Loreena McKennitt

From Academic Kids

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Loreena McKennitt
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Loreena McKennitt live on stage

Loreena McKennitt, C.M., (born February 17 1957) is a Canadian singer, harpist and pianist who performs Celtic-style music with a new-age feel often compared to Enya, but more grounded in traditional and classical invocations using such works as "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred Lord Tennyson and "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes as springboards for interpretation.

McKennitt was born in Morden, Manitoba of ethnic Irish and Scottish descent to parents Jack and Irene McKennitt.

McKennitt moved to Stratford, Ontario in 1981, where she still lives, and released her first album, Elemental, in 1985. She began to garner global attention with subsequent releases of self-produced work, including To Drive the Cold Winter Away (1987), Parallel Dreams (1989), The Visit (1991), The Mask and Mirror (1994), A Winter Garden (1995) and The Book of Secrets (1997). All of her work has been released under her own label, Quinlan Road.

In July 2004 Governor General Adrienne Clarkson made her a member of the Order of Canada, the most prestigious civilian honour in Canada.

Tragedy struck in 1998 when McKennitt's fiancé Ronald Rees and two others drowned during a boating accident. She was deeply affected by the tragedy founding the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund the same year, and releasing an album of two live performances called Live in Paris and Toronto, in which all of the profits were donated to the fund. From that period until December 2004 McKennitt has released no new recordings and has only occasionally performed live.

In late 2004 fan hopes of a long awaited re-emergence have been buoyed by a rare concert appearance for the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation on December 7, 2004, at Brussels’ Cirque Royal and notes on the Quinlan Road website about inspiration for new material. McKennitt talks about research in Turkey and Greece, as well as China and Mongolia. She specifically speaks of the "ongoing process of building the next recording".

Contents

Discography

Albums

  • Elemental (1985)
  • To Drive the Cold Winter Away (1987)
  • Parallel Dreams (1989)
  • The Visit (1991)
  • The Mask and Mirror (1994)
  • The Book of Secrets (1997)
  • Live in Paris and Toronto (1999)

Shorter recordings

  • A Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season (1995)
  • Live in San Francisco (1995)
  • Words and Music (1997)

Singles

  • "The Mummers' Dance (I)" (1997)
  • "The Mummers' Dance (II)" (1997)
  • "Marco Polo" (1998)

External links

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