by Marshall Bowden
I came across my favorite Irish pop music album a couple of years ago at the big tent music sale held every summer in the parking lot at Old Orchard shopping center. I was deeply into the music of Sarah McLachlan and had also started listening seriously to electronica over the previous year. I'd purchased a compilation CD released by the Triloka label, which contained remixes of tracks by various Triloka artists. Most of these were electronic artists to begin with, but one track was quite different; a rendition of the Stranglers' song "Golden Brown" sung by an ethereal female voice. The singer was Emer Kenny, and a few weeks later I stood in the tent at Old Orchard holding a copy of her CD in my hands. It had been released in 1997 and contained the original, un-remixed version of "Golden Brown", so I bought it.
Emer Kenny started playing Harp at the age of nine, studied composition and Concert Harp at the College of Music, Dublin and won an Alfred Byte scholarship to further her studies at Trinity College of Music, London.
Emer developed a unique style of music, calling on diverse musical influences and landed a record deal with a major U.S. label, Mercury, in 1997. Her first album, "Emer Kenny", which showcased her harp playing and vocal talents, was given a world-wide release by Polygram in 1997 to critical acclaim and sales reaching in excess of 50 thousands units.