A retreat with Carmel is like a weeklong magical concert in a Celtic ‘thin place’Comment by Mary who was a participant in an eight day in-person retreat with Carmel
Carmel Boyle is an Irish singer, composer and performer of original spiritually orientated songs. Her contemporary sacred songs are inspired by her Irish spiritual heritage, the writings of Christian mystics and her own spiritual unfolding.
Carmel’s songs are evocative and her voice has a contemplative quality that exudes a healing energy and touches hearts. Her songs are inspired by her own spiritual journey, her Irish spiritual heritage and the writings of Christian mystics. In her early singing career she enjoyed success as an Irish ballad/folk singer but gradually switched her focus to performing her original contemporary sacred songs. She has performed internationally for royalty, presidents and ambassadors but now enjoys going deeper with the content of her songs in retreat settings and the power of her voice brings joy, hope and healing. There is a simplicity and beauty about her songs and audiences are uplifted, encouraged and moved by her presentations.
Her songs are her medium for sharing a deep spirituality that recovers the essence of both a Celtic and Christian spirituality that is expansive, inclusive. inspiring for our times and ultimately about Love. In both her performances and recordings she invites the listener into contemplative prayer and meditation and an experience of peace and healing. Her songs are not just an invitation to Divine encounter but some have the potential to open a doorway to mystical experience. She tells stories of Celtic wisdom and Celtic saints and brings to life the stories of many ‘holy ones’ who have the power to inspire and bless us today.
She made her first record on the Gael Linn label when she was just sixteen, after success in a national competition and was poised to follow in the footsteps of previous winners like Enya and Clannad, but instead entered a religious community for a number of years. Carmel acknowledges that this decision laid the foundations for the spiritual work that is central to her life. She recorded two further albums of Irish ballads but went on to record more than a dozen albums of her original sacred songs and continues to compose and record. Her experience as an Irish Catholic growing up in Ireland is inescapably integral to her ministry but her focus is on the riches of the Christian mystical tradition as she seeks to hold an inter-spiritual perspective while honouring her spiritual roots. Carmel holds Bachelor Degrees in Music and Theology and a Master’s Degree in Ministry and this academic training has fed into the quality of her music and lyrics. There is beauty of her melodic sense, a evocative tone in her voice and theologically rich lyrics that are closer to poetry and these have the power to bring the listener into their own soul space. Carmel’s work is influenced by her belief that the expressive arts can be a powerful and direct doorway to Divine encounter. Her songs are a vehicle for sound healing and all this flows from her training, her commitment to spirituality and her God given giftedness.