Secret Garden like to think of their music as organic story-telling melodies, with straight from the heart performances. Their new album Once in A Red Moon is released in Holland through Universal on February 18. The LP retains these basic elements, but also explores new areas in the musical universe, and challenges their creative thoughts and experiences. In doing so, Secret Gardens creative process orbited back to the place where they once originated. After writing and demoing for a period of twelve months the album was recorded in March 2001, at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin. Secret Garden wanted to let the natural performance be the leading force, and to build a production based on the first original, sensitive and raw takes in the demo phase. Beginning the recording in this way, the essence of the music was shaped with their deepest musical emotions.
The production continued with the symphonic orchestra and Fionnuala Sherry playing together in the studio, trying to capture the true musical moments that can only occur in a live performance setting. Five of the new songs were scored and conducted by Steven Mercurio, whom the band had previously worked with during the Nobel Piece Prize Concert in 1999. Steven Mercurio is a renowned opera conductor, and the musical director of Andrea Bochelli. He has also conducted the Three Tenors, and has recently arranged and conducted in the latest recording by Chick Corea
Secret Gardens music is based on instrumental melodies. They regard the violin as the voice of our melodies and the instrumental phrases as the words of our songs. The Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham was invited to write the lyrics to two of the songs You raise me up and Gates of dawn His bestseller novel The Whitest flower was an inspiration to the band and they wanted him to capture into words what they felt was something spiritually significant to them in these melodies. On Secret Gardens last album Dawn of a New Century the band collaborated with the Scottish singer Karen Matheson from the group Capercaillie.
Sean Connery once said after hearing her performance in the film Rob Roy: her voice is touched by God. On this album she sings Gates of dawn, lyrics by Brendan Graham, and the ballad Greenwaves with lyrics by Ann Hampton Callaway. Secret Garden had previously worked with Ann in co-writing the song Ive dreamed of you for Barbra Streisand.
Secret Garden is:
Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Lovland.
Music composed and arranged by Rolf Lovland
Produced by Rolf Lovland & Fionnuala Sherry
Recorded, mixed and co-produced by Andrew Boland