Enya's album Paint the Sky With Stars: The Best of Enya.
Grammy-winning vocalist Enya has been called ethereal, haunting, multilayered and mystical — and just a wee bit funky, as the Irish probably never say. Her recordings can sound like a chorus of angels, even though it's just Enya by herself, as she sings and plays keyboards, strings and percussion.
She and her producer, Nicky Ryan, layer one track of her voice over another to produce the musical equivalent of mixing watercolors. Enya says that her process of composing begins with an emotional perception rather than the more intellectualized process of writing something down.
"Basically, I would work in the studio writing a melody," she says. "And when that moment happens, I usually like to let the melody take me on a journey itself. So when I sit back, listen to the finished melody, it's only then that I can hear what it's about.
"I find I'm not one of these composers that are, you know, walking along a beach or walking on the mountainside in County Donegal that's, you know, 'Oh, a melody,' " Enya says. "It's more a matter of eventually taking that moment with me to the studio, and it begins to evolve."
Click the audio link above to hear Enya talk to host Scott Simon about her new collection, Paint the Sky With Stars: The Best of Enya.