Travelling, especially a journey on the Trans- Siberian Express, inspired harpist Loreena McKennitt to write the music for her latest album. In The Book of Secrets, McKennitt continues a process going back through her Celtic heritage, and using old influences to help her own creativity. On the long train ride, the Canadian musician said, she found the peace and quiet needed to prepare for The Book of Secrets. A feeling of motion runs through the songs. Many of the tunes seem driven by movement and change, including the thundering horses' hooves of Night Ride Across the Caucasus. The soul-mates in Dante's Prayer and the dramatic cast of McKennitt's interpretation of the poem The Highwayman also feel restless. Before she began breathing life into long-forgotten lyrics, McKennitt first made her name as a singer of traditional folk ballads. The Book of Secrets, like all of McKennitt's previous six recordings, was self-produced. Recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios in Wiltshire, England, it features musical contributions from a mixed cast, including Hossam Ramzy, Danny Thompson, Caroline Lavelle, Manu Katche, Nigel Eaton, David Rhodes and the St Petersburg Chamber Choir. Born and raised in Morden, Manitoba, a small prairie community, McKennitt moved in the 1980s to Stratford, Ontario, home of a Shakespeare festival. As an actor, composer and musician, she was featured in a number of productions. In 1985, with the release of Elemental on her own label, Quinlan Road, she began her career as a recording artist. McKennitt has sold more than four-million records in more than 40 countries. Her two most recent albums, 1991's The Visit and 1994's The Mask and Mirror, went multi-platinum in Canada, sold more than gold in the United States and won several awards.