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Nights from the Alhambra is an enchanting musical performance, set beneath the stars in the breathtaking Moorish heart of medieval Spain.

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Nights from the Alhambra is available in stores worldwide as a deluxe three-disc set comprising a 99-minute DVD and two companion CDs with a combined running time of 94 minutes. Both the DVD and the audio-only CDs present performances of 18 of Loreena’s best-loved songs, including “The Mummers’ Dance”, “Caravanserai”, “The Mystic’s Dream” and “The Lady Of Shalott”, performed by Loreena and a host of musical colleagues.

The live concert performances captured in Nights from the Alhambra were first seen in the TV special of the same name in PBS’s “Great Performances” series. This programme began airing in the United States in March 2007.

In the spring of 2007, a version of the DVD/CD set Nights from the Alhambra was sold exclusively during Loreena McKennitt’s European and North American tours. This “tour exclusive” version of Nights from the Alhambra featured different artwork on the outer packaging, but it included the same content as the later commercial release.

Track Listing:

DVD
The Mystic’s Dream
She Moved Through The Fair
Stolen Child
The Mummers’ Dance
Penelope’s Song
Marco Polo
The Bonny Swans
Dante’s Prayer
Caravanserai
Bonny Portmore
Santiago
Raglan Road
All Souls Night
The Lady Of Shalott
The Old Ways
Never-Ending Road (Amhrán Duit)
Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance
Cymbeline

Audio CDs

CD One:
The Mystic’s Dream
She Moved Through The Fair
Stolen Child
The Mummers’ Dance
Penelope’s Song
Marco Polo
The Bonny Swans
Dante’s Prayer

CD Two:
Caravanserai
Bonny Portmore
Santiago
Raglan Road
All Souls Night
The Lady Of Shalott
The Old Ways
Never-Ending Road (Amhrán Duit)
Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance
Cymbeline

Introduction

If these stones could speak… As performers, we know that the mysterious and thrilling chemistry between musicians and audience can make a special place of any stage. How much more mysterious and thrilling it was, then, to find ourselves assembling our instruments in the very heart of the Alhambra Palace, a place I have dreamed of performing in from the first time I walked among its enchanted walls. I believe that the real beauty of the Alhambra is that it holds our dreams of the eternal within its stones – that same eternal truth, perhaps, that we performers strive for when we share our songs and stories. I am honoured to share our nights in the Alhambra, and our musical journey, with you.” ~ LM

The Alhambra

Nights from the Alhambra was filmed on location at the Palacio de Carlos V of the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Granada, Spain.

alh-002-lgTo read more about the unique architectural, historical and cultural treasure that is the Alhambra, visit the monument’s official site at www.alhambra.org and the official site for tourism for the province at www.turgranada.es.

The Palace of Charles V was built on the grounds of the Alhambra some three decades after Muslim-ruled Andalusia had fallen and Granada’s last Nasrid ruler, Boabdil, was driven into exile.

Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and the grandson of “los Reyes Católicos” Ferdinand and Isabella, commissioned the construction of his palace to Toledo-born painter and architect Pedro Machuca, who had studied in Italy at the time of Michaelangelo and Raphael.

alh-001-lgWork began on the monumental structure in 1527, although it would not be completed until 1957, and it had no roof as late as 1923. Indeed, at many points in its history, the Palacio was so neglected that parts of the building collapsed and, along with the rest of the Alhambra, narrowly escaped being blown up by Napoleon’s forces.

Yet somehow it survived, and remains the most important Renaissance building in Spain. And, at the heart of the massive square structure, its chaste circular courtyard symbolising heaven and earth is as impressive as it is unique. It is this courtyard, lit by Andalusian stars from above and stage lights below, which served as the open-air venue for the unforgettable performances of Nights from the Alhambra.

I once came across a quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

I had long intended to make a pilgrimage to Spain, and to visit the palace called Alhambra, but it wasn’t until I learned that the ancient Celts had settled on this Iberian peninsula that I finally traveled there. I discovered Moorish towers built by a 13th century sultan; interior courtyards with pools of water, elegant pillars and intricate tracery… all designed to duplicate the famous descriptions of Paradise in Islamic poetry.

