Dawn of a New Century



Year: 1999
Universal Music Norway

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“Dawn of a New Century” diverged in several ways from the 2 previous albums. We included 2 vocal pieces on the album, which was quite exciting for a mostly instrumental group. One of the songs is performed by Fionnuala and is called “Sona” – it will be the very first time you hear her singing. The other song is called “Prayer” and is performed by the Scottish singer Karen Matheson from the group Capercaillie. Those of you who have seen the film Rob Roy will also know that she performed the beautiful lament in the film. We have also worked with vocals in sections of songs performed by the Norwegian singer Anne Karin Kaasa, and the Paris-based American singer Nikki Matheson.

A majority of the music is still instrumental – melody driven in crossover between classical and traditional – inspired by Celtic and Norwegian music. The foundation established in our two first albums – that our music is our passion and our hearts speaking – is still the essence in everything we are doing.

Tracklist, Lyrics & Purchase

Selected Audio Clips
(lo res)

  • Moongate

    In the ancient Chinese culture, a formal garden often featured a special archway that led from one part of the garden to another and was called, romantically,the moongate. Lovers would pass through the moongate to retain strength and passion of their love. The classical and romantic mood of this melody, interrupted in the middle section by the ethereal and lyrical guitar of Terje Rypdal, merges two contrasting musical expressions that compliment each other as naturally as Yin and Yang. The Norwegian guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal have created a unique and expressive style of his own through his legendary ECM recordings.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate.

  • Prayer

    Our second album White Stones was centered on the classic fairy tale «Hansel and Gretel», the story of two unsuspecting children abandoned in a dark forest.Sometimes, even as adults, we can feel vulnerable and timid when we find ourselves in unknown and unfamiliar situations. We search for signs and guidance to find the pathways to safety. We surrender to the spirits and ask them to enfold and protect us. The Scottish singer Karen Matheson, known from the group Capercaillie and for the beautiful Lament she sings in the film «Rob Roy», performs this song. Scored and conducted by Rolf Lovland.

    Lyrics by F. Sherry / R. Lovland

    Hush – lay down your troubled mind
    The day has vanished and left us behind
    And the wind – whispering soft lullabies
    Will soothe – so close your eyes

    Let your arms enfold us
    Through the dark of night
    Will your angels hold us
    Till we see the light

    Sleep – angels will watch over you
    And soon beautiful dreams will come true
    Can you feel spirits embracing your soul
    So dream while secrets of darkness unfold

    © 1999 Universal Music Norway

  • Elan

    The word elan means flight and this song, Celtic-inspired and rhythmic driven was created to evoke the soaring sense and spirit of dance. The piece was recorded with a wonderful cast of Irish players who give their personal colour to the music: Tommy Hayes on bodhran, spoons and bones. Martin O’Connor on the box, and Mick O’Brien on Uilleann Pipes and Whistle.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate

  • Dreamcatcher

    The tradition of a «dreamcatcher» is an ancient one, dating back to the Celtic and Native American cultures, where soft branches of oak or willow were formed into a circle and used as a base for a web of feathers, leaves and twine. This natural net would «capture» ideas, dreams and visions and allow the dreamers to achieve their dreams and goals. This magical dreamcatcher also provided a unique protection during sleep: filtering out the bad dreams and retaining the pleasant, positive ones. We`ve thought of this piece as a lullaby, since a lullaby can soothe us to sleep and be, in turn, a musical «dreamcatcher». Scored and conducted by John Tate.

    Lyrics by Nikki Matheson

    Hear my silent prayer
    Heed my quiet call
    When the dark and blue surround you
    Step into my sigh
    Look inside the light
    You will know that I have found you

    © 1999 Universal Music Norway

  • Sona

    The mood of this song relates to the fable of frightened children lost and abandoned in the dark and mysterious forest.

    We are inspired by the idea that music can be like the white stones that ultimately save the children in the fairy tale. Like the stones in the story, which reflected the light of the moon, the power of music reflects the light of our hearts and guides us out of darkness into our own very special secret gardens.

    The Irish lyrics, written by Mick O’Brien, bring us back into the forest, where its mystery and beauty can once again captivate us. For English translation – Click here

    Scored and conducted by Rolf Lovland

    Lyrics by Mick O’Brien

    Ag breacadh an lae do chumar ag siúl
    aoibhneas an tsaoil amach romhainn
    clocha draíochta chomh geal lenár súile
    casán ag glioscarnach dúinn

    Suaimhneas na coillte is ceol inár gcroithe
    macalla fuaim an tsrutháin
    duilleoga fómhar mar ghuth ar an ngaoth
    sé nádúr is cúis lenár ngrá

    A`Taisteal sa choill seo ar fán is ar fuaidreamh
    réalta geala eolais ag lonradh don rí
    A`Taisteal sa choill seo ar fán is ar fuaidreamh
    clocha bána ag lasadh ár slí

    Anois tá réalta a`rince sa spéir
    is an saol ina gholadh go sámh
    aislingi áille i ngairdín mo rún
    brionglóidí thart orainn ar snámh

    Súile síor lasta le solas
    súile faoi gheasa na rún
    taibhreamh ar sheoda an ghairdín
    iontais nach sceithfear go buan

    A`Taisteal sa choill seo ar fán is ar fuaidreamh
    réalta geala eolais ag louradh don rí
    A`Taisteal sa choill seo ar fán is ar fuaidreamh
    clocha bána ag lasadh ár slí

    © 1999 Universal Music Norway

  • In Our Tears

    Music is to me a very strong way of channeling emotions.
    It´s a direct and naked way of expressing feelings that can’t be communicated in any other way. Recently I lost a dear friend under tragic circumstances and writing this piece helped me out of my darkness. These personal feelings are captured here in this «requiem» over a lost friend, whose unique memory will live on in the hearts of everybody who knew him. The piece features the Irish choir Anuna, singing lyrics in reference to the traditional Latin Mass, written by the Norwegian author and Eyvind Skeie (minister in The Church of Norway).

