Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt (b. 1957) is a soprano singer, composer, pianist and harpist. McKennitt is often compared to the Irish singer, Enya, though her music is more embedded in ancient Celtic and Middle Eastern traditions.
Listen for the Oud, the Celtic and Greek bouzouki, the Lyra and other instruments.
Track: The Gates of Istanbul
Album: An Ancient Muse (2006)
Label: Quinlan Road
Appears on: DALI CD Vol. 2
An Ancient Muse
The Gates of Istanbul is featured on An Ancient Muse, an album released in 2006 after many years of little public musical activity by McKennitt. The album features nine songs with various influences, which McKennitt describes as "an exploration of the Celts and their history", leading to many places across the globe as she journeys along the ancient Silk Road. An Ancient Muse takes you to Outer Mongolia, Northwest China, Anatolia and Ephesus in Turkey, as well as the Greek island of Chios.. and, of course, Istanbul.
The Gates of Istanbul
Recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, the recording quality of this track is excellent. Despite the large sound, every detail and individual instrument is easily distinguishable. Working together, they make a very impressive image and a coherent mix.
Notwithstanding the somewhat exotic mix of instruments used (listen for the Oud, the Celtic and Greek bouzouki, the Lyra and other more common instruments in modern-day pop music), it's McKennitt's voice that stands out, full of clarity and expression.