For centuries, it served as an oasis for nomads and travelers, a meeting place for cultures and traditions. A crossroads for religions, where Muslims, Jew and Christians coexisted in harmony.

It is a place where darkness gives way to light, where every stone has heard a thousand and one secrets, and where distance feels so near.

It’s a place of infinite beauty; a mystic’s dream I remember the Alhambra rising out of the Sierra Nevada mountains, surrounded by a fertile flatland. It was a perfect place to build a defensive fortress and the castle grew organically on the top of its own mountain, down through the centuries.

Moorish poets described it as a pearl surrounded by emeralds. The Alhambra exists out of  time. In my mind, it’s nestled right next to eternity, and the architectural details everywhere are overwhelmingly Arabic. The Alhambra palace was at the apogee of civilization when it was built.

Even the courtyard where we are performing our concert, constructed by King Carlos the Fifth, pays tribute to the brilliance of the unknown Muslim architects who first erected turrets and storehouses here, centuries earlier.

The name Alhambra means “the red” in Arabic. Some say that this derives from the colour of the bricks on the outer walls. Some say it refers to the red colour of the torches by which construction was carried out.

For me, Alhambra means mystery. It means eternity. It represents the human spirit. I first came to Spain in search of the Celts. I was surprised to learn that Celtic tribes had lived in Galicia, in northwestern Spain, before being pushed north towards Britain and Ireland by invading Roman armies.

In fact, Galicians still play bagpipes, and there are aspects of their music which almost sound Scottish or Irish. So it was this pan-Celtic connection that led me to the door of Spain and a whole new path of discovery.

When I arrived at the Alhambra, I felt as though I’d always been there, and as though I’d never ever leave. It’s a magical and mystical place filled with inspiration, and the music that one hears here is eternal. The civilization that one feels here knows no borders. But as the philosopher says, A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

For me, a journey is a never-ending road. A discovery that there is so much more to bind us together than to tear us apart. These are the dreams that we hold in the palms of our hands.

CREDITS

Loreena McKennitt Nights from the Alhambra
Recorded live on location at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, September 2006

MUSICIANS

Vocals, Accordion, Harp, Piano
Loreena McKennitt

Drums and Percussion
Tal Bergman

Kanoun
Panos Dimitrakopoulos

Hurdy Gurdy
Nigel Eaton

Uilleann Pipes, Bodhrán, Percussion
Steáfán Hannigan

Band Leader, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Oud, Celtic Bouzouki
Brian Hughes

Acoustic and Electric Bass
Tim Landers

Cello
Caroline Lavelle

Percussion
Rick Lazar

Violin
Hugh Marsh

Viola, Keyboards, Tabla
Donald Quan

Lyra
Sokratis Sinopoulos

Oud
Haig Yazdjian

AUDIO

Producer
Loreena McKennitt

Assistant Producer
Brian Hughes

Recorded and Mixed by
Jeff Wolpert

Recording Assistant
Tim Summerhayes

Mixed at
Desert Fish, Toronto, Canada

Mastered by
Bob Ludwig
Gateway Mastering Studios Inc., Portland, Maine

Authoring and Encoding
Brian K. Lee
Thomas Ryan
Gateway Mastering & DVD

Recorded on the Fleetwood mobile by
Tim Summerhayes

Assisted by
Mike Silverston
Ollie Nesham

Fleetwood Mobile Consultant
Ian Dyckhoff

PRODUCTION

Director
Julia Knowles

Lighting Director / Designer
Mark Cunniffe

Tour Manager
Roger Searle

Lighting Crew Chief
Keith Duncan

Lighting Consultant
Bob Stamp

Lighting Technicians
Marcus Robinson
John Lahiffe
Niall Ogilvey
Wener Van Passel

Board Operator
Ross Williams

Engineering Manager
Andrew Jones

Front of House Sound Engineer
Clive Alcock

TV Sound Supervisor
David Pollock

Monitor Engineer
David McRae

Technical Director
Naomi Neufeld

Associate Director
Manique Ratner

Senior Camera Operators
Tony Keene
Richard Shaylor

Camera Operators
Mark Cruickshank
Katie Lawes
Paul Freeman
Steve Mitchell
Wayne Ratcliffe
Edward Shaylor
Kevin French

