Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had a lot of time to scroll through Instagram and YouTube. And as we dive into lots of new music, we’re also re-visiting some of our Eurovision favourites. So you’ll understand our joy when we saw that Ireland’s Eimear Quinn — the winner of Eurovision 1996 — recently re-released her winning song “The Voice”. But, as she says on her web site, it’s not just any re-release: “It’s is the first-ever fully orchestral recording of this iconic song.”
Yup. Eimear has re-recorded her classic song with the prestigious RTE Concert Orchestra. The result is “The Voice 2020″ — an epic and lush re-working that’s sure to give you all the feels. It will delight her many long-time fans while drawing in plenty of new ones. Some of you may have had the pleasure to hear “The Voice 2020” already. Eimear performed it at the Het Grote Songfestivalfeest in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome back in December.
Eimear, who is now based in Geneva with her family, recently caught up with Wiwibloggs to discuss the song — which is the first on an upcoming album of orchestral songs.
Eimear Quinn sings “The Voice 2020” LIVE in Amsterdam
Can you explain to folks why it feels different to record with a live orchestra? Besides the amazing sound, does it also impact how you perform?
It absolutely impacts how I perform it! There’s an energy and drive to the song no matter what the line-up, but the sheer amount of human energy combined in an orchestra is something else. It takes the performance experience to another level, as we all collectively build towards the last final chord. It’s explosive! The particular orchestra in question is also full of many personal friends with whom I’ve had the privilege to work with for quite a while, so to record and release it is like a dream come true. It’s the first song from a full album of orchestral songs, so there’s lots more to come.
A lot of our followers are quite young and may have only discovered Eurovision in the past decade or so. For those who are enjoying “The Voice” for the first time, could you tell them what the song is about and the perspective or character you take on when singing it? I always imagine you as Mother Nature or a Celtic forest goddess!
I’ve heard from a lot of listeners in recent times who were only born around the time of this song’s victory, but somehow the song still makes a connection with them. I think that it has a timeless quality to it, and even more so now with the orchestral version. It’s pretty mesmeric to experience it as a singer.
The message is incredibly powerful. The origin of the lyric is in the elements of our nation, and the idea that our past is forever entwined with our land and our people, but that we have the power not to be limited by it. We have the power to design our own future. Eurovision 1996 was before the Peace Accord in Northern Ireland (1998) and the song spoke of the healing that could come from peace. I feel it in every pore when I sing it, like I am possessed by the pure might of our combined Irishness and I am so struck by the power that can be conjured up by a people who stand united, despite their differences.
You perform in lots of big venues, but did the big Eurovision concert in Ziggo Dome feel somehow special or different?
Yes, it did.The last big Eurovision event that I performed at was the anniversary in Denmark (2005) and just look at how the whole thing has changed since then.
In my view Eurovision remains vibrant and relevant because of the fans. In the last decade in particular the changes in the way we communicate mean that everyone gets a say, and the fans have a lot to say! That is one LOUD voice, igniting enormous excitement year after year, in the build-up and the wind-down. I thought the Dutch broadcaster did brilliantly in understanding that, and embracing the love that the fans have for the contest. Creating that event was so memorable, because it was all about the fans. I’m truly devastated for anyone who will lose out due to recent events, I’m hoping that there will be a silver lining.
Eurovision has truly been a gift in my life. I have always said it. I hope it will be to these artists too, even though it seems so tough right now.
Thanks for the lovely insights, Eimear!
You can stream the song on all platforms on this “The Voice 2020” link. Be sure to follow Eimear on the various music platforms so you’ll be alerted the moment new music comes out. You can also follow her on Instagram @eimearvox.