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Loreena McKennitt-A Midwinter Night’s Dream
The holiday collection features an array of the artist’s wide musical influences, ranging from Celtic to classical to Middle Eastern. Her eclecticism shines through in the mysticism of The Holly and the Ivy, the exotic Eastern arrangements of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, the Latin-sung Emmanuel and the North French/African rendering of Noël Nouvelet!, sung in Old French.
Loreena recorded the new material for A Midwinter Night’s Dream at Peter Gabriel’s Real World recording studio near Bath, England following a highly successful European tour. With McKennitt providing vocals as well as piano, accordion and harp accompaniment; she is supported by Brian Hughes on oud and guitar, Hugh Marsh on violin, Caroline Lavelle on cello, Donald Quan on viola and percussion, Ben Grossman on hurdy gurdy and percussion, Simon Edwards on bass, Rick Lazar on percussion and Stratis Psaradellis on Greek lyra and Greek lute.
I really wanted to recapture some of the frankincense and myrrh in this music, McKennitt explained, and the process was a fresh reminder of the diversity of so many traditions when it comes to music of the winter season. The songs are rich with abundant references to the natural world and connections to our spiritual and religious bearings; it’s clear that people have always used winter as a time of reflection.