Staff Picks: Music

Clannad (The Essence of Family)

Members of the Irish band Clannad have been making music individually and collectively since the mid-1970’s. Deeply rooted in traditional Irish and Celtic folk tradition, Clannad (Gaelic for “the family from Dore”) have expanded over the years to define the contemporary Irish genre. Purists will recall the aural simplicity of their early albums, which were very much in the vein of such contemporaries as Pentangle and Planxty. Their scope (and popularity) expanded greatly over the years, however, to include elements of worldbeat, jazz, adult contemporary, new age, pop, and progressive rock. U2 fans were introduced to Clannad during the mid-80’s when the haunting “Theme from Harry’s Game” was used as a concert pre-show opener. The same tune was later featured the film Patriot Games. The current popularity of Irish mega-shows like “Riverdance” (and Flatley’s spinnoff “Lord of the Dance”), Celtic Woman, and others owe much to Clannad’s groundbreaking work.

From the KPL collection, their Grammy Award winning Landmarks (1997) is typical of the latter-day Clannad style, combining elements of Irish folk with contemporary jazz and pop themes – think Sting meets Dire Straits somewhere in County Kerry. After nearly a decade of independent projects, the original members of Clannad reunited for a brief UK tour in 2008 and are reportedly working on a new album.

brennan-whisper-100.jpgApart from the collective Clannad, individual members have achieved a significant degree of success on their own. Lead singer Moya Brennan (Máire Ní Bhraonáin) has achieved a great deal of acclaim as a contemporary vocalist. Máire’s style very much mirrors the band,  but further emphasizes her lush vocal harmonies. From the KPL catalog, Whisper to the Wild Water is a terrific place to start.

enya-watermark-100.jpgAnd in case Máire Brennan's voice and cover image seem somehow familiar, rest assured, there’s good reason. Though she left Clannad early on to pursue a solo career, Máire’s sister Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) should be no stranger to anyone who is a fan of contemporary Celtic music. KPL holds the majority of Enya’s solo works, including Paint the Sky with Stars, a compilation released in 1997. Call me old school, but for me, Watermark (1988) still remains the essential (quintessential?) Enya recording.

Bain sult as. (Enjoy!)

Book

"Landmarks" by Clannad
clannad-landmark-cover-160
http://www.catalog.kpl.gov/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/5?searchdata1=clannad{AU}+AND+landmarks{TI}&library=BRANCHES&language=ANY&format=MUSIC&item_type=ANY&location=ANY&match_on=KEYWORD&item_1cat=ANY&item_2cat=ANY&sort_by=-PBYR

Clannad (The Essence of Family)

(Country - Folk, Jazz, Popular, RockWorld) Permanent link

Members of the Irish band Clannad have been making music individually and collectively since the mid-1970’s. Deeply rooted in traditional Irish and Celtic folk tradition, Clannad (Gaelic for “the family from Dore”) have expanded over the years to define the contemporary Irish genre. Purists will recall the aural simplicity of their early albums, which were very much in the vein of such contemporaries as Pentangle and Planxty. Their scope (and popularity) expanded greatly over the years, however, to include elements of worldbeat, jazz, adult contemporary, new age, pop, and progressive rock. U2 fans were introduced to Clannad during the mid-80’s when the haunting “Theme from Harry’s Game” was used as a concert pre-show opener. The same tune was later featured the film Patriot Games. The current popularity of Irish mega-shows like “Riverdance” (and Flatley’s spinnoff “Lord of the Dance”), Celtic Woman, and others owe much to Clannad’s groundbreaking work.

From the KPL collection, their Grammy Award winning Landmarks (1997) is typical of the latter-day Clannad style, combining elements of Irish folk with contemporary jazz and pop themes – think Sting meets Dire Straits somewhere in County Kerry. After nearly a decade of independent projects, the original members of Clannad reunited for a brief UK tour in 2008 and are reportedly working on a new album.

brennan-whisper-100.jpgApart from the collective Clannad, individual members have achieved a significant degree of success on their own. Lead singer Moya Brennan (Máire Ní Bhraonáin) has achieved a great deal of acclaim as a contemporary vocalist. Máire’s style very much mirrors the band,  but further emphasizes her lush vocal harmonies. From the KPL catalog, Whisper to the Wild Water is a terrific place to start.

enya-watermark-100.jpgAnd in case Máire Brennan's voice and cover image seem somehow familiar, rest assured, there’s good reason. Though she left Clannad early on to pursue a solo career, Máire’s sister Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) should be no stranger to anyone who is a fan of contemporary Celtic music. KPL holds the majority of Enya’s solo works, including Paint the Sky with Stars, a compilation released in 1997. Call me old school, but for me, Watermark (1988) still remains the essential (quintessential?) Enya recording.

Bain sult as. (Enjoy!)

Book

"Landmarks" by Clannad
clannad-landmark-cover-160
http://www.catalog.kpl.gov/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/5?searchdata1=clannad{AU}+AND+landmarks{TI}&library=BRANCHES&language=ANY&format=MUSIC&item_type=ANY&location=ANY&match_on=KEYWORD&item_1cat=ANY&item_2cat=ANY&sort_by=-PBYR

Posted by Keith Howard at 06/30/2009 09:45:09 AM | 


Wow! It kind of reminds me of the Celtic Women. Very nice blog!
Mags
Posted by: Maggie Brown ( Email | Visit ) at 8/30/2009 9:05 PM


Hello, Whisper to the Wild Water is my favourite Moya's album, I agree that it is a great place to start. As for Watermark, I love it but find it a bit on the darker side of Enya's music. I think that A Day Without Rain is more relaxing/cheerful.
Posted by: Lucia - Enya fan ( Email | Visit ) at 4/14/2010 11:21 AM


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