    Dona Nobis Pacem
    Lyrics by Eyvind Skeie

    Miserere nobis
    Lacrimae meae panis
    Dona nobis pacem
    Meum cor contritum est.
    Miserere nobis
    Lucerna verbum tuum
    Firmamentum meum.
    Benedictus Dominus
    Dona nobis pacem
    Benedictus Dominus

    Scored and conducted by John Tate

  • Children of the River

    On meeting musicians from the Orient, we were fascinated by their distinctive musical sounds and instruments. In this song we have tried to capture some of the uniquely Eastern colors and vibrant tones of this ancient and beautiful culture. Music is the universal language of emotions, and regardless of our differences, we all share and understand this common language. The flute player Steinar Ofsdal who has studied Chinese culture and music is playing the «Dizi» and the «Bawu» in this tune.

    Scored and conducted by Fiachra Trench

  • Evensong

    The nature around us strongly influences our lives. It’s rhythms- night and day, light and shade, ebb and flow, sunshine and rain, color our moods. Nature beckons us and we respond to it’s calling. Sitting under the sky on a bright Norwegian summer’s night surrounded by valleys, mountains and fjords inspired the feeling of a distant voice calling in the evening. Long ago voices could be heard echoing across the valleys, sending ritual and spiritual messages.The Norwegian traditional singer Anne Karin Kaasa sets the mood of this tune, traditionally chanting as you would hear, in the southern valley of Setesdal in Norway.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate

  • Lore of the Loom

    Often we’ve found that our music crosses over the two poetic landscapes of Norwegian and Irish inspiration, two traditions with equally strong musical identities. Like a woven tapestry, the threads of these musical traditions can be blended and woven together, as in this song, a colourful and rhythmic tune in which both Irish and Norwegian «lines and threads» are equally woven into a warm and comforting musical tapestry of joyful colours, vibrant patterns and unique textures and depth.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate

  • Aria

    A slow duet between the violin and the low strings in a dark and melancholic lament. Anuna performs the Irish lyrics by Mick O’Brien. Scored and conducted by John Tate.

    Lyrics by Mick O’Brien

    I praise you day by day – father in heaven our saviour –
    the golden era leaves us now.
    Sadness and loneliness on my heart –
    happiness and delight on my thoughts.
    A new season on the horizon – long is the day – long is the night.
    Praise youth – and it will always be there.

    © 1999 Universal Music Norway

  • Divertimento

    A graceful dance movement written in the gallant mood of an 18th century gavotte. Divertimento translates in Italian as entertaining» and here evokes a light, graceful mood, suggesting a joyful contrast to the sentiments of this album. Hans Fredrik Jacobsen plays the recorder solos.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate

  • Aquarell

    A musical canvas of Norwegian moods painted in transparent colours that float and merge into each other, creating impressions and thoughts in a small moment of life. Simplicity can sometimes evoke the true meaning of emotions, and in this piece inspiration comes from the restless and wandering thoughts during a sleepless night.

    Scored and conducted by Fiachra Trench

  • Dawn of a New Century

    “It is in changing that things find purpose” wrote Greek philosopher Heraclitus many centuries ago. And as the dawn of a new century arrives, we look back upon the historic events that have dominated our lives and our thoughts: The many leaders and heroes that gave our history a kaliedoscope of voices and faces; the remarkable achievements in medicine, science and technology.

    Just a few of the many changes our generation has witnessed in a single century include the discovery of penicillin, man’s landing on the moon, the transplant of human organs and the marvels of the computer.This century also let us witness the cruelty of World Wars and the beginning and end of a Cold War. The growing understanding between different countries and cultures. But let us not forget, in these changing days, the darker chapters of a closing century: the Holocaust; Hiroshima; the isolation of the Berlin Wall; and equally unpleasant historical markers that mankind has left as scars on civilization’s memory. And as we welcome a new century, we also leave unresolved problems for our children: the gradual destruction of our planet thanks to increasing pollution; destruction of rain forests and ozone layers; starvation and epidemics in the Third World and perpetual conflicts between religions, races and cultures that seem to ignite effortlessly. We who do not learn from history’s mistakes, it is written, are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Thus, at the dawn of a new century, it is our history that we hand our children as their heritage and their inheritance as the dream of a better, more promising future.

    The scars of the past are wounds we all share, yet with this knowledge, we continue to march forward to greet the dawn with faith and hope. In the book of mankind another page has been written, and as we turn it over, a new and blank sheet unfolds-a new chapter begins. What will our children read by the end of the next century?

    The opening narration is written by Peter Skavlan and narrated by John Kavanagh. Anuna is performing the closing section with a hymn of hope.

    Scored and conducted by John Tate.
    Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Lovland

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