Songs From a Secret Garden
Secret Garden’s debut album after their momentous win of the European Melody Grand Prix in 1994. Upon the release of this album, composer Rolf Løvland wrote the following – “Somewhere within us all there is a secret garden. A garden in which we can seek refuge when times are rough, or retire to in joy or contemplation. For years I have visited my own secret garden in search of organic harmony and melody. The songs on this CD are some of what I’ve found”.
“In 1994 I met an artist who through the soulful simplicity of her instrument gave my songs a voice. She is the famed Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry. Together we have tended the secret garden – and the crop is here for your picking. It is my sincere wish that by uncovering some of our secrets, you will pay a visit to your own garden”. – Rolf Lovland
Tracklist, Lyrics & Purchase
Selected Audio Clips
Nocturne, written in 1992, is a simple melody inspired by traditional moods. It’s possible the combination of mood and simplicity has made it so universally popular, appealing to audiences from Japan to Iceland. Yes, presenting it to an audience of four hundred million people in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 was an awesome risk for Secret Garden. Winning it meant a fantastic launch. Nocturne was the start of a special musical relationship, and represents the beginning of the Secret Garden history. We will always be grateful and inspired by the beautiful voice of Gunnhild Tvinnereim, and the famous 24 words by Petter Skavlan.
Lyrics by Petter Skavlan
La dagen få
sin hvile nå
og natten vil våke for den,
Se mørket må
så natten kan føde en dag.
Now let the day
Just slip away
So the dark night
May watch over you
Though darkness lay
It will give way
When the dark night
Delivers the day
Norwegian and Irish culture and traditions are unified in this piece as a kind of Secret Garden synthesis. Pastorale refers in a way to a spiritual landscape. Music is a link of communication between people. It makes us understand and discover when words are not enough. Music can also be a guide to find our own sources, and to put names to our own emotional landscapes.
Song From A Secret Garden
The idea of Secret Garden is one that everyone can relate to. We all have landscapes inside us, secret rooms where feelings and impressions grow as a little garden. Some talk about it, write poems or letters, paint, or even take a walk to reflect over life. We all have our own way. But what is common to us, is a strong emotional feeling that is an essential part of our nature. My way of dealing with this is through music, and everything I write comes from my secret garden. This simple piece had no other name than “Pianopiece in C minor” for many years. But when the Secret Garden project evolved, I felt this piece could express the essence of my ideas–the simple melody straight from the heart, expressed through Fionnuala’s soulful, vulnerable and naked violin playing.
Sigma was originally a piano piece I wrote in a melancholic night during a production I worked on in Bergen. The title, taken from the actual name of the studio, has stayed with us ever since. Not knowing how to include Sigma in the Secret Garden project, Fionnuala suggested adding a sung counter-melody, almost Gregorian in style. David Agnew wrote the Irish lyrics. With the lovely voice of the 11 year old Rhonan Sugure and the Irish National Chamber Choir, the recording of Sigma occurred with a very strong spiritual mood.
Lyrics by David Agnew
Bim ar thoir an comhartha
Scaoileas m’anam saor
Caithfidh mo chroi a
Roimh siochan theacht crum
Ni leanfaidh Brón
Is Béim sásta le mo ghrá
Mé a chomhlíonadh
Bim ar thoir an comhartha
Scaoileas m’anam saor
Caithfidh mo chroi a
Roimh siochan theacht crum
Sí an ghaoth do ghuth
Sí an bháisteach do dheora
Grian, do chroí ar las
Do spiorad mo shlánú
I search for the sign
That will set my soul free
My heart must be pure
So that I can find peace
My grief cannot last forever
My love will be fulfilled
I pray a sign will help me
Be all that I can be
Repeat first verse
The wind is your voice
The rain is your tears
Your burning heart
And spirit is my salvation
© 1995 Universal Music Norway / Blue Dandelion Publishers, IMRO
This is a somewhat impressionistic piece based on major 7ths and 9ths. The spirits of Erik Satie and Claude Debussy are present. The title Papillon (French for butterfly) also leans in that direction. This piece was written during a studio recording session in Iceland in 1994, and is perhaps the music I like best in the collection from a composer’s point of view. The phrases in the descending melody line are telling a story, and should not only be played as a broken chord. The music should be simple and delicate just like a butterfly dancing from one flower to another.
