Relaxing Music

The artists are presented in random order. There is plenty of information to be found on the net about the mentioned artists. I will only include one link, but I recommend further searching for information if you are interested in some of my recommended music. HiFi is all about music, is it not?

 

Enya

Very talented female vocalist who also plays all instruments. Beautiful music which suits nearly every person I have introduced it to. Very relaxing. Previously member of the Irish group 'Clannad'.


Watermark

Her first and still best album with good variation. This album grows on you. I have listened a lot to it without getting tired upon it. Very good recording with spacious sound and deep bass.


Shepherd Moons

A little more laid back than 'Watermark', still very good. The sound from this album is clean but not as spacious as on 'Watermark'.


The Celts

A more traditional album, some good songs but as an album not as good as her previous ones. Also well recorded, but the sound is a bit 'compressed'.


The Memory of Trees

Her second best album with some strong tracks, good recording but not as 'alive' as on 'Watermark'.


Paint the Sky with Stars

A best of Enya album with two new songs. I don't like when they do like this and I have not bought the album yet, I refuse to buy a whole new album for two new songs. I have heard it though and it is a good compilation and the new songs are very good.

Links

Enya Web Page Club

Enya-related Artists



Maire Brennan

Enyas older sister. Lead singer in the Irish group 'Clannad'. Plays the Harp and keyboards.

Maire

A little more traditional Irish folk music than Enya's. Beatiful vocals and lots of acoustical instruments including some large drums. Very good recording, in fact one of the best studio recordings I have heard.

Misty Eyed Adventures

Essentially the same kind of music as on 'Maire'. Very good recording.

Perfect Time

A little more 'Enya-like' with lots of overdubs and synthesizer sounds. This album grows on you, I think it gets better all the time. Also very good recording but not nearly as transparent as the previous albums, more studio sound.

Whisper to the Wild Water

Similar to 'Perfect Time', very good album without hit songs but solid, relaxing music. Exceptional singing, beautiful melodies and spacious arrangements. Good recording, but not exceptional, with some extreme low bass on quite high level that puts the subwoofers to work.

Links

Another Singing Sister From Clannad



Clannad

Irish sort of folk music group. The music is really their own and is hard to categorize, and the albums differ a great deal. I have not purchased all of Clannad's albums yet, but here are a few of them.

Magical Ring

Includes the fabulous track 'Newgrange' and some other nice songs too. I have this on LP only and the sound is very impressive, I don't know if the CD version sounds equally well (I doubt it).

Sirius

Leans towards pop music, but contains typical Clannad songs too. The recording is not as impressive as the rest of the albums on my list.

Anam

Some jazz influences on this album, but mostly the typical Clannad music with acoustic instruments, large drums and beautiful vocals. Very good recording.

Lore

A bit mystical, but very much Clannad. A nice, relaxing piece of music. Very good recording.

Landmarks

Their most recent album. Beautiful, relaxing music. The recording is great, with very deep, firm bass. Some DSP trickery has been used to create a large soundscape, with sounds coming from well outside the speakers. If you are not familiar with Clannad, this is the album to start with.

Links

The Clannad Web Site



Loreena McKennitt

Canadian female vocalist with Celtic roots. She seems to be interested in several other forms of folk music too. She also plays the harp. Essentially acoustic music with wonderful vocals. Very relaxing music. 


Elemental

Traditional Celtic folk music.


To Drive the Cold Winter Away

Traditional songs and carols recorded in churches. I think this album is a bit boring but the recording is interesting with lots of ambience. Sounds like an album from an audio enthusiast recording company.


Parallel Dreams

The first album with Loreena's own material. This is an album I like very much. Laid-back and very relaxing, just beautiful music. Good recording, but the sound is a bit 'small', needs a little higher setting on the volume than most of her recordings.


The Visit

This is her breakthrough album. This album has grown stronger and stronger, I like it a lot nowadays. Good recording with a lot of room information. This album is very good for testing equipment, as the sound can be quite aggressive from some speakers with resonances in the treble. Loreena's voice is also very demanding for the mid range elements. On a good system the sound is very relaxed and the soundstage is quite large.


The Mask and Mirror

There are some new influences on this album but the result is as intriguing as 'The Visit'. This is also a very relaxing piece of music. Good recording too.


Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts (1995)

A live album only available directly from Quinlanroad Records. Includes mainly material from 'The Visit' and 'The Mask and Mirror' albums. Beautiful music, well performed and the recording is also good.


A Winter Garden

This CD is only a little more than 20 minutes, but it is 20 magical minutes. The recordings were made at Peter Gabriels Real World Studios. The sound is a little heavier than on the previous albums, but not as 'alive'.


The Book of Secrets

A marvelous album. The sound is a little more 'modern' like on Enya's albums, but the music is even better than before. Highly recommended. The last track includes a piece with St Petersburg Chamber Choir recorded in a spectacular way, the room transforms into a church hall! This track is a true 'GOOSE BUMP GENERATOR'.


Live in Paris and Toronto

A two CD album with the the first CD containing a live version of  'The Books of Secrets'. The second CD contains tunes from other albums. This is a lovely album, well recorded (apart from some bass problems as always on multi-miked live recordings) and splendidly performed. I think the music is better than on the studio albums and Loreena sings even better live. The rest of the musicians form a very tight ensemble and without any post-editing the result is nearly perfect. This record was only available from the official website when I bought it, but by now it shall be available in the record stores. This album is strongly recommended for those interested in this genre. I think it is Loreena McKennits best album until now, but they seem to get better all the time.

Links

Official Loreena McKennitt site



Dadawa (ZHU Zhe Qin)

Chinese female vocalist, music composed by HE Xuntian.

Sister Drum

The music is inspired by Tibetan culture and is a kind of western oriented chinese music. Very relaxing music. The recording is great, with dynamics seldom heard and the large Tibetan bells sounds very impressive.

Links

Dadawa