An Ancient Muse

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Canadian Celtic/new age/worldbeat architect Loreena McKennitt may be an odd choice for the legendary jazz label that released benchmark albums from Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, but Verve may have been moved by the undeniably talented harpist/composer/vocalist's large collection of globe-spanning gold, platinum, and multi-platinum sales awards. McKennitt's records (this is her first set of new material since 1997's Book of Secrets) tend to play like independent soundtracks to National Geographic documentaries -- kind of like a more ornate, expensive version of Dead Can Dance. An Ancient Muse may break little new ground for McKennitt, but it won't disappoint ...
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11/21/2006 CD Fine Books, CDs, DVDs, Videogames, LPs & more! Fast shipping! All items guaranteed!

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Canadian Celtic/new age/worldbeat architect Loreena McKennitt may be an odd choice for the legendary jazz label that released benchmark albums from Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, but Verve may have been moved by the undeniably talented harpist/composer/vocalist's large collection of globe-spanning gold, platinum, and multi-platinum sales awards. McKennitt's records (this is her first set of new material since 1997's Book of Secrets) tend to play like independent soundtracks to National Geographic documentaries -- kind of like a more ornate, expensive version of Dead Can Dance. An Ancient Muse may break little new ground for McKennitt, but it won't disappoint longtime fans. Her fascination with Celtic, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern instrumentation (hurdy-gurdy, nyckelharpa, kanoun, uilleann pipes, bouzouki, lyra, and oud) and her preoccupation with mythology and poetry have won her great favor with the new age/adult alternative crowd, and rightly so, as Irish-tinged ballads such as "Never-Ending Road (Amhrán Duit)" and "Penelope's Song" are just Enya songs with more instruments than vocal tracks. Her penchant for quality instrumentals, in this case the Turkish delights "Kecharitomene" and "Sacred Shabbat," sets her apart from the more stereotypical new age artists like David Arkenstone and John Tesh, and her extensive, diary-like liner notes invoke ancient archeological sites and obscure Rumi poetry without coming off as too self-absorbed.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/21/2006
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 774213121097
  • Catalog Number: 000792002

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Loreena McKennitt Primary Artist, Percussion, Piano, Accordion, Harp, Keyboards, Vocals
Brian Hughes Bouzouki, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer Guitar, Oud, Guitar (Nylon String)
Hugh Marsh Violin
Donald Quan Viola
Tal Bergman Percussion, Drums
Clive Deamer Drums
Nigel Eaton Hurdy-Gurdy
Steafan Hannigan uillean pipes, Vocal Director, Turkish Clarinet
Hossam Ramzy Percussion
Manu Katché Drums
Caroline LaVelle Cello
Tim Landers Bass
Rick Lazar Percussion
Andy Pask Acoustic Bass
Charles Pott Vocals
Christopher Redfield Viola
Wendy Rose Violin
Annbjørg Lien Nyckelharpa
Stuart Bruce Percussion
Carol Fujino Violin
Andreas Papas Percussion
Julian Empett Vocals
Lawrence Wallington Vocals
Haig Yazdjian Oud
Jason Hann Percussion
Petros Kourtis Percussion, Krotala
Annalee Patipatanakoon Violin
Bridget Hunt Violin
Daniel Blackman Viola
Ed Hanley Tabla, Udu
Ben Grossman Hurdy-Gurdy
Roman Borys Cello
Carina Reeves Cello
Warren Trevelyan-Jones Vocals
Panos Dimitrakopoulos Kanoon
Ensemble Plus Ultra Track Performer
Louise Hogan Viola
Charlie Jones Acoustic Bass
Evangelos Karipis Percussion
Georgios Kontogiannis Bouzouki
Natasha Kraemer Cello
David Martin Vocals
Nicholas Morris Track Performer
Alexander Pott Track Performer
Elliot Thompson Track Performer
Malgorzata Ziemkiewicz Viola
Thomas Hobbs Vocals
Socratis Sinopoulos Lyra
Technical Credits
Brian Hughes Engineer, Vocal Drone
Donald Quan Vocal Drone
Brian Gascoigne Arranger, String Arrangements
Kevin Killen Engineer
Paul Klingberg Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Loreena McKennitt Arranger, Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
John Welsman String Arrangements
Frank Wolf Engineer
Jeff Wolpert Engineer
Stuart Bruce Engineer, Vocal Drone
Ben Findlay Engineer
Gordy Davidson Digital Editing
Walter Scott Composer
Gabe Moffett Engineer
Claire Lewis Digital Editing
Marco Migliari Engineer, Digital Editing, Vocal Drone
Lewis Jones Digital Editing
Ann Reid Reynolds translation
Paul Grady Digital Editing
Dominic Monks Digital Editing
Claude Gortin translation
Kostas Kousoulos Engineer
Kostas Mouroulis Engineer
Jeremy Murphy Digital Editing
Brian Nebin Engineer
Selina Stewart translation
Dafni Viorre translation
Ange Zhang Illustrations
Steve Price Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    A remarkable thing I have always admired in her career is the great step from being a great celtic singer (which arrives to its apex in The Visit) towards a "globalized" approach to art, her constant attempt to wider her musical horizons. This new trend began with The mask and the mirror (which I don`t know in its entirety) and The book of secrets. An ancient muse belongs to the same trend. There is nothing really new here. In fact, albeit there is no great wrong track here, the musical variety is far more limited, compared with Book of secrets. The almost cosmic and "New agey" canvas are fully captured in the introduction to Book of secrets, or in Dante's Prayer, from that album. An exciting Mummers dance gives a very wellcome contrast. The "literature" song that she uses is The highwayman, an exciting (if a bit long) piece. Also included are numbers which in our imagination have a tendency to describe Far East or a mythical Renaissance Venice. You see? A wide sort of music with celtic background and at the same time Eastern music background, with varying moods and tempi. And here??? Most of them are slow and meditative. many times it resembles to me Enya, than "The Visit". I have read this maybe related to the death of her fiance and his friends, as if it had encapsulled her in a "frozen" way of making music. The product is quite professional but very "samey" along the album. Some tracks are simply boring (I like renaissance music but the piece here with Scott`s lyrics with viola da gamba ensemble has the most boring arrangement I have listened in her music). Conclusion: her musical evolution stopped in Book of secrets. Buy that and The visit as a good contrast. Or the Alhambra concert, they say it is great.

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted November 22, 2008

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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