Serenade To Spring
This piece was written in 1991 and recorded by Elisabeth Andreasson on her CD, Stemninger. The vocal version called “Danse mot vår,” has since been frequently performed. We included it as an instrumental version in the album, with the violin performing the vocal part. A beautifully played violin can be just as expressive as the human voice.
This piece was written in 1976 and is the oldest one in this collection. Its inspiration stems from the modal tonality found in the music of Grieg and other composers influenced by their own cultures. Atlantia is colored by Norwegian traditional music, and in the recording of it we see that tradition interact with the very similar Irish tradition. We emphasized that similarity with the use of the low whistle and the Uileann pipes. Is it the Atlantic Ocean that connects the two cultures? Is Atlantia that Norwegian Viking ship sailing through the early mist into Dublin harbor? In a way I can’t explain, I feel a musical relationship to Irish music.
We have invisible heart-strings between us. Our hearts are woven into these fine and sensitive threads that tie us together. These strings can only be seen with our hearts. But sometimes we step on these strings because we are not careful enough and that causes strong pain. Heartstrings are about missing someone and the invisible strings of our hearts.
Adagio was written in Spain while working on a project in 1988. This is quite natural for me, as I have always had a great urge to define my own creative identity while working for other artists. A creative balance. Bach, the great master, inspires Adiago. So often I’ve been taken by the strong melancholy in Bach’s slow movements. Adiago was originally released in a piano book called “Nine Pianopieces for Maria and Other Children” in 1989 with the title “Where the Words End.” Music is to me stronger than words and when I can’t find words to express my feelings, I use music.
The Rap is a strange story. I originally wrote it as a Norwegian traditional tune in 4/4 time. Fionnuala Sherry and I recorded a demo of it in my home studio. It was the last song that late evening and it had no title. Fionnuala said, “Let’s do the wrap,” and ever since the title has been The Rap. One night during the recording of the CD in Iceland, I “heard” the tune in 5/4 time in a dream. When I woke up the next morning, I was singing it the way I had dreamt it. The subconscious had been making a successful twist and all of a sudden, The Rap began to swing. We welcomed the Irish influence with the use of whistles, pipes and drums. The rhythm seems complicated, changing from 5/4 to 6/4, but I’m sure you find the melody quite natural and easy to “sing,” without having to count!
The word “chaconne” refers to a boroque dance form, a melody moving to a constant bass figure or ostinato. This Chaconne meets none of thesis requirements. But the poetic sound of the word and a strong baroque feeling is the background for the title. The French Suites by Bach have made a strong impression on me, and some elements in Chaconne remind me of them. Chaconne was written in 1994.
Here the “Italian emotions” is awakened. Sentimentality under the Italian moonlight. Feelings are sometimes suppressed and we are afraid to show them. I am very fascinated by the old black and white silent movies because the actors could only show emotions, no dialogue. I could envision a movie like that when Cantoluna was written. The title itself is a very free construction of words made of canto, which means “song” in Italian, and luna, which means “moon.” On the recording we used the mandolin and the clarinet to let the romantic, Italian feeling through. People often ask what kind of music Secret Garden is. Is it classical, Norwegian or Irish traditional music, world music or new age? I don’t know. I only know that the music comes straight from the heart, and contains elements of all this. Some even says it sounds like film music because it’s so visual. That opinion is the closest I come to a classification, because I often see a story when I write music. Maybe it could be called “music to a film never shown?”
Ode to Simplicity
This song expresses everything I think is important to my music: simplicity. To allow melody to be naked and fragile, one that can’t be wrapped or covered, is a very difficult thing. It requires more courage and strength to achieve the simple than the complex, as you painfully have to submit to the powers of nature, and open up. Simplicity was written at the time of my daughter’s departure to study abroad for one year. There are a lot of emotional undertones to this piece, which we certainly laid bare through the starkness of the melody. Performing Simplicity is very special to both Fionnuala and I, as it reflect the strong elements that have helped create Secret Garden.
