Kate McGarrigle, half of the beloved Canadian folk duo The McGarrigle Sisters, singer and songwriter, mother of musicians Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died from a rare form of cancer on Monday of this week, at sixty-three.
On that day, she was surrounded by her family, and left the world, they said, on "a haze of song".
I can't count the performances I saw at various folk festivals in '70s and '80s. They were a graceful, generous, cerebral pair who took risks within the folk form. In a time lit with dissent, they united French and English-speaking audiences in the transcendent sweetness of their harmonies.
Which song to select to remember her? Here is "Ce matin", a haunting song in French, which still reveals their Celtic roots. Kate plays piano.