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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

Juno Award-Winning Canadian Artist Loreena McKennitt To Release 'The Mask and Mirror Live' Which Blends Celtic, Spanish & Moroccan Influences

Loreena McKennit

On June 14th, ground-breaking, Juno Award-winning Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt will be releasing The Mask and Mirror Live. The recording was captured live at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on May 19th 1994, originally for radio syndication throughout the U.S. and Canada.

This release now celebrates the 30th anniversary of what was, at the time, McKennitt’s just-released fifth studio album, The Mask and Mirror, a recording celebrated by fans and critics alike for its trail-blazing intermingling of Celtic musical traditions, the sounds of southern Europe, North Africa and the Near East.

It will be available in three formats: CD, 180-gram black vinyl and via digital music services.

The 10 tracks on The Mask and Mirror Live feature many beloved songs, including "Marrakesh Night Market," "Full Circle," "The Mystic’s Dream" and "The Bonny Swans".

The Mask and Mirror went on to sell a million copies in the United States and more than two million worldwide. It represented a major turning point in McKennitt’s career, as well as a commercial breakthrough across four continents. It earned platinum sales awards in Canada, Australia, Italy and the U.S., plus gold awards in Spain, France, Argentina and Germany, and cultivated new followers in Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

“Music full of somber depths, spiritual longings and age-old echoes,” wrote the LA Times in May 1994.

McKennitt will also be heading out this summer on The Mask and Mirror 30th Anniversary Tour through multiple European countries. She’ll be performing every song on the original album, appearing at many of the outdoor musical festivals and in some historically-magnificent venues such as Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens.

During her recently-concluded 10-country The Visit Revisited Anniversary Tour through Europe this spring, limited vinyl copies of The Mask and Mirror Live were offered to concert-goers at merchandise stands. Due to their popularity, it was decided to speed up the album production schedule and add a CD version in time for the upcoming summer tour. The spring tour was an enormous success with almost all dates sold out and more than 60,000 tickets sold.

“I started this recording by travelling to the Galician, or Celtic region of Spain, and then on to Marrakesh and parts of Morocco where I journeyed down into the desert looking for inspiration. This took me into music and literature connected to 15th-century Spain, through the hues of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I was drawn into a fascinating world of history, religion and cross-cultural fertilization,” McKennitt recalls.

The album luxuriates in extended song structures and harkens back to a time when news of innovative music was passed from fan to potential fan by word-of-mouth, assisted by the enthusiasm of a small international cadre of critics, DJs and record store owners.

McKennitt’s eclectic Celtic blend of pop, folk and world music has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. Her recordings have achieved Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum status in 15 countries on four continents. She has twice been nominated for a GRAMMY® Award and has won two Juno Awards, as well as a Billboard International Achievement Award. McKennitt was inducted into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in March 2023.

In addition to her musical career, McKennitt has been recognized for a number of noteworthy philanthropic initiatives, including:

The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety

The Falstaff Family Centre

Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force

In 2004, McKennitt was awarded the Order of Canada and in 2013 was appointed Knight of the National Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France.

Loreena McKennitt



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