Believe it or not, we here at Chez Crankyface do have a wee bit of the book-larnin’ in us. Not all of our culture belongs in a petri dish. Mlle. herself has always been a big fan of Celtic music, even when the only way you could find it at the music store was to pick through the 8 CDs in the New Age section, back before it branched off into “World” before getting its own wee white card.
(Side note: I felt like a heathen just being near the “New Age” section. I was brought up by Good People who implied that anything New Age was a hair’s breadth away from witchcraft, you see. Or maybe it lured young, impressionable people like myself into witchcraft. Something about demons and nekkidness and feminism and all those dangerous, anti-churchy things was wrapped up in the New Age concept, a concept of which I ironically had no concept, but managed to make myself feel guilty about loving the beautiful music I found in that particular section of the music store. To this day I feel the momentary flash of guilt before I remember that all that was CRAZYPANTS NONSENSE.)
I cut my teeth on Altan, The Chieftans, badly-recorded episodes of Rose & Thistle from the mid-80’s, the Danna brothers, and plenty of music that I associate with Celtic simply because I discovered them in the same section and at the same time in my life. Lately, thanks my keen VHS tape of Riverdance, I was exposed to a group called Anuna. It’s a choral group that performs a cappella pieces, but not just traditional Irish music. They do French carols, old Latin kyries, and all sorts of things that really appeal to my many years in choir singing similar pieces, and loving every second of it.
Here is one of my favorites. It’s called “The Wild Song.” Sometimes I need to be reminded that there is more in this world than diapers and laundry and worrying whether or not the next paycheck will bounce. Sometimes I need to remember that it’s okay to dream bigger than what I do now. Perhaps “big” isn’t the word I’m looking for; perhaps what I’m trying to convey can’t be explained with words, only with damp greens and gently-stirring mists not yet burned away by the sunshine hovering over the horizon, with the smell of disturbed earth under one’s feet, snug among gently rolling hills and standing stones. Is there a word for that?
I encourage you to flip over to Youtube and click through some of their songs, like Miserere and Noel Nouvelet.