* Your musical inspirations?

Enter the Haggis is made up of many varying musical influences. These differences are what has made ETH's music so unique. On the group's new album, "Casualties of Retail" the listener is exposed to many of these influences ranging from Celtic to folk to bluegrass to Latin, blues, Jazz and of course rock. If one could travel along with the group on the road you could hear any of these styles being played in the van at any given time. They all add up to help form what is Enter the Haggis' unique approach to Celtic based music.

Since its conception in 1996, Enter the Haggis (ETH) has built an international touring and recording career based on its unique approach to Celtic-based music and high-energy performances.

After the success of 2002’s ‘Enter the Haggis -Live!’, the group teamed up with JUNO nominated producer Joao Carvalho (Slainte Mhath, Pilate, Hawksley Workman) to record its fourth album,‘Casualties of Retail’ (2004). The result is a strong album and a sound that ETH can call their own.

“Working with Joao on ‘Casualties of Retail’ was a great experience.”says Brian Buchanan, the group’s 21-year-old fiddler and vocalist. “We’ve created a recording that we are all immensely proud of.”

‘Casualties of Retail’ features the catchy bluegrass-fusion singles “Another Round” and “Gasoline” as well as driving Celtic-rock instrumentals that showcase the group’s arranging and performance talent. The music is primarily a fusion of Celtic, bluegrass and rock, however, elements of Latin, blues and funk can be heard throughout. The instrumental, “Congress”, combines a traditional Irish reel played on electric guitar with Latin percussion as well as a section in which drum sticks are played on acoustic guitar. “Whereas on our earlier records we didn’t spend a long time in the studio, we recorded
‘Casualties of Retail’ over two months” says the group’s bassist Mark Abraham, who originally got a taste of Celtic music while growing up in Cape Breton. “Taking our time gave us the opportunity to experiment, getting everything exactly the way we wanted it. We also worked with some amazing guest musicians.”

The group is no stranger to the stage; a look at ETH’s past and present tour schedule makes it clear that they’ve become a big draw at U.S. and Canadian Celtic and folk festivals. “We have a great time sharing our music with audiences” says the band’s Scottish-born bagpiper, Craig Downie, who joined the award-winning General Motors
Pipe band at the age of 12. “The music we play crosses so many genre lines that it appeals to a wide demographic. It’s a very satisfying feeling seeing people of all ages connecting to the music we create.”

Besides the release of “Casualties of Retail”, a special on the group will begin airing on PBS affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada beginning in June of 2004. The documentary/performance entitled “Live at Lanigan’s Ball” was produced by the New York based company Adirondack Productions and filmed at Plattsburgh, New York’s Hartman Theatre in December of 2003. The special will be available on DVD and VHS.
Maple Music


* Your musical inspirations?
A lot of things but I probably get the most inspiration from other bands.

* Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?
The beatles - Abbey Road - pretty much all the beatle records.
Led Zep 2 and 4
The Who - Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
Portishead records
Too many to list.

* How has music inspired you?
It has inspired me to write and create my own music.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?
Yes it has.....music is very therapeutic.


Girl Nobody are masters of distinction. Perhaps you'll be captured by the vibrancy of Marta Jaciubek's voice, or maybe it's their spectral performance, which has been described as "an eerie Berlin cabaret." Most likely it will be the group's ability to push creative boundaries, a hallmark that's won over their hometown of Vancouver. Whichever thought or sound strikes you first, there is no turning back.

Together Girl Nobody's five members produce a tapestry of enigmatic musical ideas, wrapped in nearly life-long friendships. They have been working steadily towards their debut album, The Future Isn't What It Used To Be (release date March 2 2004), with producer Futcher (The Be Good Tanyas, Hellenkeller), for nearly three years. Progress often means change, and during their most impressionable years, Girl Nobody found themselves honing their interstellar sounds in clubs throughout Vancouver. The sound that developed combines moody electro-pop with subtle rock elements, featuring Marta's vocal stylings upfront and personal, spinning tales of alienation and aliens.

In 2001 Girl Nobody recorded a self-titled EP that was sold off stage and was used to fill email requests from as far away as Boston and Edinburgh. Today their legion of fans span an international stage and all are eagerly anticipating their first full-length release. Recorded in a series of unlikely locations - taking the band from the bowels of Vancouver's high tech studios, to recordings in motor hotels and remote cottages, patios and bathrooms - the listener is rewarded with the payoff of a landmark debut album.

Local promoters will vouch that set-up and sound check may be a little tedious, but the group's collection of strange analogue keyboards, a theremin and a ring modulator are the tools that help place Girl Nobody in a league of their own. Girl Nobody's ingenuity has such infectious appeal, that they've begun to catch the attention of a larger market. The band was one of the first independent acts booked by CBC's ZeD TV, and were later included in the shows 'best of' compilation released in 2003, which also includes such notable acts as Sam Roberts and Buck 65. Girl Nobody also appeared at the 2003 Telus Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival and opened for Kinnie Starr at Vancouver's Richards on Richards.

