Über Loreena McKennitt
Canadian Loreena McKennitt has always played with one eye on her harp and one eye squinting towards Ireland. Her early albums served as platforms for her delicate harp playing and equally delicate vocals, but she's undertaken ambitious concept albums on more recent efforts that travel the globe stylistically and traverse centuries lyrically. The Book of Secrets (1997) seemed patterned after the travels of the roving monks described in Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved the World. Standout tracks such as "The Mummer's Dance" and "Dante's Prayer" explore traditional music forms from around the European continent, while other songs entirely erase the lines dividing occidental and oriental music. Literate, adventurous and truly gifted, McKennitt is a rare performer whose music adamantly refuses to recognize stylistic and geographic boundaries. If it's strong tranquilizer you'd have in the ear, stick with Enya. McKennitt is a modern-day bard who whispers ancient wisdoms and dazzles with tales of travel.