The Celts liner notes
As this is primarily a soundtrack project, we felt it would be appropriate to include the stories, images and thoughts behind the various themes which embrace this album. They represent histories, mythologies, impressions, hopes and our individual interpretations of them.
The Red giant Star, Aldebaran, found in the constellation of Taurus, is the Eye of the bull. From the Arabic, Al Dabaran, it means ‘the follower’ as it ”follows” the Pleiades. This piece portrays future Celts passing Aldebaran on their journey to new territories, continuing the migratory pattern which was so predominant in their early history.
I Want Tomorrow
…thoughts of the present…
March of the Celts
…echoes from the past…
Deireadh an Tuath
Opened earth, spirits, incantations that earth may once again be fertile and thus ensure the future of the celts. Samhain, the greatest Celtic Festival, marked the beginning of their New Year – the 31st October – which is now celebrated as Hallow’een or All Souls night.
The Sun in the Stream
Inspired by the legend of the Salmon of Knowledge. In the Grove of the nine wise Hazel trees, from the sacred pool, the River Boyne flowed. The salmon feasted on the rich crimson nuts fallen from the hazel trees, and hence possessed all the truth in the world.
To Go Beyond
…reflection on the future…
This is based on the story of the Fairy King Midir and his love for the beautiful princess Etain. It is a story of great love, jealousy, secrets and endurance, in which Etain is banished and transformed into a pool of water, from which she emerges as a butterfly. Although immortal she is born a mortal child, one thousand and twelve years after her first birth.
Epona was revered as the Horse Goddess and is portrayed with birds as well as horses, with a bag or cornucopia. She is closely identified with Rhiannon. Her birds are reputed to lull the living to sleep and to awaken the dead.
The son of a Roman official, Patrick was captured by a raiding party of Celts when a boy, and spent six years in captivity. He escaped, became a priest and returned to Ireland. According to legend it is St. Patrick who is responsible for Ireland’s conversion to Christianity and the final loss of the old Celtic beliefs.
Cú Chulainn means the ”hound of Cullan”. As a child his name was ”setanta” meaning ‘the little’. He became Cú Chulainn when he killed the watchdog of the smith Cullan, and so undertook to guard the smiths house in place of the dog. Cú Chulainn is one of the great Irish heroes. The most famous deeds of this hero are found in the saga Táin Bó Cualgne (the cattle raid of Cooley).
Oisin which means ”little fawn” left his home to journey to Tir na n Og, the Land of Youth, with Niamh Cinn Oir, ”Niamh of the Head of Gold”. Timelessness – he stayed 300 years, though never aged. On his return to Ireland he found his contemporaries long dead, and Ireland now had St. Patrick and Christianity. Putting his foot upon the earth, he lost Tir na n Og, and so aged and died.
Out of the Blue…
Boadicea, or Boudicca, meaning Victorious, was Queen of the Iceni tribe of East Anglia. She led a rebellion in 60 A.D. against the Romans, destroying the cities of Colchester, St. Albans and capturing London. She was eventually defeated by the Romans, and rather than be humiliated by them, she poisoned herself.
The Bard, in ancient Celtic times was a man of great importance. His foremost function was in the praise of his king. He also entertained the assembly, sometimes in eulogy, sometimes in satire. Together with the Druid, Warrior and Silversmith, he represents the image of the ancient Celt.
Dan y Dwr
Beneath the waters… the village Capel Celyn. This village in Wales was submerged, against much protest and struggle by its inhabitants, in order to accommodate a reservoir. This is a lament for the loss of Capel Celyn, memories now held beneath the water.
liner notes by Roma Ryan
EMI Publishing Ltd, 1993