Eternal Enya

enya

And winter came… And, with it, its guests. And, among them, a very special woman: Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, although the name that will remain in the legend will be Enya.

The chronicles tell that she arrived to Gweedore, County Donegal (Ireland) on May 17th, 1961. With four brothers and four sisters, she participated in the familiar band Clannad, as keyboardist and backing vocals in the album Crann Úll (1980) and as official member of the band in Fuaim (1981). However, she abandoned the formation in 1982, just before Clannad obtained success with ‘Theme from Harry’s game’. But the glory of Enya would be higher…

The album Touch Travel (1983) included two instrumental songs credited to Enya called ‘An Gaoth Ón Ghrian’ (‘The Solar Wind’) and ‘Miss Clare Remembers’; the 1984 film The Frog Prince also included Enya music in its soundtrack and she made a vocal collaboration in Sinead O’Connor’s debut album, The Lion and the Cobra.

In 1986, a BBC serial documentary entitled The Celts had its soundtrack written and performed by Enya. Those days it didn’t attracted much attention, but today it is admitted that precisely this work was the beginning of the legend…

A year later, the glory: Watermark (1988). The magic and mistery of Enya at its whole magnificence and her trademark: echoes of fantasy worlds carried by an unmistakable voice which, winter after winter, whispers in English, Gaelic, Latin, French, Spanish, Japanese, Elvish…

Three winters later she returned with new stories, with Shepherd Moons (1991). She obtained world recognition: a Grammy Award and ten millions copies sold. It wouldn’t be the only one: another Grammy for The memory of trees (1995) and even a third one in 2000 for A day without rain. Although all of them were obtained in the “Best New Age Album”category, Enya herself has only one answer when asked about which style would she categorize her works into: ‘enya’.

But, above recognitions, what made this elegant, kind, princess great has been people’s admiration. Despite the fact that she never gave a concert and despite the absolute secrecy about her private life, her name and voice are univeral. Ireland has only exported one more succesful band, and it had to be a really big one: U2.

Her style is unique and lays on three key elements: Nicky Ryan’s production, Roma Ryan’s poems and lyrics and Enya herself, with the Roland D-50 synthesizer and the enigma of her voice, which only receives an explanation when you know that it’s overdubbed, reportedly five hundreds times in ‘Boadicea’, overlying layers and layers of voices, always hers, to obtain the “enya effect” that has gain her fame.

Poisonous tongues say that she repeats herself, that she doesn’t innovate, that she never changes, that a journey with Enya always leads to the same destination, always travelling the same paths… Probably it’s true, probably. But one thing is also true: since then and until today, winters have been a little warmer when Enya comes to visit us…

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