Catching up with artist Jenne Lennon

Catching up with artist Jenne Lennon

 

Film composer/arranger and kickboxer! Jenne Lennon is the woman of the new century.

For months now I wanted to post something about Jenne Lennon especially her project in South Africa but we never seem to cross paths in the internet. But there are good moments when this happens. This is a candid interview . Well, not really an official one because we are still going to set the time. But it is really important to get the information out. After all blogging is all about telling the world what’s going on. In my case, it’s what’s going on in the world of music.To avoid confusion, I bolded my lines.

JL: There you Are!! I was trying to reach you via Skype for a while. Thought something happened to you due to the Tsunami.

B:I have a new skype account

I see. Are you and your family well? I’m very relieved to hear that.

Jenne Lennon: South Africa changed my life.

Jenne Lennon: South Africa changed my life.

Yes and how about you?

Doing quite well thank you. South Africa changed my life and things here in Chicago are going quite nicely although this was the coldest, longest, winter in Chicago history

Glad to hear. We should have an audio interview soon via Skype.

Absolutely! I would LOVE that

Yeah spring came late in the US.

To late. Only last week in fact hehe we had a snowstorm 2 weeks ago.

Yeah I read the news.

And is it warm over there?

Yes.All he time hahahaha. Sometimes it gets too much.

Jealous….except for those tropical storms in fact. And how is your blog going?

Yes haha!It’s still(blogging) going passionately..weathering storms 😉

Good!

I guess what you can’t stop from doing defines who you are or what you are.

Well said!

And how’s music?

Going so well. Did a score and a choral scene for a new film “A Million Miles Away” i’ts one several awards and received many great reviews. I’m working with a NY composer right now on a Broadway project.

Wow.Getting bigger and bigger.

Thank you sir.I hope so. I just want my music to reach a larger audience and have a more significant impact. Film and theatre seems to be a great match for that.

Yes they are great vehicles. I will look for that film.

Please do! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. It’s about the power of music and young women. It’s a short, but is so powerful.The director is called Jennifer Reeder/Producer Steven Hudosh.

I see!Ok cool I will look for it and write about it.

That would be wonderful! I think you’re going to love it. 75% of the music is mine, the whole song in the choral scene is my arrangement, and I worked as the behind the scenes conductor in the film.

Wow.Glad to hear that.

Thank you. It’s my first film. Hope it is not the last.

I hope so too!

Unfortunately, I have to go. I have a kickboxing class. Hehe! Let’s chat soon!Glad you are okay!

Yes take care. And kick it!!!

Thank you

 

Photo by: By Roland Labana

 

http://www.jennelennon.com
http://www.glencoerecords.com
http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon
http://www.thecelticlink.com/jennelennon
http://www.srtrc.org/

 

Truth and Dare:The Wild Irish Poet (a.k.a. Alan Cooke) Interview .

Truth and Dare:The Wild Irish Poet (a.k.a. Alan Cooke) Interview .

Alan Cooke

Alan Cooke. a.k.a.  is an Emmy-winning actor/poet/novelist who just released his literary piece called Naked in New York. The book is the  result of his experiences, when he embarked on a journey to New York city just after the 9/11. He has acted and written since the 90s and then one day he just decided to leave it all behind and take a plunge into the unknown.

Naked in New York is a coming of age for the soul. He mentioned to me in one of our conversations that if he put all of his experiences in New York on text, then it would have taken him more than a thousand pages. This is a book of poetic beauty that flows in abundance through the pages. There are moments of pure illumination amidst the harsh realities in which he describes without sugar-coating. The poetry of his ideas are implied rather than expressed. And it is through one’s poetic soul that the beauty of his experiences is revealed.

This interview is kind of amusing. I have told him to hurry with the interview and not be distracted by other topics. We were doing a sort of dare. If you’ve followed one of his radio interviews, you will realize that he has an ample sense of humor.

“Ok last time give me those questions. I’ll do them right NOW.” The zeal of an Irishman! So we started with the interview.

“Hold on.” I was sifting through my original questions.

“Hurry up.” I was imagining him with that cocky smile at the other side of the monitor. And we started.

Alan with the release of Naked in New York, what do you plan to accomplish personally?

Well this is the first of three books. Naked in New York is a debut. I would like to go to New York this summer and read and promote the book if possible.

You have done stage and acting and I know your are very musically inclined. Any plans to dipping your vocal chords into an EP devoted to Irish music in the future?

Click to enlarge

I doubt it. I adore music. I adore the sounds of Ireland and the breath and depth of musicians. I do have a strong singing voice but I might make my own single one day . I like to try out new mediums who knows..

How do you feel about the reception towards Naked in New York?

Well whomever has read it has been very moved in many ways. But the promotional aspect I find exhausting. It is way more difficult than writing the book I have to admit. But then it only takes one piece of media coverage or the right person to read the book to bring it to a much larger audience.

Are you planning to do a sort of book tour in a form of public readings in the US?

I would love to yes. I am a performer. I am an orator. I am not a writer hiding out. I love to be in the world. In front of people speaking my words. I like to try and transform a room with the connection between teller and listener. That is the crux of all art.

You have upcoming projects. Can you give us an update on them?

Well as I said, I have two other books. The Spirit of Ireland and Jack Tully and the Midnight Killer. I hope to release both of them this spring. One must keep creating. Keep the candle burning in the midst of dark times. Someone out there could be moved or changed by your work. So I try never to give up.

You often discuss this light and dark contrast in the Irish psyche which is also the focus of your thriller Jack Tully and the Midnight killer. What do you think in brief paragraph, might have caused this phenomena?

Our history. Our colonization. Our religious repression. We are a mythic native culture at our root base. We are powerful poetic and magical in a sense. Our previous overlords knew this and crushed and starved and enslaved us for hundreds of years. So although we have a gift still in our Celtic souls, it is split I believe. At one side is a beauty for poetry and laughter and lightness. On the other is self loathing, self-destruction and hatred of our identity. You see it in the drink culture and the low expectations and learned helplessness that is very dominant here. So I like to explore that in my writing. But I think soon the Irish will rise into the full version of themselves again. Into the colour light and beauty of their own soul. They need to see and explore the myths. They need to cast out shame and sadness and realize we are powerful. Self love is the key. This landscape is filled with such amazing magic and depth. We only have to walk into it and say I AM.

Click to enlarge

Tell me more about your spoken words via youtube. You have released 3 so far right? What inspires you to make those?
Well I am an actor who hasn’t acted in quite a while. So my narrations are really my way of exploring my performance and my writing together. Both are intrinsically linked. The power of voice and the word is such a potent force when used for good. That is why I try and make these videos to combat so much destructive messages in the media.

I am curious what you have in your music player right now. Can you give me at least five Irish albums you are listening to?

Oh.. ! Well not many. I like the old U2 Albums when they were less concerned about massive profit and more about art. I like Thin Lizzy and also a lot of Uileann Pipe players. I love the Dubliners and Luke Kelly. I need to listen to more music again. !

You mentioned once that the book is a distilled version of what really happened in New York. If you’ve decided to write the story as is, it would have taken you a thousand pages. But as you mentioned, it’s more like an ‘art writing’ but also autobiographical. How did you decide which scenes in your life made it to the book and what didn’t and why?

