MuchMusic TV interview
Description provided by transcriber Robin Glover:
Enya's dressed in a black turtleneck, black jacket, and either black slacks or black skirt and stockings. She also wore the identical long seahorse/star earrings that she wears in the 'Caribbean Blue' video that the station would play later.
Erica Ehm is the VJ doing the interview. Seems appropriate as she's also the host of the Sunday afternoon world-beat show Clip Trip.
MuchMusic plays video for 'Orinoco Flow'.
Now the 8 minutes, 20 seconds interview...
Erica Ehm:... I came in and they said "Oh, guess what?,
Enya's come on and talk about your latest album. The album is called
Shepherds Moon [sic] and I was very curious about what
that title refers to?
Enya: Well it's from the title track of the album which
is an instrumental Shepherd Moons. It's um the planet Saturn
has a lot of rings around it and on the last ring there are two little
moons that protect the rings around Saturn and I love the title because
of they protect, and then the association with the moon is quite dramatic.
So in the end we titled the album Shepherd Moons.
It took you three years to have this next album.
A lot of people have been waiting for it. When I'm listening to the
album, much like the first album, I feel that you are more of a classical
composer than you are a pop singer/songwriter. What is your background
Well you are right. I had classical training for
about six, seven years. But I feel the influences are combined classically
with ah Irish culture because I was brought up in an area where um
you speak Gaelic as your first language and Gaelic is a very old Irish
language and uh I enjoyed being able to sing and express myself in
Now the way it works is you don't actually write
the lyrics as far as I understand, you have a team that you work with?
Enya: Mm hmm.
How does it work?
I have uh producer Nicky Ryan who arranges the music
with me as well and then Roma Ryan the lyrics.
A married couple? Or brother and sister?
No, a married couple.
Married couple. And how did you find these two people?
I met them uh about ten years ago and uh I remember
Nicky talking about a lot of ideas he had musically and one of them
being to layer one voice for hundreds of times to see what would happen
and I was curious enough to want to try it. This idea.
Are you, I guess you'd call it a technocrat, someone
who loves technology and loves the recording studio?
Well I do use a lot of technic..technical uh instruments
but um I like to play them like instruments. If myself and Nicky will
combine a lot of keyboard sounds, I then try to play it like it's
an instrument and try to incorporate as much feeling as possible and
with the voices I sing it all in real time and uh emotionally this
can be quite draining to uh feel for each vocal if you'll going to
sing maybe five hundred vocals which I've done on a track...
Erica Ehm: For one song?!
Enya: For 'Angeles'. But it's something, it's a process
that I enjoy and you get very very involved with it. And so it doesn't
feel like you've sung five hundred vocals; it feels like you've become
a part of a song.
I'm interested, in the five hundred vocals that you
do, are they all the exact same melody?
Well I would sing to the main melody of the song.
I would sing a harmony to this and then I would continue building
up a harmony until myself and Nicky are happy with an overall sound.
But sometimes we can't tell how many voices we need to establish this
And is it only your voice that appears on the album?
Are there any other voices that you use?
No. Just my voice! [Big smile]
That's incredible. I was going to ask you how you
write songs but I think I'd rather ask you how you compose them?
Yes, because I compose the melody and this is quite
a trying time for me. It takes me a long time to find a melody that
I feel is strong and is saying something to me. And I usually work
in a studio and, I spend quite a while recording ideas and eventually
I come across an idea where I feel this could say something to me.
Do you play the piano?
I usually play the piano or a synthesiser but I usually
sing the melody.
What's so interesting is that you use several Gaelic
instruments I guess or old Irish instruments on the album and at the
same time you use so much synthesiser. It's a very interesting combination.
Well it um, I think you are able to with again the
technology side of it, you are able to incorporate a lot of feeling
with it and uh I don't like to computerise the music or play it 'in
time'. I like to play it in 'free time'...
What does that mean?
Well it means that when I play it the first time
that's the way I'll perform that song. Over and over, it's up to my
emotions to dictate how to perform it rather than with a metronome.
So there's no 'click track'? It's not perfect?
It usually goes with the feeling of the song.
That's interesting; to make machines imperfect in
a sense is what you're doing.
Well no. It's usually me who will perform. I usually
take the sounds from the digital and the analog keyboards but usually
I'll just perform them and layer them each time playing it in my time.
I see. OK. Another thing that's very interesting
is the fact that you sing in Gaelic. When I was travelling all around
Europe. I found out that no matter what country and what language
they spoke, pop music is sung in English.
[Laughs] I know. I feel in the studio when
we decide it should be in Gaelic or in Latin or whatever language
it suited to the melody's more important than the fact that it should
be in English. If the song suits to be in English, then that's fine,
but we're more concerned with the overall affect and to be able to
enhance the melody is very important to me.
Is it also a bit of a political statement to sing
in your native tongue?
If it's your first language it wouldn't be, it's
more from the love of the language and when I go home to Gweedore
in County Donegal, I will only speak to everyone in Gaelic.
Will you say a few words for us so I can hear the
cadence of it?
Enya (speaks in Gaelic)Toronto(Gaelic)
What was that?
"Hi this is Enya and I'm in Toronto today".
So where did you grow up?
It's in County Donegal. It's a small area called
And are you a local hero there now?
Well that's the nice thing. I'll be going home for
Christmas and when I go home, they're very proud of my success and
especially singing in Gaelic. But then they just treat me like Enya
growing up in the area and that's very special to me.
Well it's a pleasure having you here. And your music
is just very magical, it's really special...
... keep it up. Best of luck on the new album. And
we have your latest video 'Caribbean Blue' for you. Do you want to
tell us a little bit about the making of the video?
It was uh again very enjoyable. I enjoy uh the visual
side because I know it suits the music very much. And uh the song
itself is about a journey through very beautiful paradise land, and
uh I spent two days filming, with quite a big crew, and afterwards,
there were ten artists who had worked three weeks painting every second
frame to give this effect of paintings coming alive.
Oh, that's great. Very artistic. We like that. Good!
This is Enya, live on 'Much' and this is 'Caribbean Blue' from the
album called Shepherd Moons. On 'Much'. Thanks again.
MuchMusic plays video for 'Caribbean Blue'
Note:Transcribed years ago by Robin Glover.