UU Honours Musician Enya
Enya, Irish singer and songwriter, this week received the honorary degree of DLitt (Doctor of Letters) in recognition of her services to music and the creative industries.
An Ulster woman, born in Gweedore, Co Donegal, Enya Ni Bhraonain first came to prominence when she wrote the music for the six part series 'The Celts' for the BBC. Her album, taken from the series, went on to sell six million copies.
She is a four times Grammy award-winner having won her 4th Grammy Award for her album 'Amarantine' this year in Los Angeles. To date Enya has sold over 70 million albums.
Enya trained as a classical piano musician under the expert guidance of Professor Cathal O'Callaghan of National University of Ireland, Maynooth whilst he was Parish Priest at Dungloe, Co. Donegal.
Her favourite classical composers are Sergei Rachmaninov and Erik Satie. Her hobbies include watching black and white films, collecting artwork, and reading.
She lives in a Victorian-style castle called Manderley. The castle's name comes from one of Enya's favourite novels, 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier.
On her latest album, 'Amarantine', Enya sings in Japanese and Loxian, a language invented by Enya's lyricist, Roma Ryan. A number of Enya's songs are entirely in Irish or Latin, while most of her songs are in English. Enya's songs are written entirely or partially in Welsh, Spanish, French, and even languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Enya has performed songs relating to J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings', including 1991's 'Lothlorien' (instrumental), 2001's 'May It Be' (sung in English and Quenya), and 'Aniron' (in Sindarin).
Both 'May it be' and 'Aniron' were featured in the soundtrack of Peter Jackson's movie 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' and earned Enya, Roma and Nicky each a Golden Globe nomination and Oscar nomination.
Enya's graduation speech can be downloaded from: