Hailing from Inis Mór, the largest of the Árran Islands, Deirdre Ní Chinnéide, a psychotherapist who works in the specialized field of trauma and reco...moreHailing from Inis Mór, the largest of the Árran Islands, Deirdre Ní Chinnéide, a psychotherapist who works in the specialized field of trauma and recovery, uses her passionate voice and lyrics to take us on a journey to healing. Dipping deep into the well of Irish heritage and Celtic Christianity, Deirdre weaves a moving tapestry of past and present, of ancestors and saints.
Exploring the themes of light and dark, life and death, war and peace and more, Deirdre’s tenor voice calls up the likenesses of Melanie O’Reilly, Máire Brennan and Briege Murphy in its raw emotion. Her intonation has a soothing and relaxing connotation, which adds to this therapeutic musical journey, and lays claim to her own place within Celtic music, distinct in style from those before her.
Celtic Passage, her North American debut, is cleverly divided into four sections which coincide with the Irish seasons of Winter—Samhain, Spring—Imbolg, Summer—Bealtaine and Autumn—Lughnasa. Each section moves through the aforementioned themes. While there are a few songs which have a gauche New Age sound to them (Cry to the Mountains and Arms of the Universe in particular), most are based on traditional sounds and almost all include at least a few lines (if not whole verses) of Gaeilge, the Irish language. Overall, I found this enchanting, enjoyable and very calming.
Track Listing: 01. Forgotten (4:33) — beginning the Samhain portion of the album, this track opens with the sound of crashing waves, howling winds and Deirdre whispering sunda (pronounced soon-da), what she claims is a mystical note carried over a channel of ocean connecting island to mainland. This poignant song is about how we are all islands struggling to connect with the mainland, searching for something more.
02. Celtic Passage (3:53) — this exquisite song is the part of the journey where we remember the wisdom of our Irish ancestors, calling out to them.
03. Weep with Me (4:28) — this track featuring upbeat percussion, calls out to God and asks Him to envelop us.
04. Pieta (5:56) — pietà is Italian for pity (the subject of Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary mourning for Jesus) and this song is a haunting and emotive lament from a mother for her lost child, taken during battle.
05. Cry to the Mountains (3:15) — this track symbolizes our despair with ourselves and others, by asking the mountains, “what are we fighting for?”
06. Mother (3:44) — beginning the Imbolg portion of the album, this song is a prayer to Mary, Mother of God, featuring the Irish version of Hail Mary and The Children of Scoil Chaomháín choir from Inis Oirr.
07. Arms of the Universe (4:03) — this tracks speaks of a couple’s struggle in communication and their emergence from grief and fear.
08. Return (4:07) — featuring the uilleann pipes and whistle of David Downes (musical director of Celtic Woman), Return is a stunning instrumental journey calling us to remember the love song of those who have walked before us.
09. Arise My Love (3:05) — this tracks begins the Bealtaine portion of the album and is based on the sonnet The Song of Songs.
10. Gratitude (5:23) — with lyrics taken from the traditional song Sliabh Geal gCua, Gratitude is a rousing processional reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt’s music, interlaced with Deirdre’s chants of sunda.
11. Lie You Still (1:54) — this track features the gentle spoken words of Deirdre, creating a calming lullaby.
12. Si Gaoithe/Spirit Breeze (3:45) — this tracks begins the Lughnasa portion of the album and sways our souls like a gentle wind asking us to open our hearts and listen to the spirit breeze.
13. Síochain/Peace (4:58) — the conclusion of the journey ends with a blessing of peace where Deirdre is once again joined by The Children of Scoil Chaomháín choir. Ending with ocean waves, wind and sunda, the CD comes full circle but the journey never ends.(less)