Two-time Juno Award-winning Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt announces the release of her 16th album, Under A Winter’s Moon, recorded live at a series of holiday concerts in December 2021 at a heritage shrine in Stratford, Ontario. The two-week promotional tour for this album kicks off in Ontario in early December 2022.
To be released on November 18, 2022 on Quinlan Road, the artist’s record label, this new album features 15 Christmas songs performed by Loreena and presented in a 6-piece hardback digipack with two CDs. The live tracks are interspersed with traditional narrations by Canadian Aboriginal actor Tom Jackson, Companion of the Order of Canada; Gemini Award-winning actor Cedric Smith; and Ojibwe artist and flutist Jeffrey Red George. A Dolby Atmos surround sound version of the album will also be available for digital download.
The musicians and narrators from the first Under A Winter’s Moon Tour will return to Stratford on December 2, and then continue on to seven other Ontario cities, including London, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto, Peterborough, and Kingston.
“Together, in our small community, we wove this collection of words and music in just a few evenings during the winter solstice of 2021,” writes Loreena in the booklet for the new album. “I wanted to include elements of oral tradition from different cultures in order to create a work that could both evoke our past as living knowledge and highlight how orality allows us to share the existence of cultural habitats, and by extension, their identity markers, from the past to the present.”
The album features holiday classics such as “Coventry Carol”, and “Huron Carol”. In the first part, Tom Jackson tells The Sky Woman Story, an Aboriginal tale of the mystery of creation, while in the second part Cedric Smith narrates A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a moving and nostalgic prose piece by the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, in six parts.
In addition to singing, Loreena plays harp, keyboard and accordion on this live album, which she produced. She is accompanied by Caroline Lavelle on cello and flute; Graham Hargrove on percussion; Errol Fischer on violin; Pete Watson on guitar and 12-string bouzouki; and Cait Watson on flageolet. All of these musicians also provide all the vocal accompaniment on stage.
Under a Winter Moon was recorded at Knox Church in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and mixed and mastered by award-winning engineer, mixer, producer and sound editor Jeff Wolpert at Desert Fish Studio in Toronto.
With an eclectic Celtic blend of pop, folk and world music that has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, Loreena has achieved gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications for her albums in fifteen countries on four continents and has been nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards and won two Juno Awards, as well as the Billboard International Achievement Award.
From Carnegie Hall to the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, Loreena has performed in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, some of which are illustrious heritage stages. She has also performed for such dignitaries as the late Queen Elizabeth II, His Majesty King Charles III, and other heads of state.
In 2004, Loreena was awarded the Order of Canada, and in 2013 she was made a chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République française.