The Mask And Mirror (CD) ~ Loreena McKennitt (Artist) Cover Art

The Mask and Mirror (CD and bonus DVD)

By: Loreena Mckennitt

Current Price: $36.00

Loreena McKennitt Artist Snapshot:

Seemingly from another world (but really just from Canada) harpist/songwriter Loreena McKennitt possesses a multi-octave singing voice that lights up her celestial, Celtic-derived compositions. She often matches classic British poetry with original music that mines neoclassical terrain mixed with Elizabethan folk, Middle Eastern styles, and other ethnic influences. She has been releasing albums of her unique music since the mid-1980s to a devoted following, and she'd remained an independent artist until the late '90s, when she signed a distribution deal with Warner Brothers. McKennit continued to record and tour selectively on her own schedule into the 2000s.

Track Listing

DISC 1 for The Mask and Mirror (CD and bonus DVD) Album By Loreena Mckennitt
1   Mystics Dream
2   The Bonny Swans
3   The Dark Night of the Soul
4   Marrakesh Night Market
5   Full Circle
6   Santiago
7   Ce Hé Mise le Ulaingt (Who Am I to Bear It?)/The Two Trees

Product Description

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Product Notes

McKennitt''s travels through Spain and Morocco flavor this album with a distinctly Mediterranean tinge, from the opening "The Mystic''s Dream," with its dancing percussion arrangements, to "Marrakesh Night Market," to "Full Circle" and the instrumental "Santiago." "Marrakesh Night Market" is an especially strong performance, with an interesting musical texture; the balalaika, udu drum, and dumbek are played alongside a synthesizer. As usual, McKennitt has set a poem to music, this time Yeats''s "The Two Trees," with a lovely introduction on the Uillean pipes. There''s also "The Bonny Swans," a traditional lyric, and the CD closes with Shakespeare, as McKennitt sets some of Prospero''s words from The Tempest to her own music. Excerpts from McKennitt''s journals, included in the CD booklet, make for interesting reading as they shed some light on her source material and inspiration for writing each song. --Genevieve Williams

Loreena McKennitt drew her inspiration for this album from 15th century Spain, where the cultures of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam coexisted uneasily, tied together by a common tradition of religious mysticism. McKennitt reflects the multi-culturalism in arrangements that mix the half-tone intervals and familiar instruments of the Aryan north with the quarter-tone intervals and dumbeg, oud, and tamboura of the Semitic south. The results are often intoxicating, even if the composer consistently prefers slow-moving tempos. There''s a tension and density to this music that safely removes it from the new- age category. McKennitt''s attempts to evoke medieval mysticism in her lyrics are less successful. She fares best when she draws her texts from other sources: Prospero''s closing speech from Shakespeare''s "The Tempest," Yeats''s "The Two Trees," "The Dark Night of the Soul" by the medieval Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross, and the traditional narrative ballad, "The Bonny Swans." One these numbers, the shadowy, mesmerizing atmospheres conjured up by McKennitt''s music are enhanced by the words rather than spoiled by them. --Geoffrey Himes

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