It doesn't happens very often (and too bad for that!), but there are times when you hear a piece of music, a guitar, or a voice for the first time and the whole world seems to drop away for that moment. During the days of radio, this had the tendency to ruin the music obsessive's day: if the timing was just right, a wait of up to an hour or more in the car would be required. Before things like satellite radio, we had to rely on the DJ to back-announce the previous set.
This is exactly what happened to me the first time I heard Loreena McKennitt. During the last few minutes of my morning commute, a local college radio station played her version of "She Moved Through The Fair" from Elemental. Those slightly ominous bells and that angelic voice sent me off to another world, one where informative disc jockeys didn't wait too long to fill in the missing information. Well, the kids from Emerson College radio came through, almost 30 minutes after I had parked my Toyota pickup in my company's parking lot. Hey, they don't actually enumerate all of the 'legal' uses for flex time!
I can't quite remember if I went right out looking for a copy of Elemental that afternoon, but it wouldn't surprise me if I did. When a new sound enters my ear parts in such a manner, I'm driven to alleviate that tension.
Almost 20 years later, I'm brought right back to that moment with the release of A Mediterranean Odyssey. It's not often that I recommend box sets to the neophyte but in this case, McKennitt has produced a spectacular collection that serves to illustrate the scope of her back catalog while shining a bright light on the current state of her career.