Gwen MΓ iri – “Hwyr” (Late).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Today I felt like sharing with you something from this great Celtic harpist and also singer. She comes from a Welsh-speaking family but was raised in Scotland and I believe can also speak Scottish Gaelic. I first learned about her because of Gwilym Bowen Rhys, with whom she’s been collaborating as a harpist on all his albums as far as I’m aware. The piece I’m sharing with you comes from her album Mentro (Venture) on which, in turn, we can also hear Gwilym playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti. She’s also supported by Jordan Price Williams – who is also very active on the Welsh-language folk music scene – on cello.

This particular piece was inspired by Gwen MΓ iri’s memory of her grandfather and the passing of time from the perspective of old age.

Enya – “Only Time”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I’d like to share another song by Enya with you today. An incredibly popular one. So popular, in fact, that it doesn’t even have as much of that special Enya feel to me as most of her music does. In a way I’m glad that her music isn’t totally obscure, that at least a lot of people know who she is, that you don’t have to be some real quirky individual to come across her music and enjoy its beauty and that it can speak to many people. But sometimes I feel like it really sucks that she’s so popular. Because as someone who’s had a faza on Enya and her music and has a special and very strong connection to it, it doesn’t sit right with me to know that people often listen to her music randomly without thinking much about it, call it new age when even Enya herself says it’s not, just because it reminds them of new age music, that some of her music is played in any of your average light pop radio stations often squeezed in between some rather mediocre tracks, and her most popular singles are often made into totally cringeworthy and sacrilegious – in my humble opinion – remixes which make my brain shrink and indeed, at least in my perception, ironically make her music have more of a feel akin to these sort of new age/pop/ethno fusion projects like Enigma, Era or Deep Forest. Yeah, I know I’m weird, but I can’t help the way I think about this. πŸ˜€ I just find it a bit yucky simply because I have a very personal relationship with her music and it feels like a prophany but I realise it’s just me. And, oh yeah, there’s that one song, only one single song by Enya that I dislike, to be more exact I actually hate it, not for any other reason than just because it doesn’t sit right with my brain and causes me sensory anxiety – so paradoxical given that her any other music has exactly the opposite effect, I don’t know why that is and I wish I liked this song, I really tried, but I just do not and trying to like it only makes it worse. – This song is Orinoco Flow, the single from her 80’s album Watermark, which got insanely popular and appears to be her most well known song. Such an irony.

With this song, Only Time, there is an awful, pop-y, cringey remix which as far as I remember was the first song by Enya that I’ve ever heard (no wonder that my first impressions of her music were very negative and I used to think I dislike her music in general, only later a friend convinced me and infected me with the faza on her ). You could hear this cringey remix in some stations here and I guess even more often than the original song.

So, after I’ve realised how much I actually love Enya, I never really had big feelings for Only Time just because it’s so normal, so popular, so overheard. I did like the original version but just not quite like her lesser known music. I still don’t have huge love for this song like I do for example for Dreams Are More Precious, but I try not to be unfair and disqualify it just because it’s popular. After all, it’s still very good and became popular for a reason.

I guess Enya is much less popular and known in America than in Europe, but this song is probably quite well known to American people as well, since it was used as a tribute to 9/11 victims, and in connection with that events the lyrics take on an entirely new meaning. So is the case in our current, weird times.

Song of the day (13th April) – Bluma Petersen – “All My Time”.

Hey guys! πŸ™‚

This is a song from an artist I’ve only heard about recently, and I quite like it, although I was able to find very little to no information on Bluma Petersen herself. She is signed to a Swedish label called Epidemic Sound, and it looks like most artists collaborating with Epidemic Sound are quite elusive, have no social media or anything, strange thing. From the little info I’ve got on her it looked like she might be American, but then her accent would rather slightly suggest that she’s from some Scandinavian country, and that’s about all I know.

Song of the day (25th September) – Maire Brennan – “Perfect Time”.

Hi people. πŸ™‚

I’ve recently realised that I’d never shared with you any of Maire Brennan’s music. Not that I love her so very much, but she’s quite an icon of Celtic music, and she does have some songs I like. Other than that, she’s Enya’s sister! I’m not very keen on the type of voice Maire has, but, as I said, some of her music is really good and she is also a harpist, though there’s no harp in the song I want to share with you now. I’d like to dedicate a few song of the day posts to my favourite songs of hers. If you have listened to some more famous Celtic music bands, you may remember Maire from Clannad (famous for “Robin, The Hooded Man” in the 80’s, for example). And Clannad has also loads of great music, but I won’t be sharing theirs now. Maire Brennan is also known as Maire ni Bhraonain, Moya Brennan or, in her earlier days, as Mary Brennan.

Maire was raised in a Catholic Irish family, but she’s now a member of evangelical church, and a lot of her songs are more or less religious. This one is as well. I think it sounds really good, though of course as you know I prefer Enya’s music far more. This video doesn’t have the best sound quality, don’t know how about visual, but there are so many versions of this song, I believe from different albums, that I had a hard time finding the one I like best and I found it in such a bit rubbish quality.

Lucy Ward – “A Stitch In Time”.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I have a folk song for you today, there hasn’t been a lot of folk here lately, I guess. It’s from one of my favourite English folk singers – Lucy Ward. – Apart from being a great singer, Lucy also plays several instruments, mainly guitar and concertina. She performs traditional folk songs, as well as her own material. There’s something in her voice I like. I remember not liking her very much when I first heard her years ago, but somehow her music and her voice have grown on me. She is a very expressive singer in my opinion and you can hear her passion for what she’s doing on her albums, and she generally seems a very positive person. I also like the minimalism in her music, as well as the versatility of the topics of her songs. She’s not afraid of singing about death, violence, murders or protest songs but her music can also have a humourous feel. Lucy Ward was the BBC Folk Awards winner in 2009. The song I want to show you, comes from her debut album, called “Adelphi Has To Fly”, which I think is my most favourite album by her. And this song is a perfect example of what I’ve written about her not being afraid to dig in serious topics, since this song is about a woman living with her constantly drunken husband who was abusing her physically, but you can’t say it’s a serious song at all! Quite a clever idea to deal with the alcohol problem in the family, seems like it was successful! πŸ˜€ The song is based on a true story and written by Mike Waterson sometime in the second half of the 20th century.

Yr Angen – “Mae’r Amser ‘Ma ‘Di Ddwyn” (The Time Has Been Stolen).

Time for sharing another song by one of my most favourite Welsh bands, Yr Angen. I’m not sure about the title though, whether I translated it right, for some reason I feel like I might not get it right. I can’t really get it out from the context of the lyrics, I love Jac Davies to pieces (and no, if anyone is curious, I still haven’t found out why), but his Welsh isn’t easy to understand for me, so while I find the musical side of this piece really cool and enjoyable, I only understand some single words or phrases here.