It flowed in a certain rhythm. It was more an exploration of my feelings related to the experience than the actual experience if that makes sense. All reality is subjective. All magic or true experience is blended at times. I needed a certain level of discernment and trust of my gift to allow the flow to happen. What seemed important at the time of my journey became oddly trivial and then what seemed like an innocent road or a tiny moment became this momentous occasion in the book. I guess it is all perspective. There is no real truths only that which is your feeling of what you believed at the time. New york was such an overwhelming environment that I can only conclude my writing ultimately helped me undo the knots in my soul from the experience.

Let’s do another plug here. Where can they buy your book and the various formats that they can buy of naked in New York?

Well if they go to www.wildirishpoet.com they can buy the audio version of the book. If they go to www.amazon.com/author/wildirishpoet they can guy the kindle version .

Cat:”She is a godless. She is my familiar. Very very special. deeply intelligent and been through it all with me from New York to here.”
Click to enlarge.

Three more questions.

I’ll kill you.

Work it.

What is your idea of a good Irish holiday Alan?

Roaming the west in a car. Going to Kerry, Cork, Connemara. The wild ragged west of Ireland with the people, the food and hopefully in the summer. The long evenings and the sunsets and the magic of animals and mountains. It is all there in the very substance of every tree and river and in the eyes of the old people here. Magic in Ireland will never die.

So …what do you think? Should we stop here? Do you want 10 more questions?

No that’s enough let it roll. Off to do yoga in my house and weights, then porridge.

Copyright 2012 – Alan Cooke and Wild Poet Films. All footage is copyrighted. His Blog: www.wildirishpoet.blogspot.com
Buy the book on http://www.wildirishpoet.com on Audio release soon. Email to order your copy : wildpoetfilms@gmail.com

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Huzzah!

It is another interesting week for our featured artist edition. We have Alan Cooke above and also links in this column that you should check out because they are interesting! There are things that are yet to happen which will be revealed through my conversation with an artist. Yes, you will get an idea how I talk regularly.

Here’s the fifth teaser for the Kevin O’ Donnell album:

Kevin O'Donnell

Kevin O’Donnell

The Album Release

DEEP IS THE WELL will be released and available online Friday, May 3rd for purchase from iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. A music video for the first single “Factory Girl” will be launched April 16th. Stay tuned for Album Release Events scheduled for May in the Chicagoland area, which will feature many of the guest artists on the album. More at www.deepisthewell.com.

Here’s the latest post from the Saw Doctors fan page: Later this year we are hoping to publish a book featuring 100 songs of The Saw Doctors. We will post a song each day as we reveal the 100.

We are looking for any photographs, stories or memories related to each of the songs for inclusion in the book. So let us know if you have a suggested contribution in the comments section.

Song #1 has to be the first song on our first album and also our first number 1 single 🙂

All 100 songs are available for download on iTunes and on CD from http://shop.sawdoctors/. And here’s the video: ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TRJ5CG_jIs

Eve Williams

Eve Williams

Check this track by Eve Williams. According to Eve: “It’s a song called Miranda based on the Tempest by myself, Andrew Price and Stuart Revnell. Stuart produced the song and he put a lot of work into the vocals.”

More at http://www.evewilliamsmusic.com/

Jenne Lennon

Jenne Lennon
Click to enlarge.

A Brief conversation with Singer/Songwriter, Writer, Composer, and Native American Rights Activist Jenne Lennon.

How are you Baxter? Its been ages……

I know Jenne but it is timeless in Celticland so it only seems like yesterday the vibes are still the same if you have anything you want me to post let me know id be happy to post it.

oh thank you! yes, a lot going on here. We signed with San Juan records and such. But, I was thinking of you. Last we talked you were feeling down. Are your spirits any better? New year….new energies…

Yes it is Jenne. Just like trees everything has its season. This is spring lol  

That’s good news! It is, although in chicago, today was our first day of sunshine and relatively warm weather. By warm I mean 45 F compared to -2 F!

Oh ok. Yeah brrrrrrr haha. Here it is the start of summer in the Philippines so it is getting hot. Kind of silent around due to the lent.

Absolutely. But this amazing city is making up for it. Incredible Celtic music here. A bit of a world music resurgence going on now.
Yes, I imagine it is silent due to lent. I am jealous of the weather though, my best friend who is Filipino told me not to be so jealous as its very humid there, hehe!

You will get one too. In a couple of weeks. Yeah! humid indeed haha. I am doing my blogging outside where there’s moving air and birds…flowers etc

Hehe….I hope so. Although our summers are very hard and humid as well. My ancestors were not cut out for it. I am Irish after all…..I can’t take strong heat or cold.That sounds lovely! what time is it there?

Yeah I can imagine it must be hard for northern skins. Here it is 10 am.http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1/2013/03/27/alan-cooke-irish-emmy-winning-writer-actor-filmmaker  Listening to the wild Irish poet.

Nice! It’s 9:00 p.m. here. Are we 11 hours apart? Thanks for the link!

Yeah 11 hours.

But, this summer I will be in South Africa, which it will be winter then hehe.

In which I asked her about Shishonnah and a possible online interview.

Oh, great! I would love to talk to you about Shishonnah and the work I am doing in South Africa. I’ve started working with the Chicago Childrens choir and it has completely changed my life. My dream is coming true to go to South Africa this summer if I can manage to raise the funds….

Ok. So info is just in your site right? I can just go there and read. I just want to make sure I am asking relevant questions.

Sure. Or, you can ask me anything you like. I can update you about anything. But, yes, the south African stuff is all on the site. Except for my work with The Chicago children’s choir (who you HAVE to check out) very famous. You would love their stuff

Ok. I would like an update on the Chicago children’s choir. I can just study the south African thing on your site.

Yes, anything you’d like that organization really changed my life. Its been incredible. I will be touring with one of the choirs next month and they will be singing my arrangement of “siuil a ruin” and I’ll be a guest soloist. Too cool! And how are things with you? How is the blog?

I told her about the subscribers have increased and I am introducing changes to the blog. We chatted for a few more minutes before we said goodbye and will be talking again soon.

About Jenne

Site maintained by Glencoe Records and Healing Sun Productions. This is a promotional page for Singer/Songwriter, Writer, Composer, and Native American Rights Activist Jenne Lennon. One half of the World Fusion duo Shishonnah, Creator and owner Glencoe Records, an indie world music label.
www.glencoerecords.com
www.jennelennon.com
www.shishonnah.com
Congratulations Dónal McCague!
Dónal McCague

Matt Molloy ag bronnadh gradam Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana -Young Musician of the Year ar Dónal McCague Click for details.

 

Shishonnah In Concert!!!!!‏

Hi guys. I am posting a bulletin here about one of my fave Celtic groups Shishonnah. I hope everyone in the US gets to see and hear the amazing voices of Jenne Lennon and Liz Madden.

