The Big Think

January 19, 2009

The Sound of Green Places

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 1:00 am

Ever since returning from our three week long Ireland trip this past summer, friends and family have asked us what it was like. I can show them the pictures and them the stories, but I’ve never been able to adequately capture the feeling of being there. As beautiful as the place was to the eye, for me the smell of peat fires and the sound of Gaelic being sung to traditional instruments will remain the very definition of Ireland. I think I may have found something that can explain it to you.

For four minutes and forty five seconds, I’d like for you to close your eyes and listen to this. I humbly suggest you give it some time and appreciate it without distractions, because it will be the most beautiful thing you hear today. And if it’s not, you’re a lucky, lucky person. Let yourself get lost in it.

I have no idea what she’s singing about, but it doesn’t matter. Some things transcend translation.

That was Ireland.

(Update: I adore this piece and have listened to it a half dozen times this morning alone. I’m more and more impressed by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh’s musicianship each time I hear it. Pay special attention to what she does with her voice at 3:48, and the way she trails off the last note. Exquisite)

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