We regret to inform you that the duck knew what it was up to.
Unsurprisingly, as Taylor quotes “Adiemus’” lead singer Miriam Stockley (not Enya) recalling, behind the scenes a particular — indeed, offensive — sonic imaginary guided production: “The advertising agency liked the lead vocal but wanted much more of an ‘African/child-like’ approach. So I suggested brining in Mary Carewe, who has a much brighter younger sound to sing with me in the choruses.”"
I admit, Enigma is part of my Hurting Wrong Fun*, but then again my first love in music was Rubycon by Tangerine Dream when I was a kid, along with Switched On Bach and later anything by Andreas Vollenweider. And I Advance Masked by Andy Summers and Robert Fripp. Enigma and The Orb were just the next generation and hit my comfort zone.
And yeah, “Adiemus” is best understood as done for a corporate global ad campaign, whose only musical purpose was to say “look at all the countries you can fly to!” without being a specific style. Something done on commission and designed to be as inoffensive as possible, to not distract from the voice-over. I think I read somewhere that Karl Jenkins was surprised and even a little embarrassed by its success as a single.
As for the new Enigma release, the low fanfare suggests that it was only intended for a limited audience and not as a comeback. Something for the hard core fans so that they will finally shut up, or so that the artists can finally cure that itch. I won’t worry or snark about it.
I still love this sort of stuff, and am currently on an Ólafur Arnalds / Ludovico Einaudi binge. Sosumi.
*a term I picked up on the Steve Jackson Games Pyramid Board, coined to mean “that may be fun for me, but I realise that it is so wrong it hurts”