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Celtic music -- who (else) listens to it primarily?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Dana Fillhart, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    As anybody who has ever clicked on the links in my sig might have guessed, I have a strong love of Celtic music. I've been an ardent listener of this genre since 1989, and it came to me in a roundabout, random manner. Before '89, during my high school years, I listened primarily to Billboard Top 40 stuff, with some odd excursions here and there (lots of Art of Noise, e.g.) but mostly sticking to stuff I would catch on the popular radio stations. Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I had a very limited exposure to influences outside of generic pop-culture music (of that time), so with reflection back on that time, it is with some amazement that I find that one video in particular, one that I saw in the summer of '88, turned my music life completely upside-down. I was randomly flipping through channels, but reversed back to VH1 after passing it up, as the images I saw registered in my mind...but it wasn't the images that captivated me -- it was the sound. The video? Enya's "Orinoco Flow." I was instantly hooked -- an amazing voice, multilayered in such exquisite harmony (even coming from my puny speakers on my pathetic 13" color TV)...she truly captivated me in a pretty profound way, and her Watermark album was to be the very first CD that I would purchase, in the winter of '89 (and I still own it to this day -- the rarer 11-track version -- and still plays flawlessly).

    But that's only the beginning of the story. The next summer, while working at a restaurant that had a lot of oreign-exchange workers from the UK, I met a woman who informed me that Enya was in fact Eithne ni Bhraonnain, and came from a family of musicians called Clannad. She suggested I check out their music. Well, being a resident of Ocean City made that task somewhat difficult, but one of the local shops did have two of their tapes in stock -- Sirius and Macalla. The music was interesting, but sadly, Enya wasn't a part of the group in those 2 albums, so I had to do some serious searching to find what I was looking for (this was back before my feeble young mind had ever conceived of email, let alone an Internet -- though later that very year I *did* get my first email address through the local college I was attending...but that story's for another thread [​IMG]). Well, I'm not sure how I got their brochure (I think it came indirectly through my Columbia House membership), but somehow a pamphlet came in the mail with exactly what I had been looking for -- it was from Shanachie Records. And lo and behold! there was Clannad, featured prominently in their listing, with several albums from their early-career days (we're talking mid-seventies material). A little nervous, but VERY curious, I ordered them all...and found myself completely entranced with their music. After that I searched out as many of their works as I could, and have nearly every album they've released -- including my eventual possession of Eithne's first vocal material with the band, in the original release version of Fuaim (it was later re-released in different packaging). Over the years I've broadened my horizons, and have collected a good variety of Celtic music, including, of course, the solo works of Enya's sister Maire (who, by the way, just released a new album this week, under a new name, Moya Brennan). My particular loves include Capercaillie (Karen Matheson's voice is utterly angelic, probably the greatest range of any Celtic singer I've listened to), Loreena McKennitt (though not strictly Celtic, her material either borrows from or parallels well with that genre), Natalie MacMaster (a beautiful fiddle player from Cape Breton, who I not only saw in concert in Manhattan a few years back, I also had the honor of having two of her CDs autographed by her), Ceoltoiri (their version of Oro Se Do Bheatha 'Bhaile is so incredibly beautiful, harmony-wise, that it's been my #1 song of any non-Clannad-related material)...I could go on all night, really -- lots of the tracks I own are from compilations that led me to those artists' other works.

    In the 15 years I've known the Celtic music genre, I have opened my ears and mind to other types of music as well; thanks to Shanachie I was able to gain an appreciation for a lot of different music from around the world (including Ofra Haza and Najma, to start), and from there it led me to quite a vast assortment of world music that I am proud to have in my collection. Today, VERY LITTLE exists in my music collection -- bought, downloaded, or otherwise -- that comes from Top 40 pop culture. What a sea-change my tastes underwent, all thanks to a random flipping of channels and rather fortuitous timing. I've since gained a liking to some harder material (Lacuna Coil -- a band Evanescence is often compared to -- is one I like, Blind Guardian another...many from mp3.com and iuma.org), some electronica, some trance, even some hip-hop (though I must stress, very little; it's something I find too abrasive, along with a lot of alternative or progressive-rock). I even fell in love with some JPop (Japanese pop music), most of it from Japanese anime (Hayashibara Megumi is at the top of the list in this genre for me). But through all of this, Celtic is still the love of my life, and I'll never abandon it as my tastes evolve. There's some quality of ... timeless, eternal beauty ... that I feel is within the music -- it is a quality with which I have an unbreakable affinity for, I believe.

    I'm curious to know if anybody else here has this same fascination with this genre -- who/what/where/how you fell in love with the genre. And of course I'm curious to hear what your favorite bands and/or singers are. Goodness, I hope I'm not the only one here on the forum who adores this genre!

    (Thanks for your patience on my ramblings [​IMG])
     
  2. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I am a Celtic music fan, also. My interest started, like many people, with the popularity of Riverdance. I have CDs from Fiona Joyce, Capercaillie, Clannad, Chieftans, Alton, Loreena McKinnett, Karan Casey, and others. I haven't purchased any new Celtic music lately but I listen to the stuff I have, frequently.
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Around here (just a few miles south of Cape Breton), every second family has a fiddle playing, step dancing Ceilidh (sp?)every other day. [​IMG]

    Perhaps that's why I don't listen as much.