Here’s a little talk we had:

“Hi Jenne are you planning to go to Lorient this August?
I think it is a good way to promote your album!
“Um, I think we are in talks about it. We won’t know for sure until Spring. Yes, we were in talks about an album launch party there, but won’t know anything for a little while yet. We just got our March gigs confirmed, but we haven’t heard from the venues about ticket prices yet, so I can give you the info once we know for sure how much tickets will be :)”

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Highwayman taken from the Shishonnah album Elysian Dreams. Written by Shishonnah and produced by Shishonnah and Roland Labana.

SHISHONNAH Launches New Album And Takes Chicago By Storm This St. Patrick’s Day!


This Past November, International duo Shishonnah released their new album, “Elysian Dreams” on I-Tunes and other online music stores worldwide.

The album “Elysian Dreams” is an eclectic blend of world, classical, contemporary, Native American and Irish/Celtic Folk sounds. Two songs taken from the album were released in late 2011. “I Will Carry You” and “Dance With the River” met with immediate positive responses from live audiences and the broadcast community with both songs play-listed on radio all over the world. This incredible new album also features a narration by Choctaw elder, Gary White Deer.

The Ladies have the following performances scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day in the Chicago land area:

Thursday, March 15th 8:00 p.m. Ballydoyle, Downer’s Grove, Illinois

Friday, March 16th, 7:00 p.m. Trickster Gallery-American Indian Center, Schaumburg, Illinois

Saturday, March 17th, 2:00 p.m. Pre-concert Performance ”Paint The Town Green” Dirty Nellie’s, Palatine, Illinois

Saturday, March 17th 7:00 p.m. St. Paul U.C.C. Church, Palatine, Illinois.

 

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!

SHISHONNAH, formed in May 2010, is a merger of the talents of Irish artist Liz Madden and US artist Jenne Lennon—both accomplished musicians, performers and songwriters. They blend their Irish and American musical heritage with their Celtic and Native American traditions, essentially creating their own distinctive and innovative sound.  Their original songs will take you to a place that defines the human experience and uplifts the soul.  With incredible vocal arrangements, their sound reflects a canvas as diverse as the lands of their upbringing. The album is as much an instrumental as vocal with the ladies playing piano, harp, bodhran, whistle, Native American flute, keyboards and percussion.

Madden and Lennon have performed and headlined individually in venues worldwide, including the renowned Festival Interceltique in Lorient.  As Shishonnah, their most recent performance with the renowned Elgin Children’s Chorus under the direction of Jay Kellner for their Isle of Song concert which received superlative reviews and ovations beyond all expectations.  Their first two singles “Dance With The River” and “I Will Carry You” can be heard on The Celtic/New Age Hour every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Easter on Women of Substance Radio, Indie Castle Radio, Vents Music Radio, Celtica Radio Ltd., Radio Crystal Blue, Underworld Mix Radio, Celtic Roots Radio, Music You Can’t Hear On the Radio, and many more! They are currently finalizing dates for their 2012 tour, which will include the United States, the U.K., Ireland, and Europe. They kick of St. Patrick’s Day 2012 with a number of performances in Chicago!

www.glencoerecords.com

www.healingsunproductions.com
www.myspace.com/shishonnah
www.facebook.com/shishonnah

SHISHONNAH Launches New Album “Elysian Dreams”

I am clapping with glee in this news about my friend Jenne Lennon. This is a nice treat. This is just a copy of  a press release I received.Please read!

SHISHONNAH Launches New Album
This Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24th,  International
duo Shishonnah release their new album, “Elysian Dreams” on I-Tunes and other online music stores worldwide.

The album “Elysian Dreams” is an eclectic blend of world, classical, contemporary, Native American and Irish/Celtic Folk sounds. Two songs taken from the album were released earlier this year. “I will carry you” and “Dance with the River” met with immediate positive responses from live audiences and the broadcast community with both songs play-listed on radio. This incredible new album also features a narration by Choctaw elder, Gary White Deer.

SHISHONNAH, formed in May 2010, is a merger of the talents of Irish artist Liz Madden and US artist Jenne Lennon—both accomplished musicians, performers and songwriters. They blend their Irish and American musical heritage with their Celtic and Native American traditions, essentially creating their own distinctive and innovative sound.  Their original songs will take you to a place that defines the human experience and uplifts the soul.  With incredible vocal arrangements, their sound reflects a canvas as diverse as the lands of their upbringing. The album is as much an instrumental as vocal with the ladies playing piano, harp, bodhran, whistle, Native American flute, keyboards and percussion.

Madden and Lennon have performed and headlined individually in venues worldwide, including the renowned Festival Interceltique in Lorient.  As Shishonnah, their most recent performance with the renowned Elgin Children’s Chorus under the direction of Jay Kellner for their Isle of Song concert which received superlative reviews and ovations beyond all expectations.  Their first two singles “Dance With The River” and “I Will Carry You” can be heard on The Celtic/New Age Hour every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Easter on Women of Substance Radio, Indie Castle Radio, Vents Music Radio, Celtica Radio Ltd., Radio Crystal Blue, Underworld Mix Radio, Celtic Roots Radio, Music You Can’t Hear On the Radio, and many more! They are currently finalizing dates for their 2012 tour, which will include the United States, the U.K., Ireland, and Europe. They kick of St. Patrick’s Day 2012 with a number of performances in Chicago!

www.glencoerecords.com

www.healingsunproductions.com
www.myspace.com/shishonnah
www.facebook.com/shishonnah

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Jenne Lennon In Concert Dec. 4th‏

Join Jenne Lennon and friends Sunday, December 4th, 4:30 p.m. at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Palatine for A Celtic Christmas! Featuring, Roland Labana and The St. Paul Chancel and Children’s Choirs. The evening will consist of traditional Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and British Christmas Carols with some old American standards and original music by Jenne. Tickets are $10.00 at the door, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Come celebrate a Magical evening of celebration and Song!

Music to Celebrate Halloween or “Samhain”.

I heard this whisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.
The Veil is Getting Thinner

One of the most important time of the year is here. Halloween or as the Celts call it Samhain. Events in our lives can alter the things we do. I noticed this lately, when I had to do things I normally don’t do because I had to. I am sure you out there are given the task of doing what you must do because no one else can do it. It is an honor and  a burden at the same time.

You know, when it comes to family emergencies or situations that need our best judgement, I say that personal issues have to be set aside. As what I remember from my friend who became a mother once said. “Depression has no space in my life when another life depends upon me. My youthful angst just flies out of the window”. It is true.  There are times when we are called upon to act and do what’s necessary, even if it means sacrificing the things that make us glad.

This year has been very confusing. But there’s an anchor that keeps me grounded. And that is loving the things I do. I might not be an excellent blogger- and I know I do have my technical errors and stuff. But I do know that I care about what I am doing. Can’t live without it. In the midst of  the tempest that  that threatens to destroy us…we got to have something to believe in and to hold on. It has been a great loving year with you my readers. And I just want you to know that I am grateful for everything. Me might not talk face to face. I might not see you in person. But I treasure this connection we have. It is the the thing that makes everything worthwhile. May you find peace and happiness wherever you are. And I hope I do the same.

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Jeremy and his band have been creating energetic music that fuses everything.  If you live in the Czech Republic you can catch them live. An experience not to be missed.

