From The Library… Music Across the Waters

Today’s pro­gramme in the series From The Library… fea­tures four Celtic artists work­ing in North Amer­i­ca: Loreena McKen­nitt, Natal­ie Mac­Mas­ter, Con­nie Dover and Joanie Mad­den.

All four have tak­en tra­di­tion­al Celtic music and songs from the British Isles and beyond, and devel­oped the form in their own way.

Tal­ent­ed harpist and vocal­ist Loreena McKen­nitt, based in Ontario (though born in Man­i­to­ba) released her first album, Ele­men­tal, in 1985 and has gone on to incor­po­rate an increas­ing­ly Mid­dle East­ern theme into her music along with the Celtic ele­ments that under­pin her work.

Natal­ie Mac­Mas­ter from Nova Sco­tia is one of the best-known mod­ern expo­nents of Cape Bre­ton fid­dle music and her spir­it­ed per­for­mances have been heard around the world. In recent years she has expand­ed her reper­toire to include Irish and Scot­tish themes as well as a touch of blue­grass (she has, for exam­ple, worked with Ali­son Krauss, one of our artists from last week).

Arkansas-born singer/songwriter Con­nie Dover was brought up in Kansas City and was orig­i­nal­ly a blue­grass musi­cian but turned to Celtic music in the ear­ly 1980s. Since then she has become known for extreme­ly mov­ing per­for­mances of both tra­di­tion­al tunes and of her own, high­ly accom­plished mate­r­i­al.

Joanie Mad­den has Irish par­ents but was born in the Unit­ed States. Leader of the band Cher­ish the Ladies, she is a lead­ing play­er of the tin whis­tle, and won the senior all-Ire­land cham­pi­onship on the instru­ment in 1984. Today she is known not only for her mov­ing instru­men­tal per­for­mances of tra­di­tion­al and orig­i­nal music but also for her TV work, includ­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with Bri­an Keane on such series as The Way West.

• This pro­gramme is pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library in Sec­ond Life, and pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. For more infor­ma­tion on the Cale­don Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Sec­ond Life ref­er­ence libraries in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Cale­don Library Web site, or one of their loca­tions in-world.

• You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme now at, or sim­ply vis­it any Cale­don Library branch in-world and press Play on your embed­ded music play­er.

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