Thursday, March 3, 2011

Celtic Music's Big Stage Shows

Three years ago I started a series of Celtic Music lenses on Squidoo. I concentrated on performers I was personally familiar with to begin with. Some are no longer recording, but their CDs are still available, others are recording and making a living, probably a modest one in many cases, from playing smaller venues like pubs, small halls and clubs. A few, like Enya, Loreena McKennitt and The Chieftains, are doing very well.

The sense I've gotten about these performers, from the obscure to the ones people who aren't necessarily Celtic music fans might have heard of, is that to start with they had a great love of the music and a joy in playing it. It comes through very clearly in their music. To me, the heart of Celtic music is in these people and they share that love with their audiences. They do it for the love and joy, with money only being a means to the end of sharing the music.

Over the years I've gotten a fair number of reader comments on my Celtic music lenses and even though I hadn't done lenses for them, Riverdance, Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder got mentioned now and again. People mentioning them often said they hadn't heard much about Celtic music beyond those shows or maybe they knew of Enya, maybe Loreena McKennitt or The Chieftains, but not much else. They were finding out more through my lenses.

Since the big stage shows have influenced people to do a bit more exploring of Celtic music, it seemed only natural that I should create lenses about them. I was most familiar with Riverdance, having seen it on video and heard the music on CD. It's a spectacular show for the big stage, with extremely talented performers. And it grew out of the more modest Celtic music scene. Composer Bill Whelan was at one time a member of the Irish group Planxty and along with fellow Planxty member Donal Lunny, had put together a piece called "Timedance" as an interval act for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, hosted that year by Ireland. Out of that idea grew the interval act for the 1994 contest, again hosted by Ireland and that went on to become the Riverdance stage show. So I started with Celtic Music: Riverdance earlier this week.

Once I got that done, it seemed a good idea to quickly move on to Celtic Music: Celtic Woman, which I started late on Tuesday and finished on Wednesday. It took a bit longer than I thought it would because I included some solo albums by Celtic Woman performers in addition to the CDs and related DVDs by the group. I finished and published that by late afternoon.

Next I thought I'd get the Celtic Music: Celtic Thunder lens at least started, planning at the time to finish it up today. Instead I just kept going throughout the evening and published it.

Once I'd done all that, then I went to the Celtic Music: Lenses lens and added a new category, "Stage Shows" plus descriptions and links for the three lenses.

I probably should have then done this blog entry last night, but since publishing also means sending out Twitter tweets, Facebook entries and Squidcasts (notes to my Squidoo fans), by the time I got the Celtic Thunder lens published I was a bit tired of typing and was finding myself typing "Cletic" and "mucis" a lot more than usual.

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