Intro: Around this time in the year 1988, Enya Ní Bhraonáin released her first album on to the market, entitled Watermark. She had released an album previous to this, for the BBC television series ‘The Celts’ and she worked with Clannad prior to this aswell, but this was her first proper album, released in 1988 and it included Orinoco Flow, the song that made an international star of her.
When she launched the album, the head of Radio na Gaeltachata, Edel Ní Chuireain (who wasn’t the head then) went to the album launch on the 19th September 1988 and she spoke to her. Here are some snippets from that interview, with music from Enya mixed in, from that famous album ‘Watermark’.
Enya: This is my first solo album. I have two previous albums, but they were for films, the first one for the film ‘The Frog Prince’ and the second one for the television, ‘The Celts’, but this is the first one where I am on my own without a director and it is very nice in the end to be able to work like this.
The first thing that happened to me was that I wanted a theme for the album (laughs), because when I was working on The Celts and I had a theme for every piece of music, the first thing I did was to turn around to Nicky and Roma and I said it would be nice to have a theme (laughs) for the album but after a while I started to write my own music.
There are instrumentals, songs in English, songs in Irish and one song in Latin. I sing in Latin and Roma wrote the words in Latin. It is very funny, but Cursum Perficio, where we got those words was on Marilyn Monroe’s doorstep, the last place she lived, that was what she had written outside her door. It means, Cursum Perficio, this is the end of my journey in this life, that’s what it says. The song isn’t about Marilyn Monroe but it happened that this was very nice to sing in the piece.
Na Laetha Geal M’Óige, it was very nice to write this in honour of my mother and father talking about my days at home, with no main problems at that time. It was very nice to compose a song in Gaelic in the end, that was the first one I composed in Gaelic.
Presenter: You mentioned Nicky and Roma Ryan earlier, they are a big help to you?
Enya: Oh very big, they do everything!(laughs) They have always been with me, and sometimes when I thought ‘What am I doing?’ they were always there helping me and giving me encouragement, always. I was starting on my own, without a name, no one knew me and it worked out very well in that way, but they were always there with me and without them I wouldn’t be here today. They worked with Clannad before that and then when we all started wanting to work on our own, and Clannad wanted to do their own music they said to me that they would like to work with me.
I spent two years with Clannad, but I was always seen as the little sister to them and they were together a long time when I was in the Loreto Convent and it was hard to break into the small group they had created. In the end, I wanted to do something for myself and I knew I wouldn’t get that done if I stayed with Clannad.
Presenter: She did her own thing, and Clannad did their own thing and they both have achieved great success worldwide. Around this time in 1988 that album, Watermark was released and exactly at this time in 1988 Orinoco Flow was at Number One of the charts around the world. A taste of an interview Edel Ní Chuireain did with Enya around this time in 1988.
(He went on to read out a request from a listener, making reference to the big Clannad/Altan concert in Carrickfinn this summer. The listener hoped that maybe next year we will see Enya on stage in Carrickfinn, to which the presenter says that he does not think that that will happen and if we want to hear Enya we will have to listen to the albums!)
4th October 2013/19th September 1988 – Raidio na Gaeltachta
Transcribed and translated from Gaelic by Draíocht an Dúlra