New York-based re-mixer Delikate Impostor (Bjork) has also taken a keen interest in Girl Nobody. Working with the UK vinyl label Release Records, a remix of "Why Am I Alone," will be released this spring on the 12" format to an international market which will include the UK/Europe and North America. The album's leading single, "Aliens", has appeared on Nickelodeons' Radio Free Roscoe.

The sounds of Girl Nobody have very clearly picked up speed as their album prepares to hit Canada by force. Be prepared to transcend into a world of soothing interplanetary sounds.
Maple Music


Your musical inspirations?

Each member of the band has their own musical inspirations, Mine however has a wide range of musicians and bands that have helped me grow over the years. Firstly my grandfather was a musician as was my father which in-turn encouraged my two brothers to be musicians which brought me into the fold. My brother John played with people such as James Taylor, Gerry Rafferty, to name a few. John's guitar playing was so intricate that I chose to follow in his footsteps as a player. My other brother David played on the concert circuit with John as the "Wright Brothers".

Bands such as Blue Rodeo, Paul Simon, James Taylor, have influenced much of my musical style.

Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

I like all forms of music and there are so many songs that have inspired me to write however many of my writings have derived from my own personal experiences. For each album that we produce we grow, and to grow you must know what is out there for inspiration, Bands such as Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul are a true test to perfection, Afro Celt is another world music staple which is also allowing us to experiment in the world music arena. However; over time we have developed a sound that is truly unique for the Glengarry Bhoys a sound that to this point is un matched a sound that is all our own which we think contributes the success of the Bhoys.

How has music inspired you?

Music has inspired me to become better at my craft and it allows me to grow as an artist. Music is our life and we live it every day performing over 200 concerts a year allows us to hone our musical talents.

There is such a great abundance of music of all genres that each one allows us the opportunity to grow. We write the majority of our own music and thus creating something that other Celtic bands are striving to do.

Music is a wonderful way of life and anything about it inspires us, the good and the bad.


To see the line of where you're headed, you have to also know where you've been. The Glengarry Bhoys continue to combine the traditional elements of Celtic music with contemporary sensibilities on Rhoots, giving a fresh perspective to that which they've inherited from generations of like-minded artists.

The Glengarry Bhoys began some six years and five albums ago and have established themselves through a devoted work-ethic of touring and recording. They have accomplished much in this relatively short span of time, thrilling audiences internationally and selling in excess of 85,000 copies of their records independently, a sure signal of their appeal and strength of their craft. The Bhoys have gone through a couple of incarnations within the development of their sound and Rhoots marks the third album composed of this now established line-up. Fate's interventions are the fhans' reward, as the Glengarry Bhoys have expanded from the local bar to the world stage.
Maple Music


Your musical inspirations?
My musical inspirations have been from most everything that I have ever heard, from all genres, classical to Pop. But my main musical influences have been from guitarist/composer Pat Metheny, Artist/composer BT, Sting, Moby, and many other artists who crossover into multiple genres with their music.

Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?
Yes,"We Live Here" by The Pat Metheny Group is an album
that has meant alot to me musically, and I think I have purchased it three times now, as over the years I just keep wearing that one out. ;-)

How has music inspired you?
Music has inspired me in many ways. It has been an amazing form of expression for me in my life, and continues to inspire me to grow as an artist, at to perfect the music from both a compositional aspect and a performing one.

Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your
Music has always been something very special to
me, and although there is no song or album that I can
say has helped me through one particular difficult
time, it has always been a way for me to express who I
am, at the current time. As so being able to sit down
and play music, through the  good times and bad, and
everyone has them both, has been helpful and a
wonderful blessing in my life.

Having received over 1.8 million downloads from his
website on mp3.com, Ryan Farish (age 28) ranked as one
of the most popular artists of all time on the
legendary mp3.com. Many of his tracks held the coveted
#1 spot for months at a time, over 38 different times
reaching #1 for their genre, and his cds sold to
almost every corner of the earth. Ryans music has
touched the lives of thousands and entered the homes
of billions.

Ryan's sound has been described as refreshingly
chilled out electronic music with an organic and
melodic style that makes you feel the music.

Sensual, Fresh, Music not unlike that of Enigma, Deep
Forest, Moby, or Enya.


Ryan Farish began his musical journey at the age of
four, when he was enrolled in violin lessons. At the
age of 10, Ryan began taking piano lessons, and
continued to study violin. At the age of 12, Ryan
added drums/percussion lessons to his schedule. Ryan
continued to study violin, piano and drums for 13
years. Ryan attended Old Dominion University pursuing
a degree in music performance, but left before
graduation due to a hectic performance schedule.

