
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Supermind is an existential synthesis, i.e., a dynamically and fully-integr a t e d consciousnes s . And superman has cosmic concern - real spirit of love - this takes mature growth and flowering and fruition... sufficient time to digest, to transform into a fully developed harvest in life.
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The Supramental Creation -- Matter and spirit must be evermore integrated so that all of life can be transmuted and not just fragmentary parts for this is what the Supramental consciousnes s is all about! Man, essentially, is not just a rational animal; higher values are more important - truth, beauty, justice - with God as the supreme, greatest value. And love, indeed, is the flower - true love and compassion blossom with love as the ultimate motivation of action.
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I don't know what most of you are talking about, but I like her music a lot.
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all souls take leave in the eve of the pagan spring as shadows flow in distant discord all darken spirits follow the ford casting out in the night while beckoned by such unnatural light to play before the day parts familiar haunts and the unrested must flee from sight until once again the bell rings for the Netherlander s to sing in the dance of the fiend and the not so clean when all un hallow takes seed and the ghost of past and present are bequeath all the life that they need
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Also for henboker3--a n aged man who lets his soul sing is no paltry thing!
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Henboker3-Go o g l e the title and you will find the lyrics to this powerful song. Love this too.
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henboker3
I'm an old man, a tattered coat upon a stick so I can't grasp all the lyrics but the melody is haunting yet moving. courage05 helps me with this problem.
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Rhyming stories rule
Only she could pull this off
Excellent indeed
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mbera5
Magical & Mysterious - Luv It
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Lovin the chant over Indian beats!
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*<3
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Skellig and highwayman are my favorites <4
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the drums echo across stony ground as the course rumbling of hooves compete with trumpeting sound and shouts bring orders to broken lines while ambush betrays warring designs the whole land breaks peace when bitter rivals no longer cease in their campaign to gain a stand with conquest being the only victory at hand carrying bloody axes to grind as lost reasons no longer give repute to frayed nerves and broken minds for those killing and then murdered in kind
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Her haunting beautiful & powerful voice enchanted me the first moment when I heard her sing caverserai
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AWESOME !!!
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Beautiful!
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gillemel000
My ,then,teen age son Curt introduced us to Lorena in early 2000 and we love her music still. Thank you for hours of inspiring music
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Love her voice
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shadowedtrav e l e r
I've seen Loreena McKennitt live twice now. There is nothing like it. I've been a fan for 18 years.
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a ghostly clear phantoms the air while haunting mosaics paint the rivers mier with a soon darken moon silhouetting nightly fouls play to natures coon along the bay for gailic dreams washed away in the haze of the oceans misty spray and mystic surmise finds its prize hidden among enchanted forest where fantasies hide with sprites gliding along gentle breezes they ride to sit by their fairies side to sing of the whimsies found in kind while magic gives a soothing sigh lifting up to the starry sky
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I have always loved her music...
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Without a doubt a true angel! Her voice and compositions are perfectly matched. Love her music!!
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Cool Music
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Awesome harmony
A simple masterpiece. . .
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amyboulas
I love you so I m isabella
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bren7777
Beauty song
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