How the unlikely star became a phenomenon hidden in pop-cultural plain
sight, influencing a generation of groundbreaking artists.
"In a year pitched to endless anxiety and rife with perilous unknowns, I
have spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about Enya. Maybe it is
because the Irish musician born Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, who has
never toured and yet has become her own enchanted genre over the last 33
years, moved to a 19th-century Victorian castle just south of Dublin at
the turn of the century and has been a practitioner of self-isolation
ever since. Maybe it is because her atmospheric compositions are full of
imagination, of openness, each note like a new horizon coming into
focus. Maybe it is because her many-layered catalog is so sad and
healing at once, or because it makes the complex work of being
indefinitely alone sound easy.
Last December, after noticing a substantial uptick in the number of
effusive Enya fans in my orbit—both friends and musicians I follow—I
finally asked someone for a mix of her best work. I now feel that the
19-song Enya primer I received in the final days of 2019 was cosmically
tailored to prepare me for the impending hell of 2020. From the
windswept dream pop of “I Want Tomorrow” to the skylike chorus on
“Anywhere Is,” from the wild arpeggiations of “Aldebaran” to the shaded
beats and Gaelic lyrics on “Ebudae,” my journey with Enya became a
reminder of how music could hold the days together when it felt like
reality was in a free fall."
Via Esther Schindler.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics