Enya: portrait from Only Time: The Collection


The Loneliness of the Fairy Tale Princess

Dagmar Leischow

Kultur News (Germany) December 2000

The Lonelyness of the Fairytale Princess In Enya's studio she continues to create magical fairytalelike sounds, whilst on her current Album, "A Day without Rain" she is Irelands most successful music export artist after U2. Is this lover of nature more than a fairy and dreamy esoterical aunt?. A homestory would permit to clear this up...

Enya: Wild Child promo shot

Like from hands of a ghost, the door opens and a very tender character enters the salon of the Irish castle of Humewood. Or does Enya really float centimeters above the ground? She has been called the Angel of New Age and as a mystical fairy... She finds this image simply ridiculous and absurd - "Journalists simply invent strange things about me, because they don't know much about me" she says, but her voice remains as expected, gentle.

She did not seem carried away as she was talking about the new album. She did experiment a lot on her new album. There are English songs, Latin and Irish Gaelic songs as well. Vocals and harmonies were layered on top of another. In the beginning, Enya and her producer Niky Ryan mixed 50 vocals for "Fallen Embers". The Ryan Team decided that this is too sumptuous, as in the end a single vocal sufficed for this song. Enya says: "Niky has to frequently slow me down because I'm such a perfectionist" - She adds: "With that I sometimes run into the danger, to loose all feeling for the music".

Therefore it is good, that she can rely on her producer Niky Ryan. Niky and his wife Roma Ryan have taken Enya under their wings, when she was 20 years old. In the past, Enya played at the keyboards in the family-band Clannad. In the year 1982 Enya emancipated herself as a member of a family of nine children, and celebrated her successes as a soundtrack composer.

Enya's debut Album Watermark landed in 1988 her first international Hit Orinico Flow, and was since then a star. A Day without Rain, Enyas fourth solo album. The music for her current album was written by Enya herself, and the poetic lyrics originate from Roma Ryan as usual. Enya has learnt that "Roma is capable of putting what I want to say, far more perfectly in words, than I can" - "Roma and me are soul mates, as Roma senses my emotions" Enya says. The story of a melted away love, to the melancholical melody of "Fallen Embers" simply perfect. Enya says: "As I have read the lyrics of this song for the first time, I was so deeply touched by it, that it brought me to tears".

Who opens up in their own music so well, should perform it to the public. Enya takes a deep breath, and says: "I would like to to this, but to find a stageable version for my songs is difficult". A pure piano evening? "No, with that, my songs would loose their atmosphere. But I will perform for television, with a choir in a church. If this works out, we see what we do next" - Enya says. Enya's fawnycolored brown eyes wander dreamily into the distance. When she smiles so dreamily, Eithne Ní Bhraonáin known as Enya, reminds one a little of a fairytale princess.

But this is not true! The beautiful blackhaired lady stands with both her feet solidly in life. The reasons for which Enya bought a castle are pragmatical. She just needs a lot of room. She does not care about luxury, but freedom and room is completely unrecounceable - Enya says. This sounds as if there is no place for a husband in her life ."In my lifestyle it is difficult to have a relationship" - Enya mumbles. "Who will want to share a woman with the music?" But sometimes life as a single person is hard. "Three years ago I was unsure about myself if I have set my priorities correctly or not" Her new album wipes all of these doubts from the table. "As I heard this positive music, I just knew: I feel good." And honestly: For what reason does a fairytale princess need a fairytale prince?

Enya - A Day without Rain (WEA)

With her fourth album the fairytale princess Enya continues her journey into higher musical spheres. She sings as clear as a bell, like an angel; meditative soundcollages meet pop and classical music. When one lets oneself into the instrumental piece "Silver Inches", one feels resultingly like a ballerina; with "Tempus Vernum" in comparison, one conjures up a dark dramatical Strings-Intro. Enya's intricate complex songs are like life itself: Sometimes cheerful and happy and sometimes melancholical. The fact that in Enya's life, that there is no luck without pain, does actually save this all from the esoterical slush.

Note: Simone MK with English translation by Herbert Klein.