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Posted November 10th, 1:07 pm
Note to self!! Remember not to leave new hat unattended !!😊 … See MoreSee Less
Never to do, hat on the bed, so I've heard,,,, hope all is well
Our Aussie is the same. Leeta, Destroyer of Things.
it happens! (Just released a new book you might enjoy … A HAPPY TRUTH: Last Dogs Aren't Always Last <3
Ah ah ah so lovely… poor hat… 🙂
This hat sets a new trend as it is so unique. Set it on top of a plastic head. Call it "Covered" and sell it as rare and special piece of art for – let's say $50000.
Nice hat. Such a shame you'll have to go back and shop for another one
Looking at it I think he was trying to cut out his own silohuete !
These things happen unfortunately. He looks very sorry. You could use whats left to make a toy for him.
Does look a bit like a meat pie!
Look so innocent. 😁
The look on his face, though…! 😄 Too cute to be angry at.
Love Jack Russells. They are so naughty 😊
Those eyes are saying "I'm sorry. Do you still love me?"
The message is, "take me out more, NOW!"
just discovered your beautiful music iam a classical guitarist and slowly learning your beautiful music for my guitar all my thanks for the music susie
he looks innocent to me❤️
Awww. ..what a cutie!
The look says," but, I thought it was for me" 😂
This hat is one of a kind now
Hehe, så uskyldig! 😄 Silas ødelegger heldigvis veldig lite. Han har andre "utfordringer" istedet 😜
Looks a whole lot better!
But that face!!❤
Oh my …
I love this dog❣️🥰
Posted October 16th, 10:29 pm
Honoured to be associated with this stunning creation, The Fi bra by @paularowangloves in aid of the @mariekeatingfoundation currently on display in @marksandspencerireland
#mariekeatingfoundation #Cancer#pinkribbon #pink … See MoreSee Less
My first thought was how does this represent our Fi… a heart center of rose softness, passionate and delicate… surrounded by bold strength that captivates. The past years you’ve been through so much… but you persevere with passion.
Posted October 13th, 4:21 pm
Latest update from Fionnuala❤️
Paula Rowan’s “Fi” bra:
www.facebook.com/100000741019983/posts/2715014871866520?sfns=mo … See MoreSee Less
I'm thrilled to see your face! It's a relief and a blessing since we haven't seen you in a while. Sometimes imagination runs away with us and we think things are worse than they are! You look fabulous! Our prayers are being answered!
I wish you all the best in your recovery and I know you'll be back with us before you know it!
Thank you for your update❣❣❣
Greetings from Kristiansand 🇳🇴
We love you ❤
Afortunados en volver a verla meses sin saber de usted, bienaventurados, que este pronto recuperada del todo, los que no hablamos el idioma no hay traducción para sus palabras, felicidades. gracias gracias gracias !!!🙏🎻🌹 .
Thank you Fionnuala! Kisses from Neuquén, patagonia Argentina. You feel better, because you are live in love…
Ich heisse Ahmet geboren deutschland ich bin türkisch jetzt wohne ich türkei antalya ich warte ihr conzert kommt ihr türkei
Vous êtes toujours très jolie. Merci d'avoir songé à nous faire votre partage. Bisous <3
Nice to see you best at all time
You seem more positively ..I hope you are good and back at early time to make us happy when we listen again to your musicians
Continued healing prayers being sent up from Oklahoma, USA.
I was just thinking of you as I listened to your newest CD. I love it so much. Thank you to both of you for sharing your exquisite talent. I've been praying for you Fionnula. I trust God will want your beautiful music to help us all here on Earth!
Thank you for your good and encouraging report. Still in our prayers. Eva and Jabez, of Colorado Springs.
