Máire Brennan Speaks
Celtic Songstress Discusses Her Musical Journey
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• Part 4: Beyond Genres
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Paula: What part does spirituality play as an influence in your work?

Maire: At the moment I suppose, well in the last two solo albums I released, I got involved for the simple reason I think, got interest in Celtic music and the Celtic culture and there was a lot about the mystical stories and the legends of Ireland, like with Riverdance and Lord of the Dance and the likes. I think they are fantastic myself; I grew up with these stories. But it's very important to realize that a lot of how the culture of Ireland was retained and within the 500 year old songs, has a huge strength of spirituality in it in the sense of the hope that they have. There is a lot of tragedy that has happened in Irish history, but even when they write songs there is a great sense of hope in it, and when people immigrated a long time ago, one of the biggest strength they had was their faith. If you come to Ireland you want to see the Book of Celts, the Celtic Cross and everything, and so it's really to make an issue of the fact that spirituality has an important part in the culture and what has retained the Irish culture in Ireland.

I was curious about it as well; I read about the Saints of Ireland and they're fantastic, incredible stories, and it just fascinated me. It was also for me to be able to speak about it as I am to you now, to show the importance of it. I know it's not the coolest thing, I guess it would be cooler for me to talk about Islam or Buddhism or something, but I am saying I disagree - I think there is so much in what I consider my background and it is amazing how they had so much inner strength from it and I just found it very interesting, so I leaned on that for the last two album. My new album is contemporary and still kind of finding it's way, but it's not as spiritual as such an album with directly connected to the Celtic Christianity thing, it's more a human kind of element but still keeping with the Irish culture, and it's at the moment at its early stages but I am trying to build a concept around it. Because being in the music business for 30 years, I just find so many different aspects of music and it interest me, rather than sticking to the same thing all the time, and I think that's why I'm still doing it. It's kind of based really on a girl that might have left Ireland 100 years ago and went on one of the ships from Ireland headed to the United States, but rather than staying in Boston or New York, took a trip right across to America.

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