Máire Brennan Speaks
Celtic Songstress Discusses Her Musical Journey
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• Part 3: The Spiritual Dimension
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Paula: What is the biggest challenge of singing and performing in Gaelic?

Maire: I haven't done it really for the last 30 years. First of all I love doing it; I think it is something we stumbled upon. Gaelic is my family's first language and not an awful lot of people speak Gaelic in Ireland, quiet a small percentage. But when we got involved musically the family, we discovered . . . we grew up with the old traditional songs but not until in our late teens did we discover the beauty of them and incorporated into what we got going as a folk group. Literally we were laughed at here in Ireland, would you believe, when we wee doing it but we just felt something there and we did about six albums of basically collecting traditional songs and rearranging them in what we thought would give the emotional sense of what the song was about, and it really helped create that ethereal sound that is known now as the Clannad sound and my sister Enya has used and the people like James Horner has used in the Titanic. It's kind of nice to have been involved in, and I suppose, giving birth to a new sound as such.

A lot of people think this sound is a traditional sound, but songs long ago in Ireland were sung without instruments, were unaccompanied. So, singing Gaelic kind of gives it a real ethereal sound but also that we've also used Gaelic in a way that, like in a chanting way, t hat it creates just a feeling that it can be an instrumental. One of the first major hits we had was a Gaelic songs, Harry's Game which we did for a televisions how here, then the movie The Patriot Games, and then in a Volkswagon ad in America, but over here when it was first released they were playing it on the radio before they realized there were words to it, and they panicked in England in case we were being offensive, and when we sent them the translation and they discovered it wasn't.

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