Irish Music Session POITÍN & friends

Time
01 November · 20:30 – 23:30
Location
More info
Regular session for lovers of Irish and Celtic music. Hosted by Poitín.

Check this link for more info: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=502898

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If you are a subscriber of this site then you would remember how I like to mention the projects of Jenne Lennon again and again. Her collaboration with Liz Madden known as Shishonnah has been getting great reviews from all around and I can attest to that . I heard the two songs already and fell in love with them. “Dance with the River”  released on I-tunes  on  April 2nd is a beautiful evocative and percussive track that calls to mind the works of Loreena McKennitt, Dead Can Dance and Clannad. These two artists are a force of nature together. Jenne hosts her own podcast called Wind Talker Podcast: http://windtalkerradio.blogspot.com/ and I am a regular listener. The podcast focuses more on individuals trying to make a difference and going on their way to say yes when people say no. I love the message of her show and I wish her to continue touching more minds…Please listen tune in to her show.

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Lovers of Welsh Celtic music have something worth listening to. At the same time you guys will find a lot of info in this site. This week it highlights the works of Breton singer/composer Dom Duff. This is a nice radio station .

Click Radio Cymru

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If you haven’t “liked” The Bombadils yet, then it is a musical experience you should not miss. Check out the band’s music player in their Official Facebook Page .  Can’t wait for the official album launch.  Just saying hi to the band.

And oh a nice pic and article about them lately: http://www.westislandgazette.com/event/25044

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Now we all know that Texas based Celtic rock band Cleghorn are busy composing new songs and promoting their music through live shows. You will be happy to know that they have come up with new videos for their new tunes. I am glad 9 Minutes of Woo has been documented. This anthemic piece sends chills down my spine. How can I resist? Cleghorn rules!!!!  Now if you have facebook you can check these wonderful photos from their recent performance during Pirate Days of Texas 2011.

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I promote Marc Gunn‘s Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. You hear real music here. Where else anyway? Been a follower of his blog for a while now and he offers nothing but the best music reviews and MP3s to listen to in order to sample artist works. Check him out friends .

..well that’s it for today. I will let you hear more of my ‘confessions’ later . Take care folks. Trick or Treat!

I Will Carry You-Shishonnah

(R) Jenne Lennon (L) Liz Madden Photo by Roland Labana

(R) Jenne Lennon (L) Liz Madden Photo by Roland Labana

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.  ~Christopher Reeve

Hope is the physician of each misery.  ~Irish Proverb

The new single from duo Jenne Lennon and Liz Madden known as Shishonnah will definitely thrill fans of Loreena McKennitt, Connie Dover and Enya!  The song  “I Will Carry You” starts out with a gentle piano melody that builds up into a sweeping choral and chamber extravaganza. The classically trained  lush voice of Jenne, and Liz’s supple ethereal folk voice compliment each other well- like they’ve been born to sing together. This song talks about hope and healing amidst all the pains that life hands us. Listening it again and again is such a joy!

Their first single Dance with the River is so unique and powerful. Especially the chanting  and percussion part. This is a kind of song that I think Capercaillie wish they recorded.

Jenne Lennon:

Known as “The Janis Joplin of Celtic Music!”, Jenne’s mission as an artist is to become the first American singer/songwriter internationally known in the new genre of Celtic World Fusion music, and to use her music as a platform for social awareness of poverty, AIDS and Native American rights http://jennelennon.com/   and http://www.glencoerecords.com/

Liz Madden

“If a harp had a voice, it would sound like Liz Madden.  With a sound that flows through the air like rose petals through a wind chime…” Gregg Senko of Why So Blu?

A patron of the Irish charity Bee for Battens, Liz is also a supporter of the Children in Crossfire charity and recently performed at two events accompanied on guitar by Richard Moore, Director of Children in Crossfire. Liz had the honor of singing ‘A Price for Love’ written by the late Christie Hennessy, patron of Children in Crossfire. Liz is the first artist since Christie Hennessey, to sing this wonderful song. Along with various other charity work and activism, Liz has also just completed her first book entitled ‘Letters from The Ancients’. http://www.lizmaddenonline.com/

Windtalker:Peace, Love and Tranquility (Conversations with Jenne Lennon)

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  ~Mother Teresa

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.  ~Gandhi

We challenge the culture of violence when we ourselves act in the certainty that violence is no longer acceptable, that it’s tired and outdated no matter how many cling to it in the stubborn belief that it still works and that it’s still valid.  ~Gerard Vanderhaar

***

You are what you eat. I read this statement from Jim Corr a couple of years back in Time magazine when an article about Irish musicians making it big came out. True. What we watch, what we listen to and the kind of friends we hang out off-line and online speak about our personalities. So you might ask: is there a chainsaw in my horizon since I love to watch gory flicks?

I got an interesting discussion with artist Jenne Lennon yesterday. As much as I want to keep it for myself, I think she has many points that are interesting. So I am putting some of them here. She is launching Windtalker radio podcast and they talk to artists, activists, media, etc. and really anyone who is making a positive impact in the world around. According to her my having 120,000 hits on this site in support of good music is making an impact .

L to R:Liz Madden and Jenne Lennon

L to R:Liz Madden and Jenne Lennon

Listen to Jenne’s “Anam Spirit” song here:http://jennelennon.com/

CMF:I told her that I am “just a  vessel of something much bigger 🙂 We are all part of this pattern and we do what we can to make that pattern work.”

Jenne: “I would definitely have to agree with that statement. We are all vessels of something bigger. Here to send a message and make an impact. My hope for the world is that everyone would want to make a positive impact and that people would realize the potential within themselves to create a bigger impact than they believe is possible. We sell ourselves too short as humans. We do not give ourselves enough credit. We believe we our powerless over our own destiny and we accept mediocrity because we think we should. But, we always long for something greater. That’s why I created windtalker radio, with Liz’s help and the help of my producer Roland Labana, and then created the windtalker blog. And, that’s why I create this music along with Shishonnah. longing for something greater.”

“With what is going on in the world, we need more positivity. We need to believe on something. And I think that the more people like you who are doing this project, the more we will make this world a safer place to live. Kudos to you and Liz and the people involved in this project. This is a milestone…and personally? I think this is the best part of being alive today . Making an impact and knowing kindred spirits!”

“Absolutely. Life as difficult and as complex as it can be, is really that simple. We as humans bring an unnecessary complexity to it and in our journeys here on earth, must find our paths to bring us back to the loving simplicities of life. And, I suppose it only happens through impact and suffering. But, that is something we all share, and I hope all of us can learn this in the new century and I would hope many more people will make an effort. Yourself included, you are doing great work too! 🙂 and thank you for the well wishes. They are always appreciated!”

“Who would have thought that I will come face to face with amazing people when I created that blog out of loneliness. But yes , the little things we do, we will just be surprised that one day, like a seed it is going to bear fruits. And the greatest fruit of all is knowing that what you do is not for yourself alone but for others , and making it easier, making it better…connecting to that bigger source where all things come from.”

