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  • Banba
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Format: CD|Modifier
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'We are a fusion of various styles of music, growing out of a traditional Gaelic root.'
- Máire Brennan
For anyone who likes Enya, this group is important, showing both a prehistory of the solo Enya, as well as a side-development in the area of modern electronic celtic-inspired music. Máire Brennan is now the lead vocalist for Clannad, but she has also produced her own solo work.
Clannad is a family effort, having been begun by Máire and her brothers Ciarán and Paul, plus their uncles. Indeed, the similarity between the words 'clan' and 'clannad' cannot be missed. Enya is another sister, having joined the group briefly before embarking upon a solo career.
Banba achieved great popularity for the band Clannad because of the song I will find you -- this song was used in the film 'Last of the Mohicans'. It is a haunting, lyrical ballad of love and longing, of desire and commitment, doing the strains of music and love with a bittersweet that only the Celtic people seem to know how to do properly.
'Hope is your survival
A captive path I lead
No matter where you go
I will find you
If it takes a long long time
No matter where you go
I will find you
If it takes a thousand years'
Incorporating Mohican and Cherokee chants into the lyric structure, this song is truly a cross cultural experience. It reaches deep into the emotive part of the soul.
Other songs on the album are variously in English and Gaelic, including the beautiful and interesting Na Laethe Bhí and Banba Óir, both of which have interesting cadences and can inspire feeling despite being in a foreign language. (My family lineage having Scottish roots, I am no stranger to Gaelic, but even so these are unfamiliar, perhaps made the more beautiful as I can ascribe my own meaning to them).
Banba was released in 1993, twenty years after the group got its start. The previous year, Anam had been released with a track entitled 'Harry's Game', which again was from a motion picture, 'Patriot Games'. The music on both of these CDs are consistently Clannad, which is to say, beautiful, melodious, celtic-inspired gems.
The other CD of theirs in my collection, Fuiam, dates back to 1982. At this time, Enya had not yet struck out on her own, and she and her husband Nicky Ryan were still an integral part of the group. The music shows some immaturity compared with the later work of both Enya and Clannad, but the seeds of the future greatness are here. Fuiam, which means 'sound', features Enya on keyboards and vocals for two songs.
These CDs, as indeed much of the output of this group, is a real treasure for those who enjoy various kinds of music. Prepare to be inspired.
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