Monday, December 14, 2015

Get Thee to a Nunnery: Loreena McKennitt and "Kecharitomene"

The song for today is Kecharitomene, the name of a mediaeval convent in which the princess and scholar Anna Komnene of Byzantium was sequestered after political intrigues and the death of her husband. The song is by Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian known for her soprano voice. She is a composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. She released her first album in 1985, and since then has gone on to release nine studio albums and five live albums which have sold 14 million copies worldwide. Her songs have also been featured in television and movies. Kecharitomene can be found on McKennitt's 2006 album An Ancient Muse, in which she explores Celtic and Arabic musical elements as she imagines a journey along the Silk Road. The video here tells a little of the history of Anna Komnene interspersed with lovely pictures of Loreena.