“I suppose we all seek creative endeavours of loneliness…huh? Bono said it best, that the artist always feels a sense of emptiness that needs to be filled. Or, in one of Anne Rice’s novels, a lead character says that strong people always feel a depth of loneliness. We create in an effort to create a better world around us, without even knowing that is why we are doing so. Basic human psychology. It’s kind of funny if you think about it. I understand loneliness, definitely. But, I hope you don’t feel alone anymore. It is a different world now. A different century. People are getting better though the media would have you think otherwise”.

“We are actually launching the second single “I will Carry You” on Friday. I think you will like this one. Very different from Dance With The River. A slow ballad talking about loss and knowing that one day things will get better. We are already getting a great response from listeners. A lot of people identify with the lyrics. Maybe, you might too. :)”

“I think I can relate to that. I parted ways with someone very dear recently because long distance relationships don’t work. So this song will have meaning to me. One of those “soundtrack of your life” kind of thing. I know I will love this song.”

“Something similar happened to me a little over a year ago, but it does get better. The universe can be very kind. When you bravely take a big step in your life such as a breakup or a career move, or even grieving a death, it changes the energies around you and steers the positive your way. Taking a big step like that can actually bring something greater your way. A few months later I had an incredible experience on top of St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. A few days later stepping off a plane, Liz found me in the U.S. and so did my husband. All of that suffering brought great new changes”.

  “I agree with you. The universe is kind. All you need to do is take it easy, step back and wait a bit longer. Something will turn up.My big congratulations to you and your new life. We are blessed!”

“Yes, definitely we are blessed. A lot of people forget that. That’s why I work so much with the Native Americans. They understand this and they accept pain and suffering willingly. A lot of world religions preach this, but don’t execute it. The Natives do and find happiness and contentment in so much. Working with them saved my life.”

Going back to my interview with her in 2009, she has been very outspoken in her work with the Native Americans. In this spirit I will let you listen to these wonderful videos.

Ready For The Michigan Irish Festival?

I love the fact that in the United States, Irish music is well represented. Jenne Lennon whom I was able to interview on several occasions live in the same country. Celtic Rock band Barley Juice is just around the bend. My friend Christi Broersma who is a regular reader and contributor of this blog lives in Michigan. And who doesn’t love the month of March when you are Irish and wherever you maybe ? It happens to be the month of Saint Patrick. So here’s the latest news if you happen to be in the vicinity and you just want to listen to great Irish music:

http://www.irishamericannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2119:michigan-irish-music-festival-&catid=126:st-patrick-events&Itemid=353

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Here’s a Google Map of the St. Paddy’s parade in Dublin.

http://maps.google.ie/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=212597059035793645436.00049c7b0e4730cf19734&ll=53.345914,-6.264782&spn=0.020316,0.055747&t=h&z=15

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Cornish band Dalla is out to give some great music again. Be sure to catch them in these schedules and venues:

Saturday 19th February   St.Just Nos Lowen, Town Hall, St.Just, 7.30pm,  (01736 788088)

Friday 4th March   St.Piran’s Eve Nos Lowen, The Performance Centre, Tremough, U.C.F, Falmouth, 7.30pm,  (01326 243843)

Saturday 12th March   Saints and Skinners, Seiners, Perranporth, 7.30pm:  A double celebration of St.Piran and St.Patrick,  Cornish music by Dalla,  Irish music by Alan Burton and Steve Hunt,  followed by a proper job jam session,   (www.seiners.co.uk,  01872 573118)

Thursday 31st March   Star and Garter, Falmouth,  Dalla in pub, 9pm, (01326 318313)

Saturday 2nd April   Calstock Nos Lowen,  The Old Chapel, Calstock, 7.30pm, (01822 834465)

Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th April   Scilly Folk Festival,  St.Mary’s, Isles of Scilly,  Dalla will be in residence throughout the festival,  and play for a nos lowen at The Old Town Inn, Friday 8th April, 8.00pm,  Reduced fares on Skybus and Scillonian III for festival goers!,  www.scillyfolkfestival.org.uk

http://www.dalla.co.uk/

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Acoustic, Celtic Folk band from Boston Massachusetts Annalivia are set to perform live in  Feb. 19 at the Scottish & Irish Music Festival and Fair at the Valley Forge Convention Center. This is to celebrate the annual Mid-Winter Celtic music festival. More info here:

http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/music/mc-go-pick-irish-festival-0217-20110216,0,6196988.story

The band’s site: http://www.myspace.com/annaliviamusic

Shishonnah’s First Single “Dance With The River” Coming This New Year

(L) Jenne Lennon (R) Liz Madden Photo by Roland Labana

New updates from Jenne Lennon !

I chatted with Jenne Lennon over Skype and it’s been confirmed. The new single by Shishonnah will be out this early New Year which will introduce the album next year. According to Jenne:

Liz(Madden) and I are hard at work in the studio. Our first single “Dance With The River” is going to be released in the early new year as an album teaser. We were just notified yesterday as a matter of fact, that the full length album will be released April 20. The first three tracks are up on Shishonnah’s myspace,with the rest of our sites to follow soon. So all is well on the album front. Hope you have a very blessed holiday season!

Looks like there is no stopping this lovely duo and their lovely music. Sweet anticipation. And just look at these gorgeous pictures!

http://www.myspace.com/lizmadden

http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon

And they have a facebook page as well: http://ja-jp.facebook.com/pages/Shishonnah/140230299335002

by Roland Labana

Emerging Dou from the Celtic/World Pool :Shishonnah

Jenne Lennon answers our questions through Skype about her new project with fellow musician Liz Madden.

Photo taken by John Sisson

Photo taken by John Sisson

[3:46:07 AM] jose romel labatos: Hi Jenne, so new updates about your recording?
[3:47:56 AM] Jenne Lennon: Hello there Baxter. As a matter of fact, yes and thank you for asking.
[3:48:23 AM] Jenne Lennon: I was waiting to tell you until our recordings and press stuff and new photos are up, but I can give you a fair amount of details if you would like. 🙂
[3:49:13 AM] jose romel labatos: Sure 🙂 It would be a nice preview for the proper  launching 😉 So how many tracks are we expecting here?
[3:54:00 AM] Jenne Lennon: 4 to be exact. It will feature myself and Liz Madden from Dublin. She and I have teamed up to form Shishonnah. We are a duo. We sing all of the vocal parts and play just about all of the instruments. We write all of our own music. It’s a fusion of Celtic and world music. Very similar to the style of my last single “Anam/Spirit”
[3:54:35 AM] Jenne Lennon: Our first 4 tracks will be on the site in November. A full length album in early 2011, and the european release in the summer
[3:57:43 AM] jose romel labatos: Wow sounds amazing! How was the recording process like? Was it fun in the studio and did those tracks get a fair amount of time to get recorded?
[4:00:46 AM] Jenne Lennon: Well, so far we have only done initial demo recordings. A smaller amount of the instrumentation and vocal parts than we are planning, but it’s been an absolute joy to work with Liz. We are true partners. Writing and recording with her has undoubtedly been the most creatively fulfilling experience of my life
[4:01:54 AM] jose romel labatos: I subscribe to your blog and I know you’ve been anywhere. You love to travel. Do we expect to hear autobiographical stuff in these recordings?
[4:03:18 AM] Jenne Lennon: Oh, definitely. Both Liz and I travel across the world and the U.S. on a regular basis, and both of us have been greatly affected by our travels and the people we have met. Every song contains bits and pieces of Jenne and Liz and our experiences

Liz Madden

Liz Madden

[4:06:07 AM] jose romel labatos: How did you meet Liz?
[4:08:55 AM] Jenne Lennon: It’s a funny story. She used to sing with the successful Irish duo Rua. I was performed on the Chants Du Femmes concert alongside Rua at the Lorient Interceltique Festival in 2006. We tried staying in touch over the years, but always seemed to miss each other when I was in Dublin. Liz ended up marrying a wonderful man from Arkansas and she relocated to the states. We have been inseparable ever since.
[4:18:21 AM] jose romel labatos: That’s very interesting indeed!I am now listening to Liz myspace page. I notice that both of you have powerful expressive voices!  What will your fans expect in this album …vocally?