Fionnuala, again and again .. we love you and keep praying for your recovery. One day we pray that we meet with you in person. We will come from Canada to say thank you and to Rolf and tell him how much God Jesus Christ has changed lives through your music. Please recover quickly … Happy thanks Giving
I'm soooo glad you are feeling better 😍 thank you for the update! we all love you and wish you the best ❤❤❤❤
I'll make it a short speech. Get fully healed now. All the best! 🙂
I remember your son and for me is amazing,I love you so much,sincerelly yours from Chile.
Fionnuala, you’re so beautiful, the beauty of the music you put into this world has had such an impact in my life, at a time when I needed it most! I know you don’t know me, but I’m sending you all the love and good vibes I can! You’re sweet, and talented, you have the voice of an angel, and you have no idea how much your music is a part of my life. It’s what I do, and where I turn, when I need a little peace and clarity. It has been a source of self reflection and healing for me, and I pray that all of that beauty, love, and grace comes back to you ten fold! Big hugs sweet girl! ❤️
Hang in there! You are a strong lady! Thank you for your beautiful music. My best to you!
Get well soon Fionnuala! I hope that we will help Raise you Up and that our well-wishes will give you the Strength to rise again.
It’s great to see you as I have been thinking of you as it is good that you are doing well in health wise,onwards and upwards to you Fionnuala as Wicklow is a lovely spot to go
God bless you! My granddaughters love your lullaby!
Oh Fi, what an inspiration you are💗With this positive message re the importance of breast screening. I’m sure you’ll save many lives! I was one of those woman that checked myself and thought, if I don’t feel a lump all is fine, no need to worry! How wrong I was in my blissful ignorance! Thank you for spreading awareness 💗💗💗💗
Thank you for the update and you look fabulous- must be the Irish genes! Stay strong, keep the faith, and let the music carry you!
Beautiful princess, I've just found out about this unexpected horrible disease you had, i am so sorry, who could ever guess. You are wonderful and talented, and you give us magical feelings with your music. Stay cool as you'll be OK very soon, a long and rich future is waiting for you)) Heartiest hugs and kisses from Belarus❤️💕💗
Love you too! Thanks hearing your update !
Keep going strong, Fi! We're all rooting for you.
Posted July 3rd, 12:12 am
SECRET GARDEN CANCELS ALL CONCERTS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR
Unfortunately, life can get in the way of the best-made plans and so, after planning an extensive tour of China this fall as well as planned concerts in Norway, Australia, and Korea to celebrate our latest album “Storyteller", Fionnuala was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer.
After two rounds of surgery, she has now started radiation treatment as well as infusion therapy. Her medical team has advised her to concentrate on her health situation, so subsequently, we have decided to postpone all concert plans until Fionnuala’s treatment is over.
We hope to be rescheduling all touring plans in mid-2020. We had been very much looking forward to performing the music from our new album “Storyteller” and it saddens us very much that we have to postpone for the moment.
In Fionnula’s own words:
“Even though it’s scary to get such a diagnosis, I am also very grateful that we had recorded and released our new CD. The response so far has been fantastic and I really am very thankful for all the positivity & support we have received”
"This will be a challenging time ahead – but knowing that we will be back performing as soon as possible will give me the drive and support to see the treatment through.”
We want to thank you all for your continued support and meanwhile, hope you enjoy “Storyteller” as our story continues to unfold.
Fionnuala and Rolf … See MoreSee Less
You will overcome dearest Fi, my best friend. Huge congrats on “Storyteller”, it is so very beautiful from all the music to the stunning artwork. Just listening to “Strength” & that’s what you have now, from yourself, others & me. Concentrate on your health. Your music is so healing & now you can heal too. I cant wait to see you very soon. Love you so very much 🎻🎻❤️❤️
Sending prayers your way , this is just another test fionnuala , you WILL beat Cancer's ass, you WILL conquer , thank you for all the beautiful music Secret Garden has put out, it has healed me so many times , God bless you all!
Health and best wishes and hope a very good prognosis and recovery.
