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Stating that the Cathedral show is a "musical journey through the ages", MacNeil says it incorporates the band's renowned brand of Celtic music while adding in the rich sounds of pipe organ, a cellist as well as a couple of guest vocalists.
For more than two decades, the members of the Barra MacNeils have been captivating audiences with their unique take on Celtic music, carrying on the traditions of their native Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, as well as pushing the genre forward, maintaining its relevance in today's music scene.
Apart from performing, the Barra MacNeils maintain a busy schedule recording, rehearsing or developing new songs or shows. Last year they released two live albums, In Concert and In Session, and this fall they toured a new work, entitled Cathedral. The show is centered around the pipe organ, played by Sheumas, which he learned how to do while attending New Brunswick's Mount Allison University. This was something they'd wanted to do for a while, to highlight Sheumas' skill, though it proved challenging as pipe organs are hard to come by unless you're playing in a church."We just were experimenting, being able to use the organ in the venues, and trying to branch out with it," says Boyd. "It's an impressive instrument."The show exhibits another side of the pipe organ, which is often associated with hymns alone, featuring pieces by them as well as Vivaldi, Styx and Bobby McFerrin."Whether or not we'll be recording it, a lot of people are looking for it, we'll just have to see. It's just so new right now," says Boyd of audiences' positive reaction to Cathedral.