[4:22:52 AM] Jenne Lennon: Vocally, they will hear a very different use of style and technique from both Liz and I. We are both trained in many different styles besides classically, celtic, and musical theatre. Fans will hear native american, african, and eastern european inspired vocals, mixed in with the familiar styles that they normally hear from Liz and I.
[4:24:42 AM] jose romel labatos: I am so crazy about world instruments. What will we be hearing from both of you instrumentally?
[4:25:56 AM] Jenne Lennon: many different types of world percussion, Asian, African, Celtic, and native american mostly. Some Spanish instrumentation and of course, native american flute. We will also be using extremely old instruments, like the hurdy gurdy and some renaissance inspired sounds.
[4:26:29 AM] Jenne Lennon: oh, and of course, the good old Irish instrumentation at points.
[4:30:44 AM] jose romel labatos: I love the hurdy gurdy! I am glad I will hearing that one here. this appears to be a rich musical treat for all of us. so how many tracks are we expecting to hear in the album when it’s finished?
[4:31:45 AM] Jenne Lennon: Lol. That’s the difficult part. Between the two of us, we have written about 3 albums worth of music. Narrowing it down will be tough. We’re hoping to do the standard 12-14 tracks, maybe 16 at the most.
[4:33:13 AM] jose romel labatos: Sounds great! Yes because with the influences and discipline you both have , I am sure listeners will want more. Anything else we should know about this project?
[4:35:05 AM] Jenne Lennon: Thank you. Well, we are in the works to launch or own radio podcast in the new year. We are also working on an original score for Antigone, which will premiere in February, plus the release of a compilation album through our company Glencoe Records/Healing Sun Productions, along with several concerts in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. in the Spring and Summer
[4:35:57 AM] jose romel labatos: Sounds like this is going to be a blast for 2011.
[4:36:24 AM] Jenne Lennon: Indeed. I truly hope so. But, it’s always a blast with Liz.

For more information visit:

http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon

and

http://www.myspace.com/lizmadden

Anam/Spirit Radio Debut and Other Celtic Festivals

Those who are excited to get a full length audio treatment of Jenne Lennon’s Anam/Spirit will catch it here: http://www.musictogousa.com/ The song is taken from Celtic Dreams under Quickstar Productions. Here’s an invitation from Jenne:

Hello Everyone. My new single “Anam/Spirit” is making its radio debut this Saturday, Sept. 11th on The Songwriter’s Network Live 365 radio from 6PM to 11PM Eastern time. This marks a sad day for America, but a song about forgiveness and the in-conquerable human spirit seems fitting. Thank you all for the support.

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If you are in West Dundee Illinois then you will catch  The Fox Valley Irish Fest. Very interesting array of performances from bands to Irish dancing.

http://www.foxvalleyirishfest.com/

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I love blue grass music and the Niall Toner band delivers  the genre with a force of a firestorm. The music will leave you breathless and you will spend the night tapping your toes long after the music is done. This is such a treat for those who like the fusion of Celtic and American music. Better check them out: http://www.nialltonerband.com/

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If you are in Rome then you should not miss the Harp Festival in Rome:

Celtic Dreams, Vol. 1:Grab your Copies!

Celtic Dreams is one exciting compilation with fresh talents you might have heard already and those you are yet to discover. It contains one song from Jenne Lennon called Anam/Spirit which displays her vocal prowess and skill in gathering atmosphere even in stripped down acoustic settings.  Quickstar has goodies to share and this is one interesting album from a label that unites artists from all parts of the globe sharing one common musical culture.

Prevews and samples can be found here

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Check  out the Weekly Inspiration : http://www.weeklyinspiration.co.uk/Art/Blog/Blog.html

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Check this out:

Tim Edey playing his brand new Saltarelle Melodeon

Beautiful isn’t it?

Check his site: http://www.myspace.com/timedey

And take a look at this beautiful Paul Taggart Album:



The Celtic Link Community

Allan G Pengelly and Andrew J Morris are two Cornish lads who created  The Celtic Link. I clicked on About Us and this is what I gather :

What is the Celtic Link.com about?


The Celtic Link.com is an idea that was created by two Cornish lads with a passion for Celtic music, dance and it’s people and was inspired during the return trip to Cornwall through the Scottish mountains following the Speyfest festival in Fochabers, North East Scotland.


This website has primarily been set up to supply a useful network of contacts throughout the Celtic music and dance scene and to provide a unique opportunity for festival organisers to have an easily accessible means of finding groups and musicians of all varieties from all over the Celtic world and beyond! After all, there are a lot of Celtic bands out there that may never get the opportunity to be heard outside of their own locality. Therefore, this site also provides them with the opportunity to be known and share their music and talents to other festivals locally, nationally and internationally.


The second aspect of the website is for festival organisers to be able to advertise and promote their festivals easily on one unique website that is dedicated to a specific purpose. This will be advertised globally and make aware to a vast audience that the festival exists however big or small.


Finally there will be an opportunity to share information and experiences in the discussion forum and also use the community area to communicate with others on a more one-to-one basis, download pictures and create a personal profile for others to see.


As Cornish musicians and dancers we have performed at many Celtic festivals spanning back many years, and it is the sole purpose of The Celtic Link.com to try and create stronger links within the Celtic world of music, dancing and individuals alike.

Interesting huh? This is a good way for every one in the Celtic community to meet and discuss ideas. I have mentioned an interview with Mabon feature on The Celtic Link  way back, but this is the first time I really got an in-depth idea what this site stands for.

My appreciation goes to wonderful singer Jenne Lennon for introducing me one again to this wonderful place. I have read her blog and I say she writes really well. I am enjoying every bit of her essays and she inspires me to write really well too. I just adore her.

Picture courtesy of Jenne Lennon's Flickr Account

Picture courtesy of Jenne Lennon's Flickr Account

” The Jenne Lennon Blog

More about Jenne:

http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon

Ark by Brendan Perry and Mary Fahl’s Gravity(Tentative Album Title)

I spent my late teens listening to World/Medieval/Celtic/Fusion duo Dead Can Dance . I admit it’s the voice of Irishman Brendan Perry that really got to me. It’s a haunting baritone that reminds you of  quiet walks on a cemetery during a faintly windy night. I  almost own all of Dead Can Dance album (on audio cassettes) and most of them now on mp3s so I can bring them along when I travel.