🙏🏻❤️❤️❤️ Best wishes to you lovely lady, God bless you!
Fionnula – I am sending you my most powerful heartfelt healing prayers for a complete recovery. I know this will be a difficult chapter for you in your life, but I am confident you will get through this "bump in the road" and emerge stronger than ever. I've been a long time fan of Secret Garden and have all of your CD, DVD's and your new release, which is wonderful. I hope you can visit us sometime in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota in the not too distant future. Warmest wishes and positive vibes are coming your way! 🙂
Mis buenos deseos y oraciones para que sanes pronto querida Fionnuala, paz a sus corazones #SecretGarden… 🇨🇱
Todo mi apoyo y cariño a quién ha puesto la banda sonora a todos mis viajes de Noruega. Mis mejores deseos y mi energía más positiva.
May your very own music be a healing source as it has been for others. I have a friend who is a beautiful singer who had to have throat surgery so I bought her “inside I’m Singing” she said it was got her through a very difficult time of her life.
May God bless you and your doctors and give you a cure! Your music sounds beautifully within so many hearts.
Fionnuala, you are loved so much! I am a 1 year Breast Cancer Survivor! Your music got me through some pretty tough times last year. I will be thinking of you and sending lots of love your way!! You can do this!!!
Sending a truckload of healing love:
My heart goes out to you, Fionnuala, and praying that you’ll have a full recovery. I must say that Storyteller is the best CD that you two have made. It reminds me of watching a movie, with its different moods. I’m grateful that you came out with the CD before your diagnosis. But, your health is the most important thing right now. God has blessed you both, giving us such beautiful music, and I know He’ll give you strength and get you through this. God Bless. Jeff Blew
May God bless you and be with you all through the coming stages dear, and I pray you get well and be fully healed soon dear Fionnuala.. Can’t tell you how much I love your music and have learned a lot from your tender expression in playing… May God bless you and your beloved band 🙏🙏😍😍🌺🌺🌺🌺
Sorry to hear that !
Concentrate on getting well!
Look forward to your concert in Australia. Absolutely love your music.
Fionnuala is a survivor and she will get through this! ❤️🌹
I'm a prostate cancer survivor!
Bless you all!❤️
Tons of prayers from Canada and may God give you strength to get through this. Your music and playing are inspiring and I need to order more sheet music of yours as I have played your songs on my violin in church, for weddings, funerals and for plain ‘ol fun. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you Fionnuala. God be with you and Rolf. In love and light, Pamella
Will be praying for you each time I listen to your beautiful music..much love to you❤🙏
Music so beautiful could only come from a beautiful soul. Prayers for your full recovery and strength as you walk this part of your journey.
Sending all my love to you from Hong Kong. God bless you❤️
Thank you for your beautiful music. I'll be praying n cheering for you. Love from Indonesia.
OMG!!! I am SO sorry to hear this! I had it years ago and I have been cancer free since! I will keep you in my prayers that your treatment is successful! (I feel like one of my sister just told me! Shocked and sad! I have always loved you) ! Prayers do works! Keep positive! Take care of yourself! ❤
Your dog is precious. Sending prayers of Love and Light for restoring your health with "grace and ease"
I truly wish you a speedy recover and a healthy life in the future. Your music is my blood. I am praying for your health. thank you both for your wonderful music which if my wife was still alive she would be loving your music as i do. od bless you
Gospeed in your recovery!🙏✝️your music touches many hearts throughout the world 🇨🇮🎵🎶🎻🎹
Your soothing music has gotten me through a few rough patches, and I am forever grateful. I now send you positive, healing, loving energy as you show cancer the door. ❤
Posted June 11th, 12:33 pm
Archie exploring new keyboard. Maybe a tune will happen some day !! … See MoreSee Less
Archie looks like a Jack Russell Terrier
"Musique pour les chiens"? Music for dogs? 😀
Your muse is walking the plank.
Maybe he’ll give you a tune that will become your next hit!
Aw so cute! When will we get a song named for him? 😉
There is your next album cover right there
Sound with the hound.