This Wednesday will be my music review. For my first one, the obvious choice that came to mind was a particular artist, not so much a particular album. Typically my musical browsing starts there and I just start grabbing songs I like and throwing them onto a playlist. That’ll probably be more the way my reviews are structured, and I might highlight a few particular songs that really inspired me this month.
The artist of choice was one mentioned in September’s opening Captain’s Quarter’s post. They’re Ireland’s national choir, directed by Michael McGlynn, and they are Anuna.
So, let me just say that I first stumbled across Anuna as I was looking for traditional Irish music for my current WIP’s playlist. I don’t know why, but I just felt like that particular genre of music would be the most inspiring one for this particular novel. I started with Enya, already a favorite, and began branching out through Spotify’s “Related Artists” feature. When I found Anuna, I’m pretty sure I was hooked by a particular song, either “Dúlamán” via a search related to Celtic Woman’s very popular rendition of this traditional Irish tune, or “Ceann Dubh Dîlis.”
Both songs featured the male members of the choir. While “Dúlamán” is completely a capella (and beautifully rhythmic), “Ceann Dubh Dîlis” adds power to the already powerful male harmonies with a drum. Both songs have a sort of raw beauty about them, something primordial and deep, and that’s what drew me to Anuna and to adding them to my inspiration playlist.
Anuna has tons of other stuff, including Christmas albums and the like. I’m particularly drawn to the more traditional sounding songs or the songs that are purely in Gaelic. Another favorite is “The Rising of the Sun” featuring a female soloist. Despite the English title, the song is purely in Gaelic, with lovely choir accompaniment and instrumental features. It’s rhythmic and somewhat playful, and the chords among the choir bounce around to express this sort of nonsensical feeling. If you look up the English translation of the Gaelic, this style makes perfect sense. 😉
I think my favorite thing about Anuna is the depth of their music and the variety they achieve with their chamber singers. The songs can go from mystical and deep to joyful and rhythmic, all the while losing none of their complexity and harmonic depth.
Their director and arranger of many of the pieces that they sing, Michael McGlynn, is a talented tenor and also solos from time to time. I find his talent expressed exceptionally well in “The Flower of Maherally,” and “Invocation.” Follow the links and watch. I promise, you WILL get goosebumps.
All in all, I’m so glad I found Anuna, and I continue to listen to old favorites as well as checking out their new videos on YouTube. They do have their own channel, so if you’d like to sample some of their awesome music, make sure you subscribe to their channel to get updates!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Anuna, and maybe you’ll find another wonderful artist to fuel your creativity.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you on the next ship in!
Tell me in the comments below: Who is your favorite artist, song, or album right now? What music is inspiring your writing adventures? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to chat!