You have to understand what it did to me when I heard that he just released a new album called Ark. This is closer to the sound ‘feel’ he did for Dead Can Dance. Recorded in his home studio Quivvy Church ( it’s really an old church in Ireland he bought and converted into a recording studio) this 8-track album will be something to treasure for years to come. A totally rewarding listening experience! Check out the latest news about Brendan Perry here.

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Mary Fahl is getting busy this year as two of her albums are about to be released : Mary Fahl: From the Dark Side of the Moon (to be released in 2010) and  Gravity (Tentative Title) – 10-song album to be released in 2010…I love this update! Recently I chatted with Mary about the three tracks that was floating around : Ghost of Me, Red Sunset and White Bird. These are demos she made with Bob Riley of Grace Pool. Bob passed away sadly and they were left forgotten .  Let’s hope Mary will consider re-recording them because they will blow your mind away with their beauty. Full discography here.

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Nigel Eaton

If you love excellent Hurdy-Gurdy music, then you should never miss Nigel Eaton’s  myspace page. He played with Loreena McKennitt (1996-2006) I love the sound of this instrument and I think it deserves more exposure.

About the Hurdy-Gurdy


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On Jenne Lennon

…She became a friend in facebook and wrote me a sweet message. As always Jenne will remain a favorite here @ Celtic Music Fan because of her wonderful talent and fresh approach in Celtic Music. How she sounds like? Here’s how she describes her music: A combination of Clannad, Lisa Gerard, Enya, Loreena McKennitt…plus let me add a passionate intensity close of Janis Joplin.

Listen to: http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon and read her blog. There’s also this interview I posted.   Check out her rendition of Marble Halls  from The Bohemian Girl, an Irish Opera by Michael William Balfe.

thanks to knoeful for posting this video and providing additional info…

(Jenne Lennon performs with Indiana University’s International Vocal Ensemble at the Mary Goetze farewell concert in April, 2007. Goetze founded both the IU Childrens Choir and the International Vocal Ensemble, giving performance opportunities and musical learning to youngsters as well as university students who are not music majors. Lennon is a Chicago based Celtic singer dubbed the Janis Joplin of Celtic Music! http://www.glencoerecords.com/ “I Dreamt That I Dwelt in Marble Halls” is also called “The Gipsy Girl’s Dream” It comes from the opera “The Bohemian Girl.”)

Jenne Lennon Shares Her Off-the-Beaten Path Musical Journey

 

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© Andrea Behrends. Make up by Adrianna Ghilarducci.

Jenne Lennon ( Pronounced JEHN) is our guest for today from the United States. I discovered her music around two years ago through MySpace.  There is something about her voice that’s captivating and beautiful. Of course, upon realizing that she is also a talented instrumentalist and song writer, I placed her on my map. It took two years- and eventually this blog -to get me in touched with her.

Her full-bodied vocals and operatic range has endeared her to critics and earn her countless followers. It looks like many things are looking up for this artist after years of hard work and dedication to her craft. I personally found her responses interesting!

Jenne, before we start I want to thank you for taking time to answer these questions. It is a rare opportunity to get in touch with someone of your caliber, being a vocalist of high order.

 

 

Critics call you as the “Janis Joplin” of Celtic music due to your passionate live performances and the unusual strength and depth of your voice. How do you react to this?

I find it amusing. After all Janis was never known for her vocal quality, but rather for her stage performances. But it says to me that critics recognize and edge and unusual quality  both my voice and performances. I am grateful that I can convey something different and unique within Celtic music and to be recognized for it.

You are from Chicago right? What influenced you to take the path of Celtic music ?

-Yes, born and raised. My father’s family is Irish by origin. The Lennons come from County Mayo. Celtic music was always played in our house. Everything from traditional to contemporary. Chicago also has one of the largest concentrations of Irish diaspora around the world. The city itself is run by Irish families, so throw a stick and you’ll hit an Irish cultural center, a pub, a festival, an art gallery, etc. We also have the grandest St. Patrick’s day celebration in the world. We dye our river green every year! lol. The rest of the Celtic nations are very well represented in Chicago. Especially the Scottish. So, Celtic music was everywhere. In my home and everywhere I went. I couldn’t avoid it.

You have been singing since three. Who inspired you musically as a child?

 

Well, my parents for starters. My mother was an amateur opera singer and my father was an enthusiast of ancient choral music. Some of my favorite artists as a child were Moya Brennan, Clannad, Lisa Gerrard, Enya, Anuna, Eine Meneghan, Sinead O’Connor, Niamh Parsons, Afro-Celt SoundSystem, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Simon and Garfunkel, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and U2.

Jenne with Baal Tinne at Metro in Chicago for Concern and Bono's One

Jenne with Baal Tinne at Metro in Chicago for Concern and Bono’s One

 

Do you have other siblings who are into music?

I have an identical twin sister Danielle who is an up-and coming actress/director in Los Angeles. She has a similar voice and still keeps up training, but has chosen another artistic path. Our older brother Sean works in computers, but he is fanatical about his musical tastes just like we all are. lol. Completely different from mine entirely.

You have two tracks up in your MySpace . Bonny Portmore and Open my Eyes. Can you give us the background behind these songs?

-This particular arrangement of “Bonny” was written specifically for the Going Back Home Vol. II series through Quickstar Productions. I was asked to record a traditional track and I could think of no better one. I first learned the song working with the Irish academy of music in Chicago and Noel Rice. The haunting air never left my brain and I just had to have a go at it. I arranged the song in an unusual setting, scoring the instrumental intros and breaks in 4/4 meter, while keeping the air in 3/4. I took this arrangement to my producer and my band and they worked their magic. Eric Remschneider, who has worked with the Smashing Pumpkins and the Plain White Tees, graciously added his distinct cello parts and it all came together.

“Open My Eyes” is an original song that I wrote a couple of years ago. I am a Native American rights activist and a poverty advocate, and I was particularly moved by an experience that I had had working in those fields, and poured the emotionality of the experience into the song. I sent a demo track of the song to my dear friend Sarah Class in Bristol, U.K. She liked the song so much, that she scored the orchestra parts and recorded them on top of the vocal line. We were both very happy with the outcome.

What’s the recording process when making each song?

-I typically start by presenting a piece that is fully complete and arranged to my producer, Chris Wilson and band and we rehearse for about a week or two and bring it to the studio. I like to devote a day to laying down all parts of a new track, and then a second day spent mixing with Chris and the engineer. It’s all rather organized and straight-forward. We’re recording the new single tomorrow actually, and we’ll be working with the sound engineer from Styx. It should be good fun.

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© Andrea Behrends. Make up by Adrianna Ghilarducci.

Bloomington Herald calls your style as “deliciously eccentric”. What’s your reaction to this statement?

-I am delighted by this statement. Anyone who spends five minutes with me learns that I am a bit eccentric in my taste of music, clothes,food, performances, etc. This is another statement in the press that comments positively on my uniqueness and I am glad that they get it and it is well-received.

Is this a conscious or unconscious effort for you to be ‘different’ in terms of your vocal style.