Vision Supervisor
Simon Nicholls

Floor Manager
Roger Dempster

Line Producer
Chris Mercer

B-Roll Director
Peter Jamieson

Production Assistant
Kelly Schnurr

Set Carpenter
Roger Chopping

VTR
James Clement

Guitar and Stage Technician
Philippe Hébert

Audio System Technician
Malcolm Giles

Musician Technician
Pierre Villeneuve

Drum Technician
Swapan Nandi

Piano and Harp Tuner
Trevor David Lowe

Stylist
Elisabetta ‘Felix’ Formaggia

Hair and Make-Up
Diana Carreiro

Craft Services
Suzanne McGowan

Truck Driver
Dave Clarke

POST PRODUCTION

Editors
UK: Damian O’Neill
US: Gary Bradley

On-Line Editor
David Noling
Segment Writer
Paul Kennedy

Post Production Managers
UK: Ceire Deery
US: Cara Cosentino

Post Production Audio
Sue Pelino

Colourist
Jim Hogan

Production Assistant
Adam Fels

SPANISH PRODUCTION

Spanish Production Head Coordinator
Julio Martí – Colectivo Promoción Jazz

Spanish Coordination Assistants
Victor Baxter
Rafa Gonazález
Nacho Moltó

Musiserv
Pepe Rodriguez
Manuel Requena
Nuria Rico
Daniel Herrera
Juan M. Bueso
Daniel Ortiz

Loaders Crew Chief
Jose Mancera

Loaders Crew
Miguel Astorga
Matias Cuesta
Sergio Gallegos
Juan Manuel Rios
Rodrigo Martin
Oscar Ramirez
Carlos Garcia
Jesus Ortiz
Luis Alfonso Sairot
Jose Luis Lupiañez
Jesus Sandobal
Angel Vaquero
Juan Caballero
Andres Lopez
Juan Manuel Jimenez
Raul Ruiz
Luis Moreno-Davila

ProAudio
Pepe Ruiz
Enrique Gomez Rey

Stage Personnel
Andres Maza
Salvador Maza

Runners
Enrique Novi
Christian Morales

Driver
Santiago Bermejo

Thanks to the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife for their collaboration and support:

Dª Mª del Mar Villafranca
D. Enrique Moratalla
D. Jeronimo Paez
D. Enrique Gamez
Ana Fernández

Special Thanks To:
David Horn, Thirteen
Marek Lieberberg
Dan McGee
Verve Music Group

For Perseus Productions Inc. and Quinlan Road Limited

General Manager
Su Hutchinson

Controller
Jay Abraham

Business Affairs
Ian Blackaby
Bill Bruce

Executive Assistant to Ms. McKennitt
Mark McCauley

Marketing and Project Manager
Jill Mackie

Commercial release packaging
Art direction
Hollis King

Design
Philip Manning

Tour merchandise release packaging

Design
Heidi Holdsworth

Select Photography
Demetris Koilalous

Executive Assistant
Stacey Clark

General Accountant
Deborah Woodbridge

Office Assistants
Ruth King
Sheri Pedersen-McKay
Robin McGibbon

Travel Assistants
Dorcas Till
Michael Till

Shipping
Dan Noble

Crew
Peter Williams

Legal
Ron Hay, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond, LLP
Susan Abramovitch, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Producers
Su Hutchinson
David Rosen

Executive Producer
Loreena McKennitt

 

We are offering Nights from the Alhambra in two distinct packages as well as in vinyl format. You will notice a choice of CD and DVD digipaks. Both packaging formats include identical content. This includes the DVD video and companion audio on two CDs.

NFTA_3DLoreena’s legendary live performance in 2006 at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain is now available on vinyl. The two-disc set is the first Loreena McKennitt live recording available in this format and will be released on 180g vinyl with a gatefold sleeve in a limited edition of only 7,500 copies globally.

  • DVD DIGIPAK
  • CD DIGIPAK
  • Vinyl