Loreena McKennitt - Sacred Shabbat


music Traditional, arranged by Loreena McKennitt
From: An ancient muse (2006).

Loreena McKennitt's commentary on the song, taken from the transcript of an audio interview:

There's an instrumental called "Sacred Shabbat". This piece of music I first heard when we had one of our musical chemistry experiments in Athens. And I asked three of the musicians to play a piece that they all knew together and they came up with this particular melody and as soon as I heard it I thought what a delightful melody. And it wasn't until some months later that I encountered the same piece of music on a recording of Spanish Sephardic music coming from the Judaic tradition. And it brought to mind how pieces of music migrate with the people as the people migrate or emigrate and that one actually loses track of where a piece of music in fact began. And I've subsequently learned that this particular piece is known and loved all over the Mediterranean. And so I wanted to profile this dimension on the recording.

Also around the time that I heard these musicians play this for me in Athens, I was just finishing a book by a Turkish writer called Irfan Orga and the book was called Portrait of a Turkish Family. And it's a memoir of Irfan's family just prior to the First World War and his family in Istanbul. And it's a very, very poignant tale of -- it's kind of like the very end of the Ottoman Empire and you can see and taste and feel and hear the remnants of the beauty of that culture. And I could imagine hearing a melody like this "Sacred Shabbat" being played in some of the more family social circumstances, whether it was in a park or whether it was in their living room. And I wanted to, again, in bringing this piece forward, highlight these corners of history and even some of these notes of inspiration.

© 2006, Quinlan Road Ltd.

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created: 18 January 2007
last modified: 20 January 2007