In January 2011, the five original members of Clannad, the legendary family group from Donegal, Ireland, came together for a rare live performance marking the band’s 40th anniversary. It was the first full concert in 20 years featuring all five founding members. Recorded at the 11th century Christ Church Cathedral as part of the Temple Bar Tradfest, that magical evening has been captured in the new public television special– Clannad Live at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.
Highlights of the set list of the Live at Dublin program underscore the impact Clannad has had beyond traditional Celtic music into international pop culture — “Theme from Harry’s Game,” originally a TV series theme, became the United Kingdom’s first top ten hit in the Gaelic language and went on to international attention in the film Patriot Games and in Volkswagen ads in the U.S.; “Newgrange,” a song given pop culture attention again recently as covered by Celtic Woman; and “I Will Find You,” the haunting love theme from The Last of the Mohicans.
Featured guests are Anúna, Ireland’s National Choir, and Brian Kennedy, known for his years singing with Van Morrison and as the lead singer in Riverdance on Broadway. Brian joins the band for “In a Lifetime,” originally a duet with Bono on Clannad’s album Macalla.
Siblings Moya Brennan, Ciarán Brennan, Pól Brennan, and their twin uncles – Noel and Pádraig Duggan – comprise the current lineup of Clannad. Clannad first made their mark in the folk and traditional scene in the 1970s in Ireland and mainland Europe. With their hauntingly beautiful songs, mesmerizing vocals, and captivating sound, Clannad has sold over fifteen million records worldwide.
The Grammy Award-winning Clannad is widely regarded as the band which paved the way for mainstream success for many other Irish artists by putting Irish “traditional” music, sung in the Irish language, on the world stage for the first time. It has been said that what today is so widely regarded as Celtic music was first called “Clannad music.”
Clannad Live at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin is produced and Directed by Cathal Watters, Odyssey Media. Co-Produced by Shane McDonnell. Executive Producers are John Scher, Keith Naisbitt, Gustavo Sagastume and Carole Myers. For WLIW21 – Gillian Rose, executive in charge of production in association with WNET New York Public Media.
New York’s WNET is America’s flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Noah Comprende and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.