This is a new song we have been working on - still improvising sections at this point but it’s coming together! :)
…seriously addictive melody, really fun to play.
Last year I fulfilled one of my dreams…to travel to Ireland!
…We set off in our tiny, unlockable hire car from Dublin for our four week journey across the green GREEN countryside of Ireland. First stop: Tipperary, the county where a lot of my ancestors came from on my father’s side.
The roads are unbelievable in Ireland – so narrow and the hedges come up so high that every turn is a test of faith!
Daniel loved it.
I was on the edge of my seat!
After some time we found a broken wooden sign lying on the ground that marked ‘this way’ to our accommodation. We arrived at our cottage to freshly baked scones, hot cuppa, fresh flowers, the family cat and dog and even the owners’ kids saying a bright ‘hello’ in their gorgeous accents. The hospitality in Ireland was just incredible. Whilst we were staying, the Irish experienced a ‘heat wave’ and were going crazy! Warnings on the radio for sunscreen protection, kids running around with water pistols; the extreme heat was the talk of the country.
It was 21 °c.
The Irish were looking at Daniel oddly as he walked along the street wearing a thick jumper. All the fine weather did give us the opportunity to see some of Ireland at its best – will never forget the pristine drive along the Dingle Peninsula that day.
Ireland is so rich in history and stories; just ask the old man sitting with his Guinness at the local pub and he’ll tell you a yarn or better still, proudly give his rendition of the local town’s song.
Daniel and I love going fishing and the Irish waterways were a fisherman/woman’s heaven. We always end up on random driving adventures, far from the main tourist routes, in hope of finding that ‘perfect fishing spot’. One day we were hopelessly lost and so, seeing a farmer on the side of the road, he wound down the window to ask directions and instinctively said in his thick Aussie accent: ‘G’Day Mate’.
…the old farmer looked at us, stunned like a rabbit in headlights!
“This is the Ireland I would love to wrap up and take home with me – the innate, infectious love for music; binding us all together.”
Celtic music appears embedded into the Irish culture and life. Our first trad session was in a small town pub just like I had imagined; three girls still in primary school playing the fiddle effortlessly, demonstrating such natural flair and love for music. This is the Ireland I would love to wrap up and take home with me – the innate, infectious love for music; binding us all together.
In the North West of Ireland, in Gweedore, Co. Donegal, I took part in a weekend workshop with Moya Brennan and Dublin Harpist Cormac De Barra. I grew up listening to the incredible music of Moya, her family band Clannad and her beautiful sister, Enya. So sitting in their family tavern by the open fire, having a laugh with Moya’s husband whilst playing a tune on her very own harp, as you can imagine, was quite a surreal moment for me.
First I met the organiser, Tim, who turned out to be Moya’s husband. Then Moya introduced herself, giving me a big hug and so excited to meet the ‘Australian Honeymooners’…apparently she had even spoken about us on Irish radio! Moya’s philosophy on singing was inspiring; she really sings from the heart and is such a grounded, spiritual person. She taught me songs in the Gaelic language, which even though I studied several European languages during university, the nuances and variations of Gaelic is an entirely different challenge.
“…allowing your musical instinct to take over” – Cormac De Barra, Dublin Harpist.
As I have only been playing harp for a few years and have never had any lessons, I felt so intimated when Cormac instantly put me in the advanced harp group after hearing my version of Deborah Henson-Conant’s ‘Nightingale’. But his attentive tuition as a result of this was invaluable. Sight-reading has always stressed me out, but Cormac explained quite simply that because I am a singer, that is the main way that I will learn information, so therefore all I need to do is learn the melody by singing it over and over before playing it with my hands – “allowing your musical instinct to take over”. This is such a simple technique, but sometimes it takes another musician to remind you of its importance before you can make it routine practice.
I loved meeting musicians and making new friends from all over the world. With each musician, you could hear the extraordinary and varying effect that Celtic music has had all around the globe.
We were invited to perform our original song ‘Wildfire’ at the Tavern on the closing night and it was amazing to receive such overwhelming feedback for our original music from the Brennans, several other Celtic musicians and Irish media. Moya’s father even got up in the wee hours of the night and sang a tune - such a precious moment. We were invited to play at several performances in the remaining days of our stay in Ireland and I fondly remember one night where I managed to bring a rowdy pub to complete silence with an A Capella rendition of ‘She Moved Thro’ The Fair’. The Irish are a sentimental bunch.
Until next time, Ireland, you will be missed!
Lanaya’s EP ‘Wildfire’ is out now, available from itunes.
Songbird Cover on Harp [Live] - Lanaya
This is my cover on harp of ‘Songbird’ by Christine McVie, also popularized by Eva Cassidy. Thanks for listening xx
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So excited to announce the release of my debut EP! This EP contains some of my most loved Celtic traditional songs and some new Celtic originals with my guitarist, Daniel Baden. I hope you enjoy listening!
'Wildfire' is now available on itunes:
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