For today’s post I wrote an article about a song I wanted to analyse for a long time and now I’m sharing my thoughts about it with you. The song is entitled The Mystic’s Dream by Canadian singer, harpist and composer Loreena McKennitt and it appeared on her 1994 album The Mask and Mirror.
What I found unique about The Mystic’s Dream is the perfect blend between elements of Western-European sacred music – the chorus of male voices that makes me think of Gregorian chants filled with devotion – and Middle-Eastern inflections that make me picture the Whirling Dervishes rotating round and round into their ecstatic dance in order to reach and unite with their Beloved. Combined with Loreena McKennitt’s mysterious voice like the presence of a fata morgana, the song triggers serenity, as if you’re entering a meditative state.
Loreena McKennitt sings softly throughout most of the song (accentuating only the most intense feelings and symbols) as if she is telling us a secret – the secret dream of the mystic who encountered God or a Divine entity he worships. At first, the nocturnal setting is engulfed in tranquility, followed by a few signs which announce the presence of God: A voiceless song in an ageless light/ Sings at the coming dawn and the birds sing an unearthly song that makes the mystic long for his Beloved. However, besides trust, the mystic needs to show complete devotion in order to be united with God. The mystic has to assume the hard journey he has to embark on and he must lose all that belongs to him (his ego) in order to let himself be guided by God and become one with Him.
Maybe it seems like I’m beating around the bush, but according to Wikipedia and the sources it quotes, The Mask and Mirror album is inspired by the singer’s travels to Spain, Morocco and other countries: “I looked back and forth through the window of 15th century Spain, through the hues of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and was drawn into a fascinating world: history, religion, cross-cultural fertilization”.
That’s all for today! I hope that you enjoyed reading my short article and maybe you will stay tuned for more!
by Alina Andreea Cătărău