Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Lady of Shallot

Not one to force my musical tastes on others (!) I have to recommend Loreena McKennitt's The Visit album and in particular two tracks, Bonny Portmore and The Lady of Shallot.

Canadian Loreena McKennit is something of a free spirit, even forming her own record label, but fortunately she has several albums available on iTunes. I have owned The Book of Secrets for a couple of years (thanks, Lucy and Jeff) and frequently hear her unique voice on internet radio. So I recently bought and downloaded The Visit and find that I simply love it!

Strongly Irish in make up, her music also reflects other genres, in particular a mix of North African style music (which is not surprising given the close proximity of Ireland to Morocco) rather like the Afro Celt Sound System but a lot more lyrical.

The Lady of Shallot is worth some extra program notes here, as it is a 14 stanza rendering of Tennyson's poem based on the Arthurian legend of Camelot, Sir Lanceot, etc., etc. Wikipedia's entry can be found here while the full text of the epic poem can be found here. Lancelot's comments in the last stanza deserve special reflection