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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 May, 2004, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Beautiful night for Clannad star
By Fiona Murray
BBC News Online

The Clannad singer was delighted to perform in Belfast
The Clannad singer was delighted to perform in Belfast
She's famous as the ethereal voice of Clannad and has carved out an illustrious solo career for herself.

But singer Moya Brennan has not forgotten her roots in the west of Ireland.

There's nothing she enjoys more than going back to her native Donegal and singing in her mother's choir, or pulling a few pints in her father's pub.

Fresh from a European and American tour, including a singing date with the American president, the Irish songstress is happiest at a big family gathering.

The eldest of nine children, and big sister to famous solo artist Enya, she admits there's always an excuse for a get-together.

"We're all quite close," said the mother-of-two.

"When we're all together we're just all equal because that's the way my parents brought us up. We're all aware of what we've done, but we're just brothers and sisters.

"Going back to Donegal, getting behind the bar, pulling pints, I feel like I haven't really changed.

"The nice thing about it is, the local people in Donegal would say that to me. We go down to church and sing in my mum's choir. You do the things you grew up with."

Both Enya and Moya's career's have their roots in Celtic group Clannad, formed in 1970, which includes their brothers Pol and Ciaran and two uncles.

Their breakthrough came with the theme tune from the film, Harry's Game in 1982, which reached the top five of the British charts - an impressive feat for a song in Gaelic.

Moya, who is now based outside Dublin, sang the haunting lyrics from the song to a national audience on Saturday during the BBC's Beautiful Night concert in Belfast, part of its Music Live event.

Speaking before the event, she said: "It's a song that belongs to Belfast. The first time I sang Harry's Game after it became a hit, was in Belfast. It'll be nice because I'll be playing with an orchestra.

We never wanted to churn out albums for the sake of it. It felt right to have a bit of a breather
Moya Brennan
"It should be a great night. It's a chance to meet up with other people again. It will be very nostalgic."

She also sang her latest single Tara from her sixth solo album Two Horizons, which is a celebration of the Irish harp which she learned to play as a girl.

"I love this album, it's definitely my best album. It's got a story attached to it relating to Tara. It's about an ancient harp.

"The album is actually a journey that takes you various places looking for the harp."

Clannad, which has sold about 10 million records, is taking a breather as the members pursue individual careers.

Moya, who is also a talented composer, is hoping to tour Northern Ireland in September and is concentrating on doing work for films and promoting her album.

However, the group is planning to come together in the next 18 months to record a long-awaited new album.

"The thing about Clannad is, it had its own life, in terms of what to do and when to go professional. We never pushed anything. We all wanted to do different things.

"We never wanted to churn out albums for the sake of it. It felt right to have a bit of a breather.

"We're now talking about going into the studio to do an album.

"The next one will be very interesting, but there'll be a couple of surprises as well."



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