On this installment of Art of the Song, acclaimed Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt is the featured artist.
About the musician:
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian musician, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined and clear dramatic soprano vocals.She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
McKennitt’s first album, Elemental, was released in 1985, followed by To Drive the Cold Winter Away (1987), Parallel Dreams (1989), The Visit (1991), The Mask and Mirror (1994), A Winter Garden (1995), The Book of Secrets (1997), An Ancient Muse (2006), A Midwinter Night’s Dream (2008), and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2010). All of her work is released under her own label, Quinlan Road.
In 1990, McKennitt provided the music for the National Film Board of Canada documentary The Burning Times, a feminist revisionist account of the Early Modern European witchcraft trials. The main theme would later be rerecorded by her and her band and called “Tango to Evora”, a track that appears on her album The Visit.
In 1993, she toured Europe supporting Mike Oldfield. In 1995, her version of the traditional Irish song “Bonny Portmore” was featured in the Highlander series. McKennitt’s single “The Mummers’ Dance” received airplay in North American markets during the spring of 1997, and was used as the theme song for the short-lived TV series Legacy. It also saw use in the trailer for a wide-release 1998 Drew Barrymore film Ever After.
On November 30, 2012, McKennitt lent her support to Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat Foundation together with Tim Janis, Sarah McLachlan, Andrea Corr, Hayley Westenra, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Dawn Kenney, Jana Mashonee, Amy Petty and a choir etc performing on “The American Christmas Carol” concert in Carnegie Hall.