Friday, May 11, 2007

Down The Road and Up The Road

I'm riding passenger in the back of my friend Su's car with Jim to my left, Su driving and her hubby Kenn riding shotgun. As I wrote this, we were east of Show Low heading into NM where we'll pass along the plains of San Augustine, through Quemado, then thru to Pie Town, up to Socorro with the Very Large Array radio telescope then home to Albuquerque. Along the way back I've seen part of the Salt River, any number of flickers diving in an out of their Saguaro cactus nests, a large red tail hawk soaring on the early afternoon thermals, and a golden eagle with its limp catch gripped in its talons. Ummm, the scenic route home. Happy stuff.

Last night's concert with Lorenna McKennitt was an intimate setting in Scottsdale's civic center amphitheater. The programme had a nicely worded request to not take pictures which I was happy to honor as the reasons were to keep the mood of the night and to respect the artist's right to the control of her image and hence her privacy. Seemed reasonable to me. (I don't think artists "owe" fans unlimited access to their lives anyway.) I did get a snap of the stage set before the festivities began, though. Seating was open on a nice lawn fairly close to the library. We spread our blankets and settled down with anticipation.

A little after 7 Lorena and her troup of 9 musicians took the stage launching the nights show with a gentle welcome followed by a song from her newest album with her playing Celtic harp and then moving to electric piano while her breathy soaring soprano voice flowered in the night air to the accompinaiment of divers instruments including lute, Greek lyra, tabla, hurdey gurdey and even castanets. Against a backdrop of a blue & gold with ornate brass lanterns, together they lead us on a musical journey inspired by the Celtic diaspora - a journey that goes from as far back and afield as Mongolia to the waves of Irish immigrants spreading through the new world up into Canada. We were.... captivated.

For more about Lorena McKennitt and her music, and current tour please see her official site at

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