In 2001, Ryan Farish self-released his music . It was
then, that Ryan made the decision to try his music on
mp3.com. Ryan had no idea that he would become one of
the highest paid and downloaded artists in the history
of the mp3.com era, and that this success would launch
his career.

Ryan Farish's main influences have been Pat Metheny,
Seal, BT, Jazz, Classical and Pop music in general.


1.8 Million downloads from his former website on mp3.com,

Billboard Charting national debut release "Beautiful" Neurodisc/Capitol

Has been featured as part of the local 8's on The Weather Channel for over 3 years, which streams into over 85 Million homes daily.

Has composed and produced music for major companies,
most famous including IBM, Cox Communications, and The
Weather Channel, to name a few.

Composed and produced the theme song to the prime time hit television series from The Weather Channel, "Storm Stories.”

Ryan's music is streamed over 2000 times daily via

Was ranked as the #3 most played New Age artist for
2003 on Netscape Radio by their DJs
Ryan Farish CD's


* How has music inspired you?

It's an interesting question, actually, because my answer is not the
same as it was when I started playing music. When I picked up the guitar,
every cool riff or song by bands such as The Police or U2 would inspire me
to learn the instrument or write a song. I think that once I learned the
process of songwriting and started playing music professionally I started to
lose the ability to listen to music the same way as when I didn't know the
in's and out's of the recording process and the songwriting process. When
you perform and play all the time you are a lot more curious about where the
inspiration came from for your favourite song rather than how IT inspires

But I think that what inspires me in today's music is the very fact that
it, on the whole, is horrible. The amount of plasticity and image-driven
drivel out there inspires me to write more meaningful music and continue to
play with others who hold the torch for bands who have depth and longevity.
Every time I hear a new "clone" band or "ooh-baby" song , it inspires me to
stay a strong part of the dwindling few songwriters who inject some
substance into the musical ether these days.

I think the world population is growing at the rate of one baby every 30
seconds. Well, I truly believe that in the womb of the suburban basement or
garage their is a band born with similar tempo. And that - to me is over
saturating the music world like putting too much sugar in your tea - until
you can't drink it anymore. I never really thought of it but I think Mir is
one of those bands that is really trying to start a new pot boiling.

- Asif Illyas

Mir (meer) has sprung up and survived, in spite of difficult times in today's music industry. One of the most innovative and melodic new groups to come out of Canada, Mir's unique, challenging, easily identifiable sound makes them stand out clearly against all other pop/rock groups.

Unwaveringly sincere and universally relevant to life as we live it; Mir's songs have very broad enduring appeal. The trio, emotionally charged in the studio, and all the more so on stage, has succeeded in developing a new sound and an original style that embraces the old with the new and creates something of broader and higher synthesis.

Mir creates an exciting new definition of the term "pop music". Asif Illyas, Shehab Illyas and Adam Dowling bring charm, wit and reflection into the pop genre; characteristics that were seemingly swept away with the tide in the early 1990's. It seems these days that the recording industry is spilling forth with music by artists who offer a watered-down version of what has already been done, or who perform songs written to appeal to a certain audience. A very diluted, insincere and premeditated pattern of songwriting has emerged, stalling any inspiration in pop-musical growth. Mir consistently strives to offer something more in the face of the mainstream.

Asif and Shehab were born in Sri Lanka, grew up in London, England, and have been pursuing their music with passion ever since in their home, Halifax, Canada. Drummer, Adam, and the Illyas brothers crossed paths along the way and clicked instantly; mutually agreeing that pop music could fuse meaningful song writing with new elements in instrumentation, performance and arrangement. Their songs are catchy, sweet, powerful, sad, sometimes simple, sometimes complex; but anything but boring and predictable. They seamlessly blend elements of drum, guitar and bass, with dance, hip hop, rock and traditional world music instruments while never veering too far from the core fundamentals of great pop music - powerful rhythms, meaningful thought provoking lyrics, memorable melodies, rooted in soulful emotion.

Mir has risen above the typical standards in the world of today's predictable music to get their sound heard. They continue to raise the bar as they challenge themselves and their listeners. Mir insists their quest is not to stray off the beaten path but rather to forge a new one based on the time-honoured qualities of melody, sincerity and meaning in modern music.

Mir's smooth blend of electronica, pop, and world flavours has landed them on stages and recordings as diverse as OzFest to sharing space on European CD compilations with Sting, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Their resourcefulness has provided them with their own compact but functional recording studio where they spend their time as musicians, re-mix engineers and songsmiths. They have also created their own annual festival, the, "Mir Supershow", where they make live music with other great Canadian and international recording artists along with an orchestra, to deliver a unique concert with world-class distinction. It is this dynamic, industrious nature that cements Mir as one of Canada's most promising pop acts.

Next Page

©Voices and Visions