Moya Brennan's voice continues to provide a constant reminder of how the heart can be touched by the purity and thrill of music. Despite the enforced restrictions placed on her and all other artists in the past couple of years she has been active, especially, with the Farewell Tour of her family band, Clannad. Their sell-out concert at Dublin’s 3 Arena in February (’23) was an emotional part of the final tour climax after 50 years together. And Moya is excited now to take up her solo career again.
Her live solo shows, having all the musicality and power of Clannad - but with added, heart-warming intimacy – are always a rich and moving experience. Her unique, effortless vocals and timeless music pay homage not only to her vibrant traditional Irish heritage but also to her grasp of contemporary forms.
In October 2019 Moya received the RTE Radio Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement presented to her by (Irish) President Michael D Higgins who said that “her name would be forever etched in the history of Irish music”. This echoes the many plaudits she has had, not least Bono, who stated recently, "I think she has one of the greatest voices the human ear has ever experienced". Moya, the Voice of Clannad, sings like nothing you’ve ever heard before!
In May 2022 Moya was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from Dublin City University. In her citation at the ward ceremony Dr. Síle Denvir of DCU’s Scoil na Gaeilge, said: “Moya has an innate ability to find the heart of music, to reach the essence of a song or a tune, and to make the ordinary extraordinary.
As the singer of Clannad, they rose to prominence with a pioneering approach to traditional music, creating the Celtic Music genre along the way. In their 50 years, they have achieved 15 million record sales worldwide and a string of awards, including a BAFTA, Ivor Novello, and a Grammy in 1998. Sister Enya joined Clannad for a time before pursuing her own successful career.
Moya’s solo career will continue that success with nine solo albums to date, two of which were Grammy nominated.
Her live show has developed into a visual (as well as a sound) spectacle with rhythm, atmosphere, and vibrant harmony. She is now proud to have daughter, Aisling, and son Paul in her band along with the remarkable harpist, Cormac De Barra and violinist, Clare Friel. In recent years they have toured Ireland, USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Africa.
Moya's career to date includes 25 albums, numerous film scores (notably The Last of the Mohicans and, with Hans Zimmer, King Arthur) and she has sung with many great artists, including The Chieftains, Robert Plant, Bruce Hornsby, Michael McDonald, Shane McGowan, and, of course, Bono.
Her voice continues to be in demand with other collaborators including the Colours release with Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra, Saltwater with Chicane, DJ Roger Shah and Trance Wax. She has released three Voices & Harps (collaborative) albums with Irish harp virtuoso, Cormac De Barra and is one of T with the Maggies, a group of four Donegal female artists.
As the First Lady of Celtic Music, Moya is a constant and enthusiastic ambassador for Irish culture around the world and, a native Irish Gaeilge language speaker, keen to keep her traditional arts and music in the forefront.
“Ireland is changing rapidly but one thing that remains constant is our love of music and wanting the whole world to hear it. I love being part of that”, says Moya.
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