Tonight, I got to do something fabulous!
The King and I went out for dinner at the SunSpot with my sister and another couple and had a nice dinner that did not include any meat-cutting for anyone else, no plastic cups with lids, no crayons or color-on menus. After that, we did something even more fabulous.
We saw Loreena McKinnett from the 3rd row of the Orchestra Pit at the fabulous Tennessee Theatre (thanks to our friends Michael and Athena, who are in visiting for the weekend). Loreena is a Canadian, whose voice makes one dream of what the voice of angels must be like, and whose music has its basis in Celtic history, but enjoys an occasional middle eastern beat. I think this song is a particularly good example of that fusion. This video gives you a good feel for the what the performance was like. Her band uses a wide range of sometimes obscure instruments. But once you hear them, you wonder, "Gee, why doesn't everyone play the Oud?" Or the Celtic Bouzouki, Greek Lute, or most especially that incredible Hurdy Gurdy. Sometimes, you see someone sing live and realize their sound was largely manufactured in a studio somewhere. Not Loreena.
Her voice takes you to a whole different dimension, and it is seemingly effortless. And in the course of this incredible event, we watched her play the piano, the harp, the accordion, and the keyboard. And each of the other 9 people on stage were so masterful at their instruments that you felt certain they could have drawn their own crowds to most any venue. Particularly the guy on the violin. I saw his face during a particularly impressive solo (we were quite close) and thought to myself: "I want to help my kids find something they can be that passionate about."
Honestly, there were at least 3 times in which tears just involuntarily flowed down my face from the sheer beauty of the various performances. And I don't think there was a moment when my feet or my head weren't moving to the beat. I must have been quite a spectacle! But I wasn't the least bit worried, because I knew all eyes were glued to the stage. It was the show of a lifetime.
If you aren't familiar with the music of Loreena McKinnett, give yourself a little treat and go through the excerpts here on her website. And if ever she comes to town again, don't miss it!