Celtic Woman To Play West Point / Interview with Mairead Carlin by Michael Martinez
by Michael Martinez
The Irish ensemble and world-class performing collective Celtic Woman are returning to New York to celebrate the release of their latest album, Ancient Land. Celtic Woman will bring their live show to the Hudson Valley on Sunday, March 31 to perform at Eisenhower Hall Theatre in West Point. Group member Mairead Carlin answered a few of our questions and offers insights into the chart-topping, international sensation that is Celtic Woman.
RG : What is the significance of the title Ancient Land ? What themes and types of songs are represented in the tour & album ?
Mairead: With this album, we really wanted to delve deep into the treasure trove of the historic music of Ireland. Ireland is known for its storytelling and songs that have been passed down through generations simply by spoken word. Ancient Land was about uncovering some of these songs; dusting off the cobwebs and giving them new life. Prolonging their journey into the modern world. This is so important to us as a group – we are very much focused on preserving our history. Ireland is bursting with incredible talent and even our own Éabha McMahon has written a song on this album called ‘Garden of Eden’ – I actually think it’s my favorite track on the whole album.
RG : As a singer in Celtic Woman you are also an ambassador for Irish Culture as well as a performer. How has that affected you as a person & singer?
Mairead: It’s definitely given me a sense of purpose. For me, it’s not just about going on stage and doing what I have to do and then leaving. The day it ever feels like that is the day I will step away from music because that is not what it’s about for me. I never think about this as a job- this is a vocation. Our duty is to help people- and our music certainly does that. We get letters from people all over the globe saying how our music has changed their lives. THAT is what this is about.. making a difference.
RG: Celtic Woman might be the first significant introduction to Irish song & culture to many in your audience. How do new audiences respond to the show? Have you had opportunities to speak with people after the show?
Oh our fans are the best. They are so honest. They always give us real feedback and it’s so important to us. We always listen- they are the ones who keep this all going and many of them are experts at this stage because they have been following the show from the beginning. It’s amazing to hear that Ancient Land to many of them is their favorite show that Celtic Woman has ever done. That makes us feel so, so proud.
RG: Celtic Woman is such a global hit – the tours, recordings & televised concerts have moved millions? What would you say is the heart and soul of Celtic Woman and why has it touched millions? What is unique about Irish music and what is it in your music that reaches beyond the Irish audience?
Mairead: Our spirit and our truth when we sing. As a nation we wear our hearts on our sleeves and I really think people relate to that. Our songs are uplifting and poignant and no matter where you are from in the world you can feel that emotion. Music is a universal language and Celtic Womanhas managed to use our Irish sentiment to cross borders and help people as far as China, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Australia, South Africa – it’s humbling. The US has become a second home for us. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? As long as people feel moved by our music we will continue to do this.
The Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point, New York
Sunday, March 31 at 5 PM
Tickets available at: www.ikehall.com
Celtic Woman website: www.celticwoman.com