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Secret Garden is magical, mystical, completely captivating. The group got its start when Rolf Lovland, the renowned Norwegian composer and Fionnuala Sherry, fabulous Irish violinist, won the 1995 Eurovision contest with "Nocturne." Fionnuala’s violin is like a voice, an emotional, organic thing.
Their world tours and three CDs since then have been complemented this year with a spectacular video that American audiences have been privileged to see on their PBS stations. Filmed in Lillehammer, Norway, it is a delight to the senses, boasting also Anuna, who most visitors to this website know from the Riverdance video. The music of Secret Garden can’t be easily put into one category… it is so rich, so full of evocative imagery, and influenced by New Age, Celtic, classical that it must be heard to be understood, not described.
"Imagine. Our planet floating silently in space. Around it, a white dove flies - forever circling. Every oe hundred years, the dove’s wing gently touches the face of the earth. The time it would take for the feathered wing to wear this planet down to nothing is eternity. Within eternity time passes. Within time there is change. Soon the wing of the white dove will touch our world again. The dawn of a new century. Time for a new beginning.
"…We who do not learn from history’s mistakes, it is written, are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Thus, at the dawn of a new century, it is our history that we hand our children as their heritage and their inheritance as the dream of a better, more promising future. The scars of the past are a wound we all share, yet with this knowledge, we continue to march forward to greet the dawn with faith and hope. In the book of mankind another page has been written, and as we turn it over, a new and blank sheet unfolds – a new chapter begins. What will our children read by the end of the next century?"
Secret Garden has been honored with being asked to perform in conjunction with the Nobel Peace Prize concert in December. The Corrs and Tina Turner are also performing.
Fans of Capercaillie will be delighted to hear Karen Matheson’s lovely vocals on Dawn of a New Century, and Mick O’Brien, the wonderful Uilleann piper, is on this CD as well. The orchestra includes players from the Irish National Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra.
Their song "Heartstrings" from their first album, "Songs from a Secret Garden," was sung by Barbara Streisand at her wedding. She recorded it with the name "I Dream of You." Other interesting tibits of information such as this can be found on the official Secret Garden website.
The Secret Garden montage, yet another in a succession of brilliant ones by Daniela Seeger of Berlin, is comprised of photographs taken when Secret Garden performed in Portland, Oregon on October 12th.
The violin shown was one created by an Oregonian violin maker, Lynn Berg, and Fionnuala was happily "testing it out" after the concert, giving us an extra thrill.
Celtic Cafe friend Ina Kristiansen printed out the montage and showed it to Rolf and Fionnuala after the concert in Oslo on Oct 30. How lovely of them to greet the Celtic Cafe in their autographs!
by Bernadette Price - November, 1999
This site first created on May 15, 1999
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