Saturday, February 9, 2008

In Review--Aine Minogue's Celtic Pilgrimage

Aine Minogue
Celtic Pilgrimage
Sounds True

Mesmerizing soprano vocals and shimmering notes of a Celtic harp float off of Aine Minogue's lastest recording, Celtic Pilgrimage. The contemporary Celtic harp and vocals find themselves embedded in a lush sound scape of cello, bansuri flute, drum & percussion, guitar, keyboards, bass, piano, overtone singing and chanting. And the main focus is the process of a spiritual pilgrimage starting with the call to the quest, the home sickness one feels on route, blistered feet, and the redemption at the end of the journey. All of this captured in compelling music.

I have taken inner pilgrimages, but never one in the physical world. Yet, thousands of people each year embark on one spiritual pilgrimage or another in various parts of the world. Most of the major religions, if not all of them, have some sort of pilgrimage. These can be found in Europe, Asia, the Americas and beyond with each pilgrimage testing the body, mind, and soul. Sometimes healing on deep level takes place, and other times, a change of heart is the reward.

Aine captures the essence of a pilgrimage through a collection of songs. The opening track, The Gathering possesses a Medieval atmosphere with its pounding drum and minor chords. Later on, Alchemy which arrives midway through the recording, overtone vocals and chants join with wind instruments and bass. Then on the last track, those haunting overtone vocals return closing out the journey. The traveller who departed not too long ago has now arrived back home a transformed person.

Whether listeners entertain the ideal of a pilgrimage or not, will immensely enjoy Aine's musical offering. The liner notes further highlight the timeliness of this recording. Its lush acoustic arrangements are appreciated by this reviewer. This wondeful recording also assists with deep meditation or relaxation at the end of a long day.

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