    I had a Clannad LP - seem to remember the cover was black - a long time ago.

    I sometimes get a hankering to listen to LOCAL HERO, Mark Knopfler's soundtrack cd for the movie of that name. But I sold it a long time ago. [​IMG]

    My wife has a nice collection of Scottish music tapes, from 20-30 years ago.

    I may prefer the more robust music to the shimmering new ageish take on Celtic.

    So altho I am not a die hard fan, I couldn't let your eloquent post slip away so quietly.
     
  4. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I dabble in the genre here and there. Mostly, I prefer those band who sort of cross boundaries. Guys like Jethro Tull, Wolfstone and Tempest, who rock out a bit more, are more my speed, tho I do have some of the artists above as well.

    Some interesting bands that you might want to look up:

    Cruachan - Probably the only band I've found that has successfully combined Celtic music with metal.

    Mostly Autumn - A good mix of progressive rock and folk music.

    Iona - Christian themed Celtic rock. Very good.

    Equation - A band I was introduced to a few months ago. I still don't have any CDs yet, but what I heard sounded really good.

    Jason
     
  5. GarySI

    GarySI Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know much about the music but I listen Fordham University's radio station WFUV and Saturday or Sunday the are a few hours devoted to Celtic music. I'm learning. I know that Linn Records has a good selection of Scottish music on it's audiophile label.
     
  6. Ken_WI

    Ken_WI Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife and I have been Celtic music fans for many years. Loved Enya of course, but what really opened our ears was the compilation CD "Flight Of The Green Linnet" from Rykodisc in 1990. Our interest just branched off from there, and we probably have 70 or 80 celtic CDs now.
     
  7. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Might want to check out the Afro Celt Sound System. Good fusion of world music with a heavy celtic influence. They also have some tracks with famous musicians (Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel etc.).
     
  8. Tab Nichols

    Tab Nichols Stunt Coordinator

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    Ive been getting more into this style of music lately, notably Enya and the Medieval Baebes...

    Im looking for more of a medieval celtic sound right now.. kinds like the stuff youd hear in movies stereotypical medieval pubs. Any suggestions?
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    I like the Fairport Convention/Richard and Linda Thompson tree of Celtic music. All the R and L Thompson releases were good.
     
  10. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Dana (and everyone else reading/responding):

    Great post! While my knowledge and enthusiasm for Celtic music don't match yours, I, too, have a real love for it. I'm not enough of a fan to be able to tell two performances of the same jig or reel apart, for instance.

    Some of the Celtic-influenced artists I listen to:
    • Solas
    • Altan
    • The Crossing
    • Afro Celt Sound System
    • Iona
    • Mike Scott
    • Various movie scores (Braveheart, for instance)

    While I do very much enjoy traditional Celtic music, I probably lean towards like modern music with a Celtic edge.

    My favorite Celtic-influenced song? Kate Bush's "Jig of Life." Holy cow! Mysterious, evocative lyrics, furious fiddling, and pounding drums. Wow.

    I will definitely be checking out some of the other groups listed in this thread.
     
  11. Clem

    Clem Agent

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    Great Post! I'm definitely a fan and have for years enjoyed Celtic Christmas music. I have been looking to branch out and will be checking on some of the bands that have been listed here.



    John, are you familiar with a young female singer, Aselin Debison, who comes from the Cape Breton area? She definitely has a Celtic sound though maybe more pop oriented. She has a release from last year called "Sweet is the Melody" that was produced by Peter Asher and is really very good.
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I really like L.McKennitt's music as well as Enya's and a few other popular Celtic bands. I also like a local celtic band by the name of the Dust Rhino's that used to have a bunch of material on www.MP3.com (its likely still there)
     
  13. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    Cool thread!

    I was introduced to Celtic music by John Williams' wonderful score to the film Far and Away. The soundtrack included performances by the Chieftains as well as Enya's song "Book of Days". I fell in love with that song and proceeded to buy some of Enya's albums. After purchasing most of her work (I still haven't picked up The Celts), I tried branching out to other artists by picking up Clannad's Macalla. I was somewhat dissapointed by the album, but I still plan on checking out some of the other albums by this band. And I'll have to check out some of the artists mentioned in this thread, as I need more Celtic music in my collection.

    I have to agree with Dana and the others here... there is definitely a magical, ethereal quality to this genre of music.
     
  14. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    While I do appreciate some of the standards like Altan, Fairport Convention, and Silly Wizard, I prefer the the more in-your-face Celtic music. I'm a long time fan of The Pogues, and have discovered Flogging Molly and Gaelic Storm within the past few years. I've heard some other bands of this style, but none that really hook me.

    Chris
     
  15. Kaj

    Kaj Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't mind a bit of celtic music. especially the Enya stlye, or the 'Lord of the Dance' soundtrack, i think it is brilliant [​IMG]

    and even an album like Green Velvet is good, though i don't know if that is classed as celtic.
     
  16. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

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    A CD I would like to recommend to fans of Celtic music is Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon. As the title suggests, it's an album of Celtic arrangements of Nobuo Uematsu's music for the game Final Fantasy IV. The arrangements are done by Maire Breatnach, who is apparently a big name in the Celtic music world. The pieces are all really quite beautiful, especially "Theme of Love". Highly recommended to all, even those who may not consider video game music to be among their favorite genres.
     

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