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Oona McOuat : "Honey and Holy Water"

I recently had the chance to discover this talented harpist and musician on the net. Besides her enlightened spirit, musical qualities and style... what conquered me most was her storytelling, as Oona states... "we are gathering all over the planet - the healers and rememberers, the wounded and the weavers. In halls and hovels, in backyards and on beaches, men and women are gathering to remember the power within and the mystery without. Together, we are weaving the beauty into form".
You may have a granted access to the first chapter of her novel "The Remember" written in solitude on a cottage in Ireland on her official page. (To read a PDF preview of the first chapter just Click here.)

Let us take a brief bio quote from her Official Press :

Rooted in the earthy and the ethereal, Oona moves beyond the gentleness traditionally associated with the harp to create music that is timeless yet contemporary. With her band Dream Deep she bridges the primal and the beautiful with startling grace. Evocative lyrics and world instruments merge to create a sound that is soulful, moving and transcendent.

Songwriting re-emerged through a series of dreams. "Reconnecting with my muse was like awakening from a long winter's sleep," remembers Oona. And so began an intense period of creative development including studies in authentic movement, clowning and Butoh. She began to explore world music. In 1991, she was the featured female vocalist on Celso Machado's Juno-nominated album TAIRA, singing in Portuguese and Yamomami. Then she followed the ancestral call and traveled to Scotland to discover her roots. From 1991 to 2005, she wintered on the Big Island of Hawaii, swimming and singing with wild dolphins and whales and exploring sound to new depths. She developed a music program based on singing and playing from the inside out, and became an inspired and dedicated teacher, expanding her work to include story, the mythic realms and environmental awareness and stewardship.

Oona and her band Dream Deep perform at arts centers, festivals and concert halls; her warm and heartfelt presence transform an ordinary performance into an extraordinary event.

The Album

Sweet and soulful, Oona McOuat’s (pronounced oo-na mick-kew-it) new album Honey and Holy Water flows with urgency and wonder.
Like the ocean is a stage for a dolphin’s song, Oona McOuat finds her voice and inspiration from the earth.

The Saltspring Island singer-songwriter and harpist found many of the songs on her new album, Honey and Holy Water, hiding in Hawaiian waters or hanging from tropical fruit trees. The Vancouver-born vagabond has been living on Saltspring for the last three years, but called Hawaii home for more than a decade.

Her day would start with a dip in the ocean, swimming with wild dolphins. “They honestly taught me so much about being alive,” McOuat said – they inspired her music and gave it purpose. “(They had) this absolute unconditional love that could only awaken in me a love for the ocean, as well as a love for wild creatures and a desire to protect and preserve their habitats.”

While her music isn’t traditionally Celtic, she said, “the Celts had a very strong affinity and relationship to the land and to nature. I feel like I’m resurrecting that in a contemporary sense.

She wrote the album’s first track, “Mystery,” after spending the day on the big island of Hawaii. Surrounded by huge cliffs lined with a black sand beach, she saw wild horses, just like in any good fairy tale.

My desire is to create a platform where there’s beautiful and enlivening and fun music (raising) funds and awareness for groups that are doing grassroots environmental work.”

From the fun and funky re-creation of the trad tune "Drowsy Maggie" to "The Wild Ones'" heartfelt plea for preservation, through the broken-open love song, "Where the Emptiness is Full", this album navigates mystery and loss with purity and grace while encouraging us to cherish what might yet be saved.

Listen to song samples here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/oonamcouat

Listen to whole songs here: http://www.reverbnation.comww.reverbnation.com/oonamcouat

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