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Enya lanyëa olos mí Quenta Lírion
( Elvish: Enya is set to cast a spell on the charts )

Source: Ireland on Sunday (Ireland) (March 2002)

ELVISH is not a language taught in too many Irish schools. But that didn't faze Enya and her lyricist Roma Ryan when the Donegal diva was asked to write two songs for The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in a trilogy of films based on JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Enya's own first viewing of The Fellowship of the Ring was shrouded in secrecy - she and her management team flew to New Zealand for an exclusive look at the blockbuster earlier this year.

Director Peter Jackson wanted one song to be in the makebelieve Elvish language of Sindarin - and the other to be half in English, half in another Elvish language called Quenya.

Roma, wife of Enya's producer, Nicky Ryan, had been advised to consult with the movie's Elvish language expert, David Salo, but opted to research the languages herself.

She delved deep into Tolkien's three-volume masterpiece and actually learned both languages herself before she put pen to ... well, parchment.

The results were passed and approved as pure Sindarin and Quenya.

Now the title track is set to be released as a single and is expected to become an international Number One hit for the Donegal girl with the haunting voice.

Enya and Roma spent three months researching, writing and recording the two tracks in Dublin before they were brought to London's famed Abbey Road studios where the tracks were remixed with the backing of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Roma did much of her preliminary research of the Elvish languages on the longhaul flight to New Zealand. "I'm a nervous traveller and that was the first long- distance journey I've ever done so I spent the time studying my notes."

Before she left Dublin she spent weeks researching the world of elves and their languages. "I read The Silmarillion, Tolkien's history of the elves that precedes Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It tells the story from creation and the elves were the first of God's creation and they were called Quendi or 'those who speak with voices'," she says.

The elf dialogue in the Lord of the Rings films as well as the dwarvish black speech and other languages were all written by scriptwriters in English and then translated by David Salo, a Tolkien language expert.


Roma says writing a song in English to be translated into one of the Elvish languages is just not the way she works. "It was very exciting, the whole concept of writing in a language that belonged to elves, so I studied the language, its formulae, its rules and its grammar structure. I just couldn't do it any other way.

"Once I had read The Silmarillion and studied the language - I found it far more descriptive than Lord of the Rings - then everything else in Lord of the Rings began to make more sense. I read Lord of the Rings again and all the names meant something and it helped me write the songs."

Enya's own first viewing of The Fellowship of the Ring was shrouded in secrecy - she and her management team flew to New Zealand for an exclusive look at the blockbuster earlier this year.

She had been asked to write and record just one track initially, the theme song, May It Be.

"We saw the first complete cinema version of the film in a huge cinema on a rainy day in Wellington. It was all cloak and dagger and there were just the three of us in the cinema. They let us in at 10.30am and locked the doors behind us," said manager and producer Nicky Ryan. "They wouldn't send it to us in Dublin so we had to go there to see it."

Director Peter Jackson had always wanted the ethereal sounds of Enya to set the tone of the fantasy trilogy. But when Enya, Mr Ryan and Enya's co-writer, Roma Ryan, arrived in Wellington, he asked her to write another song.

He wanted to introduce her voice early in the film so "we watched the film and Enya decided to write Aniron for a romantic scene between elf queen Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) before the Council of Elrond", Mr. Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Only Time, the haunting single by Enya that captured the spirit of America has jumped straight into No.3 in the US charts.

The song was broadcast by CNN following the Twin Towers disaster and has been released as a single by Warners with all profits going to the New York firefighters fund .


It was later released as an EP with all proceeds going to the dependants of firefighters who lost their lives on September 11. Enya made a personal donation of $100,000 to the fund.

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