Cursaí TV Interview
Interviewer: Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla
RTE (Ireland) Late 1991
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla: Enya, your new album came out this last week. Tell me, what's in this album?
Enya: It's like Watermark in that there are some pieces of music that are different... I am singing in Irish, I am singing in English, singing in Latin, and then there are a couple of pieces of music that are instrumentals, maybe on the piano, and that way I can make a record that has enough freshness in each track instead of it being one song and then the next song is like that song. In that way it's like Watermark. It is new, as well, in that there are new inspirations in it, from my travelling around the world.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla What are these inspirations, the new elements in this album?
Enya: They are in a few songs. It's hard maybe for you to understand the inspiration in them, but there are a few songs and... Spain is in a few songs and Japan is in a few others... Lines and small fragments that are there inside. We are happy that they are in there, but when I was composing the music I wasn't trying to do this. It happened through the music.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla The name of this album is Shepherd Moons. What is the meaning of that name?
Enya: That is the name Roma gave to us for an instrumental. It's the first song on the album and when she heard the piece of music, she said to me "Shepherd Moons!" and I said "That's beautiful, what are the Shepherd Moons?" She said to me it's Saturn, there are rings around Saturn and in the last two rings, there are two small moons that circle the rings and they are the Shepherd Moons. I was interested in this title because it says it's circling something and then the romance of the moon, and when it came to entitling the album we knew that we would use Shepherd Moons.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla Is it easy or do you find it hard to listen to your own music? Do you enjoy that or is it hard?
Enya: It is hard. When I finish the record I need to have time to myself without listening to it. I sing all the vocals, and then I play all the instruments on the record, and I know every piece and small fragment that's on every song. And then it's very hard to listen to one song without picking out the fragments, and I can't do that unless I have time to myself, and then I can go and listen to it as one piece, without all the fragments... it is a complete song.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla Whatever about Ireland, and perhaps England because you are famous there, what about countries such as Japan, Korea? Why do you think you appeal to them do you think?
Enya: It is hard to say, not just in Japan and Korea, Singapore, in America, Australia, New Zealand... all these places that had Watermark. It was wonderful that these people... that they had a big love for this record. And it was nice that people were interested in the record, and it was very nice that people were interested in the record and not just 'Orinoco Flow', they didn't like it. They loved a lot of the music. Someone said to me "I like the record, 'Orinoco Flow' is nice but I prefer 'Cursum Perficio' or 'On Your Shore'." This was very important to me.
Plays video of 'Orinoco Flow'When I am working on the music I don't want to put it in a particular way, I would prefer if the music took me, and it's hard to say from where the inspiration comes. If I listen to the music after composing it I am able to say from where it came, but when I'm working on it I couldn't say. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm from Donegal and I take... the shore...
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla The waves.
Enya: There's plenty of wind.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla There is! both laugh And as well, Gaoth Dobhair is isolated, lonely, there is a loneliness and space around
Enya: But it is a special, wonderful and beautiful place, my homeland, and I like to go back as often as I can.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla Do you like the world wide travel that comes with your fame?
Enya: I spend a lot of time in the studio and see the same four walls everyday [laughs] and I am very happy to travel around the world. It's nice to talk to people.
Plays video for 'Exile'
Peter Devine (Lecturer, The Music College) There is the influence of classical music and the influence of folk music or traditional music. On this record, the influence of traditional music is stronger than the influence of classical music. And when you think of this song, 'Caribbean Blue'... it is very strong in the folk tradition because of the chords she uses. They are the kind of chords used in traditional music. Mozart or Beethoven, I would say, wouldn't use these chords. [plays chords] But she uses them beautifully because she gets a particular tone out of these chords and this is very important in music [plays another chord] not only that there is melody in the music... there is melody and strain... the instruments and the tone of the harmony... [Cuts to Irish DJ Dave Fanning discussing Enya's image in English. I did not transcribe this segment.]
Enya: I want to do everything that I'm able to but it's hard to do that always... I want the feelings to be more important than for it to be perfect.
Peter Devine There are chords she uses that Bach wouldn't have used...chords like this... an F chord goes to a minor chord and down to another chord, and it goes like this... plays part of 'Caribbean Blue' on piano And what she then does here, she uses chords with an interval tone that classical music writers wouldn't have used. But traditional music used a lot of these, or at least it's used today by a lot of the groups that play traditional music. And the tones are beautiful. There are minor and major tones, but the tone that is between two chords, not just one chord, but the tone that occurs between two chords. There is a kind of tension, a kind of...well tone is the best word.
Plays video of 'Caribbean Blue']
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla You were on Top of The Pops two or three weeks ago, and I suppose it was live. Does that mean you will have live performances or concerts?
Enya: That is something I would like to. We didn't have the time after Watermark. We had to go and start working on the new record. It is something I would like to do, but there are difficulties because I do all the work on the record. It's something we would like to do, but we would have to travel worldwide and there would be a lot of people on stage with me. That is the only way we see it working.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla And do you think the time has come for that, because I think people would love to see you, but are you yourself ready to be onstage with people around you.
Enya: It's hard for me to say what I will be doing in the coming year and that way I couldn't say I would be on stage in the coming year, it's hard to say. But it would be very nice for us.
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla It would be very good for the people. I will ask you the last question Enya, are you happy with your life now? Are you a satisfied person, are you happy, as they say?
Enya: I am very happy, I have a great love for music and always have since I was a child, and now I am working with music and I'm happy with it. I can say that I'm...happy
Bríd Óg Ní Bhuachalla Enya, thank you
Enya: Thank you.
The credits appear over a still picture of Enya while 'Marble Halls' plays.
Note: Transcribed by Louise Ní Fharrachair and posted to the Enya Mailing List on 11 April 1996. The transcript is a translation of an interview given by Enya in Irish on the RTE programme Cursaí following the release of Shepherd Moons.