 

-As far as vocal style, initially it wasn’t intentional at all. It was after years of feedback (both negative and positive) from concerts and competitions that I realized my voice was truly different. I hadn’t noticed before then. I had just written music that satisfied my ear, my taste as a writer, and suited my voice.When I sit down to write a song, I won’t write it so that it will challenge my voice, it’s in the end of the process when a song is nearly complete, that I go back to certain sections and will add trills, lilts, or other distinct techniques that fit stylistically and artistically with what I originally had in mind; and can also reflect facets of Celtic/World style.

You have an amazing range and a beautiful timbre. Any advice to aspiring singers on the genre?

-Thank you.Yes, practice, practice, practice!!!!! Experiment with your voice and technique even in moments when you are most satisfied with your talents. Study works of the many artists in the field who have come before you. They are your greatest inspiration and your greatest resource.

Your resume says that in 2006, you are the only American singer out of 5,000 Celtic artists worldwide to be selected to perform in the Interceltique Festival in Lorient. That’s quite a feat!

-Indeed, it was. I can hardly believe it myself sometimes. I was virtually unknown as a Celtic singer at that time, and to be added to the line-up two weeks before the start of the festival no less-was quite an honor and a defining moment in my career. I look back on that time as one of the best times of my life.

 

What’s the best thing about doing what you do now?

-The people I have the fortune to meet and work with. I’ve met and worked with many of the artists that have inspired me and am in talks to collaborate with others in the future. And it’s not just the Celtic artists themselves, it’s the back-up musicians I work with, the producers, and the lovely fans who are not shy about sharing their thoughts about my music.

What’s the downside?

-The only downside I can think of right now is the internal pressures I place upon myself sometimes. To be recognized for being unique and sort of groundbreaking does not come without its pressures. In weak moments I tend to push myself a little too hard musically, physically. But, I’m learning balance and to focus on being creative, not different.

Jenne, today you are still recognized as the lucky student who got to jam along with Sting on an episode of MTV’s Stand In (April,2004). You played Native American flute to Every Breathe You Take. The episode continues to re-air on MTV late at night.( For footage of the episode, check out MTVU.com or locate the clip at youtube.com.) How did it feel at that time?

-I was shocked. I didn’t really have the time to digest what was happening. We were all just so excited (ironically, we were all Sting fans). I remember being giddy with excitement, but when he pointed to me and said ‘flute solo”, I think my exact thought at the time was “oh, s**t. ” lol.

Were you able to talk to Sting after ?

-Unfortunately, no. Would have loved to. We all would have. But, we were able to ask loads of questions that weren’t aired. He had a concert and took off immediately.

Sting at UIC during MTV's "Stand In"

Sting at UIC during MTV’s “Stand In”

You have been to different parts of the world and performed with great musicians. What did you learn from all these?

-That to be a musician is truly a gift. To have the courage and the stamina to pursue a lifestyle that is off-the-beaten path, to satisfy a personal need to create and to be fulfilled is a gift.

When you are up there singing, surrounded by these wonderful musicians and watched by many; how does it feel?

-Strangely, intimate. Though there are many in the room, it feels like only a few. It’s one of the few moments I have to express myself purely, and openly, without question or pause. To be truly Jenne, uninhibited for a little bit, is a freeing experience. I also feel an immense sense of gratitude to be onstage with such wonderful musicians and to be appreciated by lovely guests. There is nothing better than that.

What are your current projects? Upcoming ones?

Well, we are recording the new single for “Celtic Dreams” through Quickstar productions. I am in production for my debut album, that we will start recording in the New Year. I’ve launched and indie record label, Glencoe records, and am working on many concerts and festivals for 2010.

Is there an official website that fans can check updates?

Yes. www.glencoerecords.com, www.myspace.com/jennelennon,

www.facebook.com/jennelennon, www.thecelticlink.com

When can we expect a full length album from you?

-I’m hoping no later than the summer of 2010.

If you were to promote another artist other than yourself who would it be?

Lisa Gerrard, Moya Brennan, and Afro-Celt SoundSystem.

When not teaching or doing music, what’s your usual routine?

-Working on the label, or I love kick-boxing, horse-back riding, cooking, and working with the Native Americans.

Once again thank you Jenne for taking this time with us. 🙂

My pleasure. Thank you for your interest.

 

Oh Muse Where Art Thou?

Today’s writing gives tribute to the muses in flesh and blood and beyond. Do you remember that very first person in your life that made you take on a journey, maybe not physically but rather spiritually or aesthetically? Ever since then have you been following the beat of your personal drum? A lot of people took different courses in their lives when they’re hit by something. Maybe they realized  it is a wrong career choice or they’re just expected to be that way. I studied Psychology to be a Guidance Counselor but here I am now toying with aesthetics and spreading the muses of notes.

On the pic: Cecile Corbel

On the pic: Cecile Corbel

Enya studied music to be a piano teacher. But  meeting  Nicky and Roma Ryan made her embark on a musical journey that literally too years starting in 1982. She made that decision, lived with it and never looked back ever since. Have you made the same decision based on gut feeling, or is it conviction? Sometimes we make decisions in life that would be considered crazy . But then again who knows? I guess when you listen to your soul, you will now what it tells you. Especially when you get financial and artistic success out of it.

On the picture: Jenne Lennon

On the picture: Jenne Lennon

Loreena McKennitt, studied to be a veterinarian. But the call of Celtic music was strong in her blood that she had to follow it. It wasn’t easy because she had to market her recordings at that time and eventually own her own record label(Quinlan Road) which was a rare feat for a woman in those days. Have you ever tried to do things your way no matter how financially hard it is?  Did that voice inside you said that you have to go on no matter what because it is something you must do to stay sane? I will take this quote from Brian Tracy: The depth of your belief and the strength of your conviction determines the power of your personality.

Cecile Corbel studied to be an Archeologist. Right now she has two albums out. There are lots ands lots of musicians out there who continue to create wonderful music . Those of you who read my interviews here realize that a real musical career is not an easy road. Sure there are popular acts out there who are younger and sell millions of records-but until when and to what extent? We know what celebrity lifestyle does to people. Family value is not the only reason that make sane people. Experience as well as the company of good people also contribute to this. This applies to all of us no matter what careers we choose. We have to love what we’re doing in order for things to follow. And we have to make sure that we are surrounded by people who have our best interest in life.

Personally, I think music is supposed to be a vehicle of healing other than just a means of expression. I love all kinds of music.  There are those that come and go. You know the kind that you love the first time you hear it but grows stale with late. Then there are those that just grows on you and you don’t mind listening to again and again. You can fake production . But you can’t fake passion.The time and energy a musician put on the record to ensure that it is ripe for the world , is also the time it takes for the record to stay in everyone’s ear.

So have you sat down today and thought about what you really want in your life? If you have then amen to that. Who knows? One day you might become that strange and exciting voice  we will be hearing. Or the creator of that music that we will always love.
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Celtic Music News

Here are updates you might want to check out:

Margeson on the music: Live Ireland’s one and only Celtic music journalist.

http://my.liveireland.com/profiles/blogs/margeson-on-the-music-sept-09

Celtic Grove : What’s new and what’s hot in Celtic radio

http://www.celticgrove.com/webplayer/flexAmp.html