How Moya Brennan inspired the world of Celtic music.

From Maire to Moya Brennan. The name change was deliberate to make sure non-Irish speakers know how to say her name phonetically. From being “the voice of Clannad,” she has grown into a solo artist with jaw dropping repertoire of music. She is a prolific songwriter. It seems inspiration comes easily for her while other artists have to spend a lot of time just to bleed songs into studio recordings.

Perhaps it’s the sense of humor that I always find when I watch her YouTube interviews. Or maybe it’s because she is surrounded by amazing and supportive people in her life. But whatever it is that keeps her inspired, it’s something that artists would crave to have. It’s true that it is hard to separate the artist from the person. And most brilliant artists are actually terrible in life. On the other hand, her life is the kind that is steeped in kindness. Being a former active member of her forum, I  read countless testaments of fans who met her in person. They always have something good to say about her.

Picture by Tim Jarvis
Picture by Tim Jarvis

I could have written this blog in the direction of just her music. After all it is what I usually write about…album reviews, interviews…music news. But I realize that an artist is someone who inspires and it is not just limited to art. There is also the kind of life an artist lives that leaves its imprint in the hearts of the fans. That ability to inspire others by tapping into that inner wellspring of creativity is the most beautiful thing that an artist can do.They give their lives to art,  making our lives beautiful. In return that beauty we see inside us, we share it with others.

After forty years in the industry, Moya Brennan has attained a level that few artists could ever want for themselves: a loving family, a stable career(creative and business wise) and also as an ambassador of Irish music. I could not imagine a world of music without Clannad. Musicians used to make music in a way they knew. When Theme from Harry’s Game catapulted itself to the top of the charts, people started wondering what is this special sound. Moya Brennan popularized a style of signing that would not have existed if